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James Grierson took out medallist honours but unfortunately missed a quarter-final berth with a third round match play loss in the Pacific Northwest Men’s Amateur Championship in Washington State last week.
Grierson was beaten in the round of 16 by eventual finalist, Andrew Whalan (Washington), who went on to lose to Carl Yuan (Florida).
“I simply wasn't able to get into a grove,” Grierson said. “My third round opponent, Andrew got off to a flyer and I made a couple of small mistakes that cost me and sadly ended my tournament.”
Grierson, originally from Forbes but now a Bonnie Doon Golf Club representative, posted a 12-under par total of 132 during qualifying at the Wine Valley Golf Club in Walla Walla, Washington, with rounds of 67 and 65.
His first round 5-under par 67 was only blemished by a couple of late bogeys, while his 7-under par second round was bogey free, including an eagle on the 558 metre par-5 seventh hole.
Grierson was thrilled with the way he played throughout the qualifying rounds.
“I played really well in the stroke play. I drove it straight and putted really well which is always a good combination,”
“The fairways are wide and the greens are undulating, but they roll true and you just have to get the putts on line, which is the best part about a golf course.”
The championship has become a bit of a favourite stop for Australians in recent years.
Newcastle’s Nick Flanagan took out the Pacific Northwest title in 2003 before going on to claim the US Amateur title a few weeks later at Oakmont Country Club.
Brett Drewitt won in 2010 and Queensland’s Anthony Quayle took the title last year.
The 113 year old Pacific Northwest Amateur is one of the oldest amateur golf championships in the world, and boasts a star studded list of past champions including Tiger Woods, Jeff Quinney, Ben Crane, Jeff Coston, and Jim McLean.
This is not the only tournament for Grierson whilst in America – he fared well at the Eastern Amateur a fortnight ago at Elizabeth Manor, Virginia, tying 9th with rounds of 65, 68, 70 and 72.
“I was in contention all week, just a couple of things didn’t go my way on the weekend with the putter,” Grierson said.
He also competed in the Rice Planters Amateur in South Carolina at the start of June, but missed the cut with rounds of 79, 72 and 73.
Grierson was upbeat about his chances in the next leg of his U.S Golf experience.
“I‘m pre qualifying for the U.S Amateur tomorrow (Tuesday Australian time) in Oregon. Then I fly to Louisiana for the W.E Cole Invitational which is another two-round qualifier followed by match play tournament.
“After that, I’m off to Canada for the Canadian Amateur Championship which I'm not sure if I’m into or if I will have to pre qualify for,”
"I‘m trying to sight-see on the free days around the tournaments when I get a chance too,"
Grierson is unsure of what his plans will be in amateur golf beyond the end of the year.
“I‘m going to play the Australian summer and then not sure if I'm going to go to Q-School (Australian PGA Qualifying School) or not. This U.S trip and the Aussie summer will determine if I go this year or next year,” he added.