Global Golf Calendar: U.S. Open week

This Week In Golf. 

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Bart Potter

THE U.S. OPEN
June 18-21: Chambers Bay Golf Course, University Place, Wash.
Practice rounds Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday; competitive rounds ThursdaySunday.

Out there

The Green Classic
June 22: Eagles Pride Golf Course, Joint Base Lewis-McChord

Champions Tour
June 25-28: U.S. Senior Open, Del Paso Country Club, Sacramento, Calif.

Grey Goatee Golf Association (3GA) Tour
July 11: 10th Annual Howl at the Canal, Alderbrook Golf and Yacht Club, Union, Wash.

USGA
June 25-28: U.S. Senior Open, Del Paso Country Club, Sacramento.
July 9-12: U.S. Women’s Open, Lancaster Country Club, Lancaster, Pa.

LPGA
July 9-12: U.S. Women’s Open, Lancaster Country Club, Lancaster, Pa.

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The Open Comes to Grey Goatee Nation

Bart PotterGrey Goatee Global Headquarters, this week, is the media center at Chambers Bay Golf Course in University Place, Wash., which for geographical exactitude is south and west of Tacoma but is better described, this week, as the center of the golf universe.

They’ll play a golf tournament here this week, then they’ll take down the tents (huge), and the media horde (even huger) will go home, and Chambers Bay will go back to being a golf course (huge, and empty and looking much better for it). Other topics will replace it in the golf news of the day — in Grey Goatee Nation and the rest of the world — and this curiosity of a place will be the same vast, tough, insanely pretty golf course it was before the USGA messed with it — and left the U.S. Open stamp on it forever.

It is just a golf course, and the public can play on it, and maybe it’s the kind of course a dumbass hackaround can feel OK about, after this week, when he hits it in Bobby’s Bunker or winds up bad when he hit it pretty good … because, hey, the best players in the world did the same things.

This week, in Grey Goatee Nation, won’t be about golf so much as all the rest of the spectacle — the Lone Fir Tree, the course designer, the way the media cover the tournament and themselves. Is there a blimp? I need to ask that question.

Bart Potter is an independent, and sometimes irreverent, golf enthusiast.  For more of Bart, go to www.greygoateegolf.com

Senior Men’s Amateur Decided At Wine Valley Golf Club in Walla Walla

PNGA image logoBracken Plays Steady to Win Pacific Northwest Senior Men’s Amateur; Garland Claims Super Senior Title

Walla Walla, Wash. – John Bracken of Seattle, Wash. won the 51st Pacific Northwest Senior Men’s Amateur, while Ron Garland of Bozeman, Mont. captured the title in the 6th Pacific Northwest Super Senior Amateur. Both championships were held concurrently at Wine Valley Golf Club in Walla Walla, Wash., and were conducted by the Pacific Northwest Golf Association (PNGA).

Bracken had entered the championship not having played competitively for quite a while, but steady rounds of 70-72-70 were enough for a 2-shot victory over runner-up Paul Houvener of Mill Creek, Wash., who had vaulted into the lead after a 6-under par 66 in the first round.

John Bracken“I haven’t really played in a lot of championships lately,” Bracken said, “but I thought I’d come out and take a shot, and if I could stay steady at one or two under par I might have a chance. There’s some tough spots on this golf course, the greens are tough, so I just thought by being patient I’d be okay. I was driving the ball pretty good, putted decently and hit a lot of good iron shots. I never really go into trouble, and never felt the urgency to try to press it.”

When asked what it meant to come out and win the championship against such a strong field that included Pacific Northwest Golf Hall of Famers such as Tom Brandes and Chris Maletis, Bracken replied, “Well, it means a lot. I’ve won a PNGA championship before (the 2001 Pacific Northwest Master-40), so even though I haven’t played in many championships lately I do know what it’s like to be in the hunt. I’ve played a lot of golf with Brandes over the years, and he’s obviously a great player but I’m used to playing with him, so that helped me.” Brandes, who won this championship in 2012 and ’13, finished tied for third, three shots behind Bracken.

Click here to watch Bracken’s post-round interview.

Ron GarlandGarland fired a 3-under par 69 in the Super Senior Amateur’s first round, setting the early pace, but after a 4-over par 76 in the second round he found himself starting today’s third and final round in a tie with Gay Davis of Portland. The two were playing in today’s final group together, and Garland double-bogeyed the par-4 first hole. “I had 148 yards for my second shot, and my shot spun back off the green,” Garland explained. “The greens here are very severe, and if you miss the green it leads to a difficult pitch shot. So I putted my third shot and it went 30 feet past the hole, and then I 3-putted from there. The next thing I know I’m two shots behind.”

Garland played the rest of the final round 2-under par to finish even-par overall, four shots clear of Davis, who shot 4-over 76 in today’s round. To watch Garland’s post-round interview, click here.

For complete final results of both championships, visit www.thepnga.org.

DSCF5483_cropWine Valley Golf Club was designed by Dan Hixson. It has hosted numerous regional championships, including the 2012 PNGA Men’s Amateur, the 2013 PNGA Women’s Amateur, and the 2014 Washington State Amateur. Last month it hosted a 2015 U.S. Open local qualifier and is the regular venue for the Northwest Open Invitational. Visit www.winevalleygolfclub.com for more information on the course.

The Pacific Northwest Senior and Super Senior Men’s Amateur Championships are two of 15 major, regional, amateur championships for men, women, juniors, and seniors conducted annually by the PNGA throughout the Northwest.