Cameron Peck, a former national champion from Olympia, Wash., set the early pace at the 87th Washington State Men's Amateur Championship by posting a 3-under par 69 in today's first round. The championship, conducted by the Washington State Golf Association, is being held at Chambers Bay in University Place, Wash.
Teeing off this morning in the first group at 7:30, Peck started slow in his round, being 1-over par after 12 holes. He then went 4-under over his remaining six holes, starting with an eagle on the uphill 534-yard par-5 13th hole, followed by birdies on 15 and 18. "I definitely struggled for a while," said Peck. "When I dropped about a 60-footer (for eagle) on 13, that kind of got me going." Peck, who won the 2008 U.S. Junior Boy's Amateur Championship and was named the 2008 WSGA Junior Boys' Player of the Year, and who now plays at Texas A&M, had competed in the 2010 U.S. Amateur, held that year at Chambers Bay. "The course (during the U.S. Amateur) was very different, rock hard, and those were probably the most stressful rounds of golf I'd ever played. You had to grind on every shot. Today was definitely a lot of fun out there. It's a different golf course." Watch Peck's interview here.
Snyder, playing in the same group with Peck, is alone in second place after posting a 2-under par 70. Snyder made the turn at 1-over par, then blitzed the back nine with four consecutive birdies on holes 10 through 13 before a bogey on the par-3 17th slowed him down. Snyder went to Seattle Prep, then two years at University of Hawaii-Hilo before transferring to Washington State University, where he plays on the men's golf team and just finished his Junior year.
Weather at Chambers Bay was not a factor in the morning, as sun and blue sky made for good playing conditions, although the wind picked up in the afternoon, and scoring became more difficult as the day progressed. The two best rounds of the day were carded by players in the first group of the day. Of the 120 competitors, only five players broke par in round one.
The format for the championship calls for 54-holes of stroke play. There will be a cut after the second round to the low 60 scores and ties.
Round two will have the competitors paired according to scores from round one, with the leaders teeing off at 2:00pm on Wednesday.
The state's premier amateur championship traditionally attracts the region's finest players. Last year's champion was Chris Williams, who 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 Famers Al Mengert, Bud Ward, Jack Westland and Harry Givan.
This year's championship consists of the strongest field in its 87 years. Watch the preview here.
Fresh off hosting the U.S. Amateur in 2010, Chambers Bay will serve as the venue for the 115th U.S. Open from June 18-21, 2015, marking the first time the U.S. Open will be held in the Pacific Northwest. The Washington State Men's Amateur is the first WSGA championship held at Chambers Bay, and is the first significant championship held at the course since the recent completion of renovations in its preparation for the 2015 U.S. Open.
Tags: Blake Snyder, Cameron Peck, Chambers Bay, WSGA Men's Amateur