Blog 221, 7/10/12 - Tough Day for Local Golfers at PNGA Men's Amateur

Hiester; first round 77.
Most Bellingham and Western (past and present) players in the field for the 112th PNGA Men's Amateur Championship will want to forget their first rounds. The Wine Valley GC in Walla Walla was playing typically tough and with two lengthy weather delays, Monday was an especially difficult day for scoring. The best round was a 74 by Western's Jake Webb. A shot behind were Jack Kelly and Mark Strickland. Former Viking Sam Ayotte shot 77. Brian Barhanovich and current WWU player Sandy Vaughan, who last week won the Seattle Amateur, shot 80.
Bellingham natives didn't fare much better. Steven Rose posted an 88, while Matt Rawitzer, chosen to represent the PNGA at the upcoming Pacific Coast Amateur (Bandon Dunes July 23-27), and James Hiester each came in with 77.
They will all need something special in round two to make the top 64 and qualify for matchplay.
Sharing the lead after round one, completed early Tuesday morning, were Tanner Higham of Shelley, ID, and Jonny Baxter of Pleasanton, CA who both shot five-under 67s.
Scores here.

It was also a tough day for Sean Packer at the US Amateur Publinks being played at Soldier Hollow in Midway, UT. The former Viking shot a nine-over 80 to trail the leaders Jace Long and UW's Cheng-Tsung Pan by 13 strokes.
Scores here.

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