Yun Outlasts Field to Win 20th Sahalee Players Championship
Andrew Yun, Winner of the 20th Sahalee Players Championship
Andrew Yun of Chandler, Ariz., playing in his first tournament since graduating from Stanford University a few weeks ago, came from behind in the final round to win the 20th Sahalee Players Championship, held at Sahalee Country Club in Sammamish, Wash.
Yun, who was the first and second round leader, began the day one shot behind third round leader Bo Andrews, of Raleigh, N.C. Yun was the only player who finished under par, and on a day when the tight fairways and firm greens of Sahalee made for high scores, a 2-over par 74 in the final round was good enough for a one-shot win over Zac Blair of Ogden, Utah and Bryson Dechambeau of Clovis, Calif.
Yun hit the shot of the tournament on the 213-yard par-3 17th hole, hitting a five-iron to a tucked pin just steps from a water hazard. Play had slowed at that point, and Blair, playing in the group behind Yun, had just arrived at the tee to see Yun's shot.
Being a Walker Cup practice session invitee, a victory at Sahalee will go a long way to securing Yun's spot on the team. Yun is holding off on turning pro specifically with the Walker Cup in mind. "I've played on two Palmer Cups, and representing your country in a team event is really a special experience, and making the Walker Cup is my goal."
Yun was born and raised in Tacoma, a half hour from Sammamish. "Having my family and friends here really meant a lot," said Yun, whose father, Paul, caddied for him in the final round. "I think the last time I won (in this area) was at a junior tournament in the eighth grade," said Yun, with a laugh. (Watch Yun's interview here.)
Blair, another Walker Cup practice session invitee, finished runner-up for the second time in three years, finishing behind champion Chris Williams in 2011. Blair tied for ninth last year.
Adam Svensson of Surrey, B.C. received the Rick Acton Award for his tie for fourth finish. The award, named after the decorated professional at Sahalee, is given to the player from the Pacific Northwest region who has the lowest score.
This year's field consisted of 66 of the top amateur golfers from around the world. Past champions of this prestigious amateur championship include Kyle Stanley, Casey Martin, Peter Uihlein, Nick Taylor, Daniel Summerhays, Ryan Moore, Chris Williams, Arron Oberholser and Jason Gore, among others.
This year marks the 20th installment of the Sahalee Players Championship. After a brief stop at The Home Course in DuPont, Wash. in 2010 while Sahalee Country Club hosted the 2010 U.S. Senior Open, the SPC returned to Sammamish, Wash. and Sahalee Country Club. In addition to the U.S. Senior Open, which was won by Bernhard Langer, Sahalee also tested the world's best when it hosted the 1998 PGA Championship, won by Vijay Singh, and the 2002 World Golf Championships-NEC Invitational, won by Craig Parry.
The Pacific Northwest Golf Association (PNGA) partnered with Sahalee Country Club 14 years ago to create the "Western Swing" with the Pacific Northwest Men's Amateur Championship. The Sahalee Players Championship is the first leg of the swing, with the Pacific Northwest Men's Amateur being played the following week. The two championships combined with a primary goal of providing amateur golfers in the West an opportunity to play two major national amateur championships without having to travel to the East Coast. This year will mark the 112th Pacific Northwest Men's Amateur Championship, and will be held July 6-11 at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort in Bandon, Ore. (Watch the preview here.)