Former Blaine standout Ryan Wallen and former Lynden Christian golfer Willy Scholten were among 32 first-round match-play winners July 20 at the 115th Pacific Northwest Men’s Amateur Championship at the Wine Valley Golf Club in Walla Walla.
Wallen, entering his senior year at the University of Wyoming, advanced with a 3-and-2 victory over Kennewick’s Sota Nozaka. Wallen, who tied for eighth in the 36-hole stroke-play qualifying portion of the tournament at 4-under-par 140 (69-71) on July 18-19, took control of his match by winning the third, fifth and eighth holes.
Scholten, who will enter his junior year at Western Washington University, won 3 and 2 over Carson Little of Portand, Ore. Scholten qualified 47th in stroke play by shooting 145 (73-72). He won the 11th, 13th and 14th holes to break open a match that was even after 10.
Former Lynden High golfer Ezra Arneson, who has signed a letter of intent to play for WWU, grabbed one of the final qualifying spots by shooting 146 (73-73) but came up one hole short of joining Wallen and Scholten in the round of 32. He fell 1 up to Shoreline’s Chris Babcock in match play. After Arneson twice battled back from a hole down, Babcock took control by winning the 15th hole.
Former Bellingham High golfers Cody Roth, who will be a sophomore at WWU, and Nick Nolan, who will play at Gonzaga after winning the Class 2A state title last spring, failed to make the cut. Roth shot a 150 (75-75), while Nolan fired a 156 (79-77).
Two Vikings teammates of Scholten and Roth advanced through qualifying, as Michael Butler shot a 144 (72-72) and Chris Hatch a 146 (73-73). Both also made it to the round of 32, as Butler won eight of the final nine holes in his match against Renton’s Ben Dubois to claim a 7-and-5 victory, and Hatch won the final two holes to lock up a 4-and-3 win over Michiel Eyre of Salem, Ore.
Action resumes with the round of 32 on July 21.