Kamin’s Dominance Continues, Defends Arizona Stroke Play Championship
LITCHFIELD PARK, ARIZ. – There was never a doubt. For the second year in a row, Chris Kamin (67-65-70-71) secured the Arizona Stroke Play Championship with a wire-to-wire victory at The Wigwam Golf Club.
With a clean back nine, Kamin jumped out to a round one lead and finished with a score of 67- the lowest score posted that day. He topped himself in Round 2 with the lowest score of the tournament– a 65– that featured a whopping seven birdies and an eagle on the 14th hole. Those scores set him up for a commanding, seven-stroke lead going into the moving day.
A constant throughout the week: tough hole locations that frustrated even the field’s best players. Just eight of over 60 players who made the cut shot over par in the first two rounds. Nonetheless, as the days got warmer and the course remained challenging, Kamin was unphased.
“I hit a number of good iron shots. I made a bunch of putts the first couple of days. The last a couple of days I was a little bit colder with the putter. But knowing the course, keep it below the hole as much as you can away from the trouble in areas that can get you,” Kamin said. “It’s a course that you can make birdies on but it’s a course that you can make a bunch of bogeys pretty quick if you’re not paying attention. You’re just trying to play it pretty smart.”
He maintained his early lead and finished six strokes ahead of second place finisher Hayes Dupree (-9). Dupree and Bryan Hoops (-2) each notched moving day scores of 67 to work their way into the final fourth round grouping; their 67s were the lowest scores of the tournament not posted by Kamin.
Kamin’s win is the most recent in a nearly unprecedented stretch of dominance. Dating back to last year, the 2022 Player of the Year has now captured wins in six of the last seven AGA tournaments he played in: Arizona Stroke Play (twice), Arizona Mid-Amateur Championship, Northern Amateur, Players Cup Championship and AGA Championship; five of those are AGA majors.
Kamin also joins Billy Mayfair (1985 & 1986) and Jake Chanen (2017 & 2018) as the only players to win the Stroke Play Championship in consecutive years.