Kamin, Chanen Survive Stiff Competition to Advance to 96th Arizona Amateur Championship
Final match set for Saturday morning at Desert Forest Golf Club in Carefree
CAREFREE, Ariz. – Chris Kamin and Jake Chanen survived another grueling day of match play competition Friday at the 96th Arizona Amateur Championship, played at Desert Forest Golf Club. Played in a second-consecutive 112-degree excessive heat warning at 2,600 feet of elevation, both players needed all they had in the tank to advance to Saturday morning’s Championship Match.
“I’m tired,” a visibly exhausted Kamin said after beating Cory Bacon, 4 & 3. “I mean I’m 46 years old. Most of these kids are high school or college kids. I’m a little gassed so I’m going to go home and rest. But I’m excited for tomorrow – I love playing this golf course.”
“It was a battle from start to finish – we both played pretty good all day,” said Chanen, a recent graduate of Grand Canyon University, after taking care of Canon Olkowski in 22 holes. “I’m pretty proud. I’m not going to lie, I’m very tired so I’d definitely going to get a lot of sleep tonight.”
Kamin made birdie to Bacon’s par on the opening hole, and never looked back, taking a 4 up lead through five. Bacon tried to make a run on the back nine, winning 13 and 14 to trail by three with four to play. But Kamin would splash a bunker shot on 14 into the hole for birdie to close the match.
“I’m putting well and chipping well this week,” said Kamin. “I’m hitting my irons pretty well. So far, it’s been a lot of fun. What I’ve been doing has worked so far. There’s no reason to try anything different [in the Championship Match].”
Chanen led Olkowski 1 up coming to the 18th hole. But the Colorado University-Boulder sophomore was able to make par to Chanen’s bogey, forcing extra holes. Following a stalemate on the first three holes, Chanen was able to make par on the 22nd hole (Hole 4), eliminating Olkowski’s bogey.
“It came down to 18 and I really gave it away and hit a really bad shot from the middle of the fairway,” said Chanen, the 2018 Arizona Amateur Champion. “But it happens, and that’s golf. We kept going, just kept battling, and finally he slipped up on the last hole there and I was able to make par and get out of there.”
In the morning’s Round of 8, Kamin needed 20 holes to get past Trevor Lampson. On the 20th hole (hole 2) and in trouble just off the left side of the fairway, Kamin used a half-swing to land a 180-yard shot just six feet from the pin. Lampson made his par putt, but Kamin drilled his birdie putt to close out the match.
Bacon only needed 14 holes to eliminate top-overall seed Joseph Lloyd, 6 and 4. Bacon raced out to a 4 up lead after birdie on the par-5 7th hole, his third hole won in a row. Bacon then closed out the match dormie on the 14th green, chipping to a foot with his third shot. Lloyd, on the green in three shots, conceded the putt, and therefore the match.
Olkowski also needed all 18 holes in his narrow 2 up victory over Matthew Braley in the Round of 8. The match was tied at the turn, but Olkowski made birdie on the par 5 11th hole, and leading by one on the par 4 18th, closed out the match in style with a par to Braley’s bogey.
Chanen’s morning match was much more of a roller coaster, falling behind Scott Schlader after losing each of the first four holes. Chanen would claw back to tie the match on the 14th hole, making eagle on the 329-yard par 4. He then closed out the match on the 18th hole, making par to Schlader’s bogey.
Full Bracket can be found by clicking here.