Joe Harvie of Orting, Wash. fired a 2-under par 69 to take the first round lead in the 89th Washington State Men's Amateur Championship. In hot and windy conditions, Harvie was the only player in the 120-man field to break par on the par-71 layout.
The 54-hole championship is taking place on the Rope Rider course at Suncadia Resort in Cle Elum, Wash. and is being conducted by the Washington State Golf Association.
After a double-bogey on the par-4 ninth hole, Harvie came back strong on the back nine, shooting a 3-under par 32 to grab the lead.
Harvie will be a sophomore on the Seattle University men's golf team, and this past spring was named the Western Athletic Conference Freshman of the Year for golf. Last month he made it to the Round of 16 in the PNGA Men's Amateur. While attending Orting High School, Harvie was the league MVP all four years playing on the school's boys' golf team, and was twice named Tacoma Athletic Commission Athlete of Year for golf (2011, 2012).
Tied for second place at even-par, two shots back of Harvie, are Charlie Kern of Mercer Island, Wash. and Aaron Whalen of Ephrata, Wash. Both players are having a good summer, with Kern finishing T-7 at the Sahalee Players Championship and then earning medalist honors at the PNGA Men's Amateur while making it to the semifinals before bowing to the eventual champion. Last month Whalen had lost to Kern for medalist honors in the PNGA Men's Amateur, but then took medalist honors at the U.S. Amateur Qualifier. In the spring he won the Washington 2A High School Championship, and in the fall will be playing for the Washington State University men's golf team.
Of today's difficult playing conditions, Kern said, "Guys were really grinding it out, so the pace was a little slow and I just had to manage that. Also, the wind was very inconsistent, bolting in and out. You'd hit your ball and a gust would come up and push it 20 yards off line, so that was just something we had to deal with. There's guys out here that can easily shoot four or five under par on a given round, so I just have to stay steady." Of his good play this summer, Kern attributed it to practice. "That's really all it is."
Second round pairings can be found here. Follow the championship on Twitter at the handles @WSGA1922 and @WSGAChampions for live updates and news and use the hashtag #WSGAMensAm.
After tomorrow's second round, the field will be cut to the low 60 players and ties.
Suncadia Resort is located on the eastern slope of the Cascade Mountains in Cle Elum, Wash. The resort has three golf courses - Rope Rider, Prospector and Tumble Creek. Designed by the team of Peter Jacobsen and Jim Hardy, Rope Rider also hosted the 2013 WSGA Men's and Women's Mid-Amateur Championships.
Tags: Aaron Whalen, Charlie Kern, Cle Elum, Joe Harvie, Rope Rider, Suncadia Resort, WSGA Men's Amateur