Jonson & Ban to Meet in Final of Pacific Northwest Men's Amateur


After a day of quarterfinal and semifinal matches, medalist Carl Jonson of Bainbridge Island, Wash. and Shotaro Ban of San Jose, Calif. will meet in Saturday's 36-hole final match in the 111th Pacific Northwest Men's Amateur Championship. The tournament is being held at Wine Valley Golf Club in Walla Walla, Wash.

Jonson defeated Blake Snyder of Seattle, Wash. 4 & 3 in Friday morning's quarterfinal match, then held off Nick Chianello of Gresham, Ore., 1-up in the afternoon's semifinal. Against Snyder, Jonson never trailed, winning the 514-yard par-4 fifth hole to go 1-up and be 4-up after 11.

In the semifinal, Jonson faced Chianello, the Oregon State University senior who had won the Oregon Amateur earlier this summer. "I knew Carl was a good player," said Chianello afterward. "I didn't have any game plan (going into the match), other than to keep playing my own game."

Jonson was 3-up after 11 holes before Chianello won his first hole, the 406-yard par-4 12th, and the game was on after Chianello won the 515-yard par-4 15th, two-putting from 16 feet, while Jonson missed the green and eventually conceding the hole.

Standing at the tee of the 568-yard par-5 18th hole, Jonson was still 1-up. When Chianello pushed his tee shot into the right fescue and Jonson split the fairway with a 358-yard drive, it looked over, but Chianello dug his second shot out of the tall grass and found the fringe in front of the green. Jonson then hit the shot of the day. From 210 yards, he almost hit the hole on the fly with his approach; he ended up 12 feet away with a chance at eagle. After Chianello's chip went wide, Jonson two-putted for birdie to win the match 1-up.

"Yes, I have a little history with that hole (the 18th)," said Jonson with a laugh. In the championship's first qualifying round, he had triple-bogeyed it. Jonson also has history with this championship and with the PNGA. His father, Ed Jonson, won the event in 1974, held that year at Sahalee Country Club. His great-uncle Carl Jonson, young Carl's namesake, and grandfather Ernie Jonson are both in the PNGA Hall of Fame.

Ban defeated Jarred Bossio of Olympia, Wash., 4 & 3 in the quarterfinal and then dispatched Rak Cho of Eugene, Ore., 2 & 1 in the afternoon's semifinal.

Despite Cho and Ban both playing for Pac-12 schools (Cho a rising star at Oregon and Ban at Cal), the two never played together. "But I knew he was a really good player," said Ban. "I knew I wasn't going to run away with anything out there."

The turning point came in the middle of the round. Cho won the 480-yard par-4 ninth hole to pull within one of Ban. Then, on the 610-yard par-5 10th, Cho was on the fringe in two, just 20 feet out, while Ban was in a greenside bunker in three. Ban blasted out and sank a downhill 7-foot putt to save par, while Cho three-putted for a halve. Ban then birdied the next, a 170-yard par-3, to go 2-up. "Yes, I got away with that (the 10th hole)," said Ban. "That downhill putt I had, that was not the place to be."

Ban, with a 2-up lead, split the fairway on the 402-yard par-4 17th and put his second shot to 10 feet. Cho then sailed his approach long and over the green eventually leading to a concession.

The above report is courtesy of the PNGA. For more information and live scoring, visit www.thepnga.org.

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