Pacific Coast Amateur
July 26-29, 2011
The 45th playing of the prestigious Pacific Coast Amateur commenced at Martis Camp GC in Truckee July 26. The invitation-only field will compete in an event created to focus the attention on the western United States for possible Walker Cup Team selection. That impetus paid off in 2011 as several past competitors, including 2010 champion Andrew Putnam of University Place, Washington, were among 16 players invited by the USGA to an early practice session for the 2011 Walker Cup team. Putnam, a two-time All-American from Pepperdine, returns to the Pacific Coast Amateur to defend a title he won by four shots.
The 72-hole stroke-play championship also includes a team tournament, with each of 15 participating regional golf associations selecting a three-man squad competing during the first two rounds for the Morse Cup. The trophy, donated by Samuel F. B. Morse, founder and developer of Pebble Beach Company, was earned by Pacific Northwest Golf Association team last year; the NCGA last captured the Morse Cup in 2002.
The Northern California team is comprised of:
- 2011 State Amateur finalist Kevin Wentworth of Arnold
- 2011 USGA Public Links runner-up Derek Ernst of Clovis
- 2011 Pac-10 champion Martin Trainer of Palo Alto.
Although its present history dates only from 1967, the Pacific Coast Amateur Championship’s roots make it one of the oldest amateur golf championships in American history. The first tournament was held on the links of San Francisco Golf Club at The Presidio, April 24-27, 1901. Championships were held annually through 1911, all being conducted in California except for the 1909 championship, which was held at Seattle Golf Club in Washington.
The Pacific Coast Amateur then ceased to exist, only to be reconstituted at Seattle Golf Club on August 10-12, 1967. The modern era of the PCGA occurred following a meeting of representatives of several golf associations throughout the western United States at Pebble Beach in November, 1965.
The Pacific Northwest, Northern California, Southern California, Oregon and Arizona golf associations participated in the inaugural PCA Championship at Seattle Golf Club in 1967. Today, 18 member Pacific Rim golf associations comprise the Pacific Coast Golf Association.
The Tom Fazio-designed Martis Camp will serve as a worthy host for the championship. Opened for play in 2008, the course can stretch to a back-breaking 7,707 yards, taking full advantage of its dramatic High Sierra setting. The course has earned rave reviews in golf architecture circles. With classic bunkers that are largely invisible when one looks back at a fairway from the green, an assortment of risk and reward shot values makes Martis Camp a fascinating course.