Carl Underwood wanted to show college coaches and scouts he was still in top form on the first day of the Pacific Northwest Golf Association Junior Boys Amateur Championship, and that’s just what he did Monday in DuPont.
Heading into his morning tee time, the Richland High School senior said he was set up for a solid round at the lengthy, links-style Home Course, and he backed it up with a 1-under-par 71.
“I was looking for a round around even par just to get myself positioned in a good spot,” said Underwood, who ended the first day tied for third. “I was more than happy to shoot under par.”
Underwood’s day got off to a shaky start with a bogey on the second hole, but he stormed back with birdies on eight and nine to make the turn at 1-under.
Underwood said the past couple weeks’ worth of work he put in with his instructor, Meadow Springs teaching pro Jason Aichele, paid off as he spent almost the entire day either in the fairway or on the green.
The solid first-round performance came just two weeks after Underwood shot a two-day total of 13-over 157 at the Washington Junior Golf Association State Championship in Bellingham and failed to make the 36-hole cut.
Walla Walla High School junior Alex Johanson shot a 14-over 86 and was tied for 89th. Seattle’s Gabe Spach (69) topped the boys leaderboard.
In the girls championship, Pendleton High School senior Haley Greb and Southridge junior Samantha Hui finished the day inside the cut line by two strokes, shooting 5-over 77s to end up tied for 11th. Kamiakin senior Alexa Clark was tied for 16th at 7-over 79 after shooting a 43 on the front nine.
Ellie Slama of Salem led the girls with a 3-under 69.
Both tournaments begin with 36 holes of stroke play over two days before moving into a single-elimination match play tournament. The low 32 scores in the boys championship get seeded into the match play bracket, and the top 16 make the cut in the girls tournament.