Ben Bordiga and Joshua Koo (PNGA Photo)
Ben Borgida of Shoreline, Wash. and Joshua Koo of Cerritos, Calif. will face each other in the final match of the 121st Pacific Northwest Men’s Amateur Championship, being held this week at Chambers Bay in University Place, Wash.
The 36-hole final match will be held Saturday, July 22, and will tee off the No. 1 tee at 7:30am for the morning round and 12:30pm for the afternoon round. An awards ceremony will be held immediately following the completion of the match.
To reach the final match, Borgida, the No. 2 seed in this week’s match-play bracket, defeated two heavyweights in today’s quarterfinal and semifinal matches. He came from behind in the quarterfinals to defeat No. 7 seed Ryan Voois, 1-up. In his semifinal match he came from behind again to take down No. 3 seed Jack Cantlay, 2&1, winning three of the last four holes of the match.
Borgida had played in the PNGA Junior Boys’ Amateur a couple years ago, but that had been his only prior experience in match play.
“I love match play,” he says. “I find that try to play my own game. It’s super fun. I tell my brother I feel like we’re playing with house money this week. A great golf course, a great setting. I’ve had to hit all 14 clubs in my bag here. Just a great experience.”
His younger brother Sam caddied for Ben in today’s two matches. “He’s going off to summer camp, and then I head back to school, so this has been a great chance for us to spend some time together before we go our separate ways.”
Cantlay is the younger brother of PGA TOUR player Patrick Cantlay, who competed in the 2010 U.S. Amateur, held that year at Chambers Bay.
Borgida is a rising sophomore on the Washington State University men’s golf team.
Koo, the No. 12 seed, had defeated No. 4 seed Nicholas Watts in this morning’s quarterfinal match, 3&2, and then faced No. 41 seed Ethan Chung in the semifinal.
“It was a long day, and it’s been a long week,” Koo said. “But I had a game plan.”
Koo fell behind early against Chung, but tied the match at 12 and went 1-up on No. 13.
On No. 15, the par-3 with the Lone Fir in the background, Koo dropped a 6-foot putt to save par and halve the hole to maintain his lead, and immediately walked to the 16th tee and, hitting first, swung away with his driver, putting the ball on the green of the 323-yard par-4.
“In this morning’s round, I was debating about whether to hit driver there,” he said afterward. “But even if I lay up I still have to then hit a good pitch shot. So if I hit a driver good, it will put all the pressure on Chung. All I have to do is hit a good driver and it will work out in my favor.”
The two would halve 16 with birdies, and then Koo hit a 5-iron on the 208-yard par-3 No. 17, and proceeded to sink the 25-foot birdie to seal his 2&1 win.
Koo had competed in the U.S. Junior Amateur last year, but that was his only previous match-play experience. He competed one year on the University of Washington men’s golf team, but is transferring to play for Pepperdine University in the fall.
ABOUT THE PNGA Amateur
First held in 1899, the Pacific Northwest Men’s
is one of the country’s longest running amateur
championships. Held annually at world-class courses
throughout the Pacific Northwest, this championship
played in the same format as the U.S. Amateur and
features an impressive list of past champions that
include; Nick Flanagan, Ben Crane, Jeff Quinney, Bill
Sander, and Tiger Woods. Eligibility is open to
of the Pacific Northwest Golf Association and top
amateurs throughout the world invited via
Invitation. Each year’s champion earns a hosted
exemption in to the Pacific Coast Amateur and
The Championship will be conducted in two stages:
Stroke Play – All players must complete the 36-hole
stroke play qualifying in order to determine the 64
players who will advance to match play. In the event
of a tie for the final qualifying spot(s), a sudden-
death playoff will be used to determine the qualifiers.
In the event of a tie for the Qualifying Medalist, a
sudden-death playoff will commence.
Match Play – The General Numerical Draw will be in
effect. Single elimination match play. 36-hole
Championship Final Match. All other matches are 18
View Complete Tournament Information