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Chambers Bay to Host 87th Washington State Men's Amateur
The Washington State Golf Association (WSGA) has announced that Chambers Bay in University Place, Wash. will host the 87th Washington State Men's Amateur Championship. This will be the first WSGA event held at the municipal course. The dates of the championship are June 18-20, 2013.
"We are very excited," said Chambers Bay general manager Matt Allen. "It's a natural continuation of the strong relationship that Chambers Bay and Pierce County have with the WSGA, going back to the U.S. Amateur at The Home Course, and prior."
The championship traditionally attracts the finest players in the state. Last year's champion was Chris Williams, who dominated the field in winning by 10 strokes on the Eagles Pride Golf Course at Joint Base Lewis-McChord near Tacoma. Williams, a native of Moscow, Idaho, and now a senior on the University of Washington men's golf team, is currently the No. 1-ranked amateur in the world, according the World Amateur Golf Rankings. He is the 2012 WSGA Men's Player of the Year, a title he also won in 2011.
Past champions of the Washington State Men's Amateur include Fred Couples, Alex Prugh, Brock Mackenzie, Kermit Zarley, John Bodenhamer, and PNGA Hall of Fame members Al Mengert, Bud Ward, Jack Westland and Harry Givan.
After it hosted the 2010 U.S. Amateur, Chambers Bay will serve as the venue for the 115th U.S. Open from June 18-21, 2015, marking the first time America's national golf championship will be held in the Pacific Northwest. The exposure and word of mouth resulting from the nearly 250,000 expected spectators and millions of worldwide viewers are likely to bring increased activity to the course, as well as surrounding businesses. The course's owner, Pierce County, is currently in collaboration with the USGA and golf architect Robert Trent Jones II to make improvements to the course in preparation for the best players in the world.
"What's unique about Chambers Bay is that it will do as good a job as any course of identifying the best players," said Allen. "It's imminently fair and playable, because there are no forced carries or trees, and yet the layout is such that it can be set up to host a U.S. Amateur and a U.S. Open."
Designed by Jones II and opened for play in 2007, Chambers Bay offers panoramic views of Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains, and provides an unrivaled, Scottish-style environment that tests the player's imagination and shot-making skills. The 7,585 yard, par-72 layout - located west of Tacoma and 45 minutes south of Seattle - involves windswept dunes and native fescue grasses, demanding creativity and strategy.
"With all the new changes in preparation for the Open, Chambers Bay was really excited to host this championship and see what the golf course can do," said Scotty Crouthamel, Senior Director of Rules and Competition for the WSGA.
The Washington State Men's Amateur will also be experiencing a bit of a facelift in 2013, as the WSGA Championship Committee voted to modify the championship's format. The new format calls for 54 holes of stroke play, with a cut to the top-60 and ties after 36 holes. "We are excited at this time when the WSGA is revitalizing the format," said Allen. "We wanted to help with that and feel Chambers Bay will bring additional exposure such that it would be the right time to embark on the new approach."
Another format change relates to the field size, which will be decreased to 120 players. Of those 120, roughly half the field will earn exemptions into the championship based on their qualifications. The WSGA is currently in the process of preparing exemption criteria. The remaining players must qualify at one of two sites. The West qualifier will be held June 5 on the Olympic Course at Gold Mountain in Bremerton, while the East qualifier is the following day at Wine Valley Golf Club in Walla Walla.
"This is the premier amateur championship in the state and we are thrilled to have Chambers Bay host in 2013," said Crouthamel. "The change in format coupled with the caliber of Chambers Bay should attract the top amateurs and make for an extremely exciting championship."
Allen agreed. "This is perfect timing," he said. "More importantly, the Washington State Amateur should be every bit as strong as the Pacific Northwest Men's Amateur Championship and other top amateur championships in the country."
The WSGA has been conducting the state's amateur golf championships since 1922. Today, it is one of the largest amateur golf associations in the United States. Serving over 68,000 individual members at more than 550 member golf clubs and 270 golf courses throughout the state of Washington and Northern Idaho, the WSGA works to continually expand the game of golf to people of all backgrounds.
The above report is courtesy of the WSGA. For more information about the Washington State Men's Amateur or the 12 other WSGA championships it oversees each year, visit www.thewsga.org.
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