Tanigawa Wins 93rd Arizona Amateur Championship
PHOENIX, Ariz. – Ken Tanigawa is a champion once again. The 49-year-old from Paradise Valley beat 31-year-old Chad Wilcox of Phoenix for his second Arizona Amateur Champion title and coveted Kochina trophy in just three years.
“It means a lot,” said Tanigawa after his win. “[It means] I accomplished something against all these young players that are really good so I feel very fortunate to have won.”
It was a very even match from the start, as Tanigawa and Wilcox stayed all square through the first eight holes before Tanigawa birdied on the par-4 ninth hole to go 1-up at the turn.
But then Tanigawa hit his No. 10 tee shot out-of-bounds so back to all squared it went.
Both players made impressive eagle putts on 13 to keep the match all square with only five holes to go.
Wilcox saved a par on No. 16 after a far right tee shot but Tanigawa missed his putt and went 1-down headed into the final two holes.
“I felt pretty good. I felt calm all day long. Chad played well, boy hits the ball a long ways. He made a lot of putts on top of me to tie the hole so it made it hard to gain any momentum but it was a really fun match,” he said.
Tanigawa then responded as he birdied 17 to bring it back to all square going into 18. Wilcox missed his par putt on 18 and Tanigawa won 1-up for his second Arizona Amateur Champion title.
“We expected some really good scores. These guys are no strangers to shooting low scores,” said Moon Valley Country Club Head Golf Professional Jim Meyers.
“Ken Tanigawa is a staple in amateur golf [in Arizona],” he added.