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Medalist Garber Wins 59th Pacific Northwest Junior Boys' Amateur
In what was a dream pairing involving the medalist and defending champion, Frank Garber outlasted Kevin Vigna in the final match to win the 59th Pacific Northwest Junior Boys' Amateur Championship. Garber won the last hole in the 36-hole match, tapping in for par to defeat Vigna, 1-up at the Westin Bear Mountain Golf Resort & Spa's Valley course in Victoria, B.C.
Garber, of Kirkland, Wash., won medalist honors in the two rounds of stroke-play qualifying earlier in the week, going 5-under par and four strokes clear of the second-place finisher, setting himself up as the No. 1 seed for match play.
Garber made it to the Round of 16 in last year's championship, but this year never really struggled as he made his way through his matches en route with his showdown with Vigna. "It was such a good match with Kevin," said Garber, afterward. "Back and forth the whole day. A lot of fun. We've been friends for a couple years, and we had a good time out there. He was the best opponent to have, because his game is so solid."
Garber's game was solid. "I didn't hit a lot of drivers this week," he said. "The course was dry, and was playing short. Basic stuff, just put the tee shot in the fairway and then put the ball on the green."
The reigning WSGA Junior Boys' Player of the Year, Garber was the 2012 AAA Washington State High School individual champion, and finished seventh in the 2012 Junior America's Cup.
Vigna, of Coquitlam, B.C., who last year defeated friend and fellow Vancouver (B.C.) Golf Club junior member Lucas Gatto in the final match, just missed his chance to make history. Only two other players have won back-to-back titles - Gregg Patterson in 1982-83, and Larry Lee in 1958-59.
Vigna is continuing his strong play this summer, last week having earned individual medalist honors at the 45th Hogan Cup Team Matches, held at Portland's Riverside Golf and Country Club, in leading Team B.C. to the title in the competition.
Past champions of the PNGA Junior Boys' Amateur include World Golf Hall of Fame member Fred Couples, Web.com Tour player Alex Prugh, and Andrew Yun, who earlier this summer won the Sahalee Players Championship. When asked for his advice to junior golfers, Couples once said, "To any youngster, I would say hang in there. You are playing the toughest sport there is. The highs and lows of golf are so great because it is an individual sport. Let the good times roll with the bad times."
This is one of 16 regional championships conducted annually by the PNGA. For complete match-play bracket results, visit www.thepnga.org.
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