Pacific Coast Amateur
July 30, 2010
Putnam Captures 44th Pacific Coast Amateur Title With Ease
Eugene, Ore. - Andrew Putnam of University Place, Wash., a senior-to-be at Pepperdine University, captured the 44th Pacific Coast Amateur title held for the seventh time on the 7,051-yard layout at the venerable Eugene Country Club in Eugene, Ore.
As predicted earlier in the week, it was deja Vu for the Putnam family as Andrew’s name joins his older brother Michael on the Updegraff perpetual trophy. Eerily, a birdie on the final hole meant that both brothers won the title at Eugene Country Club with the same score, although Andrew does get some bragging rights as the course he played was 300-yards longer than in 2004.
The committee had made a decision early in the week to setup the course for an exciting finish. They moved the tee up on 17 making the hole a driveable 290-yard par 4 and the placed the hole on 18 to the middle of the green. While Putnam’s lead was apparently insurmountable, there were some players making a charge along the day to keep in interesting.
“t was kinda up and down for me, birdie bogey birdie, bogey, but I had some good saves out there and kept myself at level par,” said Putnam who hit his approach on 18 tight leaving a tap-in birdie to close out the championship.
“I don’t think I was ever comfortable the whole day,” he added. You never want to get too comfortable. I birdie here and there and a bogey brings the field closer.”
He learned a great lesson from his play recently in the US Open where he mentioned he was shaking over his tee shots. “I just kept thinking to myself, if I can handle playing in front of thousands, this is nothing compared to that.”
Cameron Peck of Olympia, Wash. was one of the players that made a charge going 4-under par on the front nine. A birdie on the 13th hole closed the gap to 3-strokes until a costly double bogey on 15 put him out of contention. For the championship, that hole along with the quadruple-bogey he took on the 9th hole yesterday were all that was needed keep him from the title. He finished 5-strokes behind Putnam at 2-under par 71-71-73-67–282 in a tie for third along with Matthew Steiger of Narrabri, Australia, a member of the Australian national team.
The other player making a late charge was Daniel Miernicki of Santee, Calif., a member of the Oregon Ducks golf team that regularly plays practice rounds at Eugene Country Club.
Miernicki started the day 6-shots behind Putnam and got off to a rocky start with a bogey on the first hole. But he rallied, with birdies on six of his last 13 holes to finish alone in second with a score of 3-under par 68-73-72-68–281. But the starting cushion Putnam had going into today’s final round was just too much for the field to overcome.
“Seconds great,” said Miernicki. “I didn’t play exceptionally great but I putted really well so I’ll take that away from this tournament. Andrew deserved to win this one.”
Danville’s Gregor Main was the top finisher of the Northern Californians, at two-under-par for the championship good for a tie for fifth place.
The format for this championship was 72-holes of individual stroke play with no cut, but the event also features a team component, with three-man teams representing the 16 state and regional associations that make up the Pacific Coast Golf Association competing for the Morse Cup trophy. The champion is determined after the first 36 holes, with each team’s best two scores each day counting toward the team score.
The Washington State Golf Association team has won the last two years and with Michael Putnam won the team competition in 2004. Same family. Different Team. Same Result. This year, Andrew Putnam led his Pacific Northwest Golf Association team to the Morse Cup title along with Cameron Peck of Olympia, Wash. and Derek Berg of Kenmore, Wash. The team from Oregon took second place. The NCGA team consisted of Main, Eric Mina of Fremont (who finished +11 for the tournament tied with Joseph Bramlett of Saratoga) and Randy Haag of Burlingame (+18 for the event). The trio tied for sixth place, eight strokes behind the champions.