Ban defeats Jonson for PNGA Amateur title

Shotaro Ban won the PNGA Men's Amateur.

Shotaro Ban won the PNGA Men's Amateur.

Shotaro Ban defeated Carl Jonson during the final match of the Pacific Northwest Men’s Amateur on July 14 to win a title he called “a long time coming.” Ban, a sophomore at California, has been on the sidelines for the past five months with a wrist injury.

Ban, of San Jose, Calif., won six of the first eight holes, which included an eagle at the par-5 eighth. He turned in 4-under 32 and with a 6-up lead even though Jonson owned the longer tee ball.

Jonson, a UNLV sophomore who won stroke-play medalist honors at the beginning of the week, had cut Ban’s lead to 2 up by the 22nd hole as he got his putter going.

“I was proud of myself for keeping my focus,” Jonson said. “I knew I had been playing well, and I guess I needed to trust that it would happen. But I give credit to Ban. He really did hit the shots today.”

The match ended at on the 32nd hole, when Ban two-putted from 15 feet for par and halved the hole. Ban won, 5 and 4.

“It was tough getting back into it,” Ban said of rebounding from his injury. “I’m a little surprised I played this well this week. It was a long time coming.”

For Jonson, a win at the PNGA Amateur would have added to family history. His father Ed won the tournament in 1974 at Sahalee Country Club in Sammamish, Wash.

“It would have been pretty cool to have both our names on the trophy,” Jonson said. “We talked about it during the week. I have a few more years to do it. You never know.”

Jonson’s great-uncle Carl Jonson and grandfather Ernie Jonson both are members of the PNGA Hall of Fame.

–Information from the Pacific Northwest Golf Association used in this report

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