Blog 49 - PNGA Publinks at Lake Padden


Jack Kelly

Jack Kelly, a senior at Mount Si High School in Snoqualmie, shot rounds of 72 and 65 at Lake Padden at the weekend to win the 27th PNGA Mens Amateur Public Links Championship by seven shots over Sulman Raza and Lake Padden's own Matt Cowell.
Mel Fish, the Director of Golf at the course, said Kelly's 65 on Sunday was one of the best rounds he'd seen at Lake Padden especially as the wind got up to 20mph at times. 'It was spectacular,' says Fish. 'Even though the course is only 6,472 yards, very few players are able to go low. Besides Jack's 65, there were only two other rounds in the 60s, and one of them was by Dave Farnam playing in the senior division over a much shorter course.'
'I've shot a couple of other 65s, but that was the first one in competition,' says Kelly who qualified for the Junior Worlds in San Diego last year, tied for third at a major AJGA event in Wenatchee earlier this year, and who is 'talking with' a handful of universities in the Northwest about playing college golf.
The first sub-70 score of the weekend was recorded by Raza, from Eugene, Ore who shot a 69 on Saturday to lead after the first round. Cowell, who has worked in the pro shop at Lake Padden since spring 2009, had a 74 that actually could have been a lot worse. 'I got off to a really bad start,' he says. 'I bogeyed the first two and was four-over through 13.' The 24-year-old salvaged a 74 with two late birdies then shot an excellent two-under 70 in round two.
Cowell thinks this coming weekend's Bellingham Amateur ( will be a sponsor of the event) where he will be defending the title he won last year, might be his final tournament in the unpaid ranks as he plans to try out the Gateway Tour in Phoenix this winter. 'I know a few others going down,' he says. 'Chris Killmer (UW graduate) who lives in Bellingham, and Jake Koppenberg (WWU graduate) from Everett will be going . And also Craig Leslie from Spokane who played at UCLA. It should be fun.'

Matt Cowell
Cowell, who played at Santa Barbara City College in California before attending Western, has had two 64s at his home course but, like Kelly's first two 65s, neither was terribly significant. 'Jack's round on Sunday was pretty special,' he says. 'Tournament golf is a little different to just going out with your buddies.'
Fish, who will be overseeing his 21st Bellingham Amateur this weekend, says the comments he heard about the course from the players should serve as excellent advertising. 'We didn't hear anything but positive remarks all weekend,' he says. 'There was one competitor who came up for a practice round early last week and ended up getting a room for the night then coming out the next day as well. He wondered why he had never heard of Lake Padden before.'
Kent's Dave Farnam won the senior division with rounds of 71 and 68, while Kate Hildahl of Tualatin, Ore took the womens division with 70, 77.
Final results here.


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