Events to watch: Porter Cup, Pacific Coast Am
The summer is rolling along and there are two more great tournaments this week –the Porter Cup and the Pacific Coast Amateur. Here’s what you can expect . . .
- Course: Niagara Falls Country Club
- City: Lewiston, N.Y.
- Yardage: 6,837
- Par: 70
- Format: Stroke play
- Round 1 begins: Wednesday
- Weather forecast: Rain during the first round, with cloudy skies and temperatures in the 80s for the rest of the week.
- 2009 champion: Brendan Gielow
- Why you should watch: The Porter Cup traditionally has one of the summer’s best fields. Niagara Falls CC has four par 4s that are 450 yards or longer and three par 5s, the longest at 576 yards. While players may have their eyes set on eagle, they have to make sure not to find the thick rough around the greens. Also, the last three winners of the tournament have all played for Team USA at the Walker Cup.
- Wildman’s pick: Peter Uihlein. The last time he teed it up, Uihlein dominated the Sahalee Players Championship and won by seven shots over Andrew Putnam. Whatever he was doing at Sahalee Country Club seemed to work. I expect him to continue his fine form on the East Coast. Uihlein, No. 2 in the Golfweek/amateurgolf.com Amateur Player Rankings, has had a strong summer so far, and I like him to be in the mix on Saturday for the chance to hoist another trophy.
- Sleeper pick: Tim Mickelson. The San Diego head coach was tied for first heading in to the final round last year, but stumbled with four bogeys in an eight-hole stretch. He went on to tie for eighth. Still, Mickelson knows how play Niagara Falls CC. Can he put together four straight good rounds?
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Pacific Coast Amateur
- Course: Eugene Country Club
- City: Eugene, Ore.
- Yardage: 7,033
- Par: 71
- Format: Stroke play
- Round 1 begins: Tuesday
- Weather forecast: Sunshine all week with a zero-percent chance of rain. When was the last time you saw a forecast like that?
- 2009 champion: Chan Kim
- Why you should watch: While several of the top-ranked amateurs are playing at the Porter Cup, the Pacific Coast Amateur has some big names, as well. This will be a tournament where a player can gain some momentum heading into the U.S. Amateur. However, the favorite is anyone’s guess. This one is up for grabs.
- Wildman’s pick: Philip Francis. He likes to play on the West Coast. Francis finished 15th at Sahalee and 10th at this event a year ago. This is the kind of tournament where Francis feels comfortable. He has proven to be successful here before. I think he’s pretty close to sealing the deal.
- Sleeper pick: Cameron Peck. He also has proven to be capable of having success playing in the Northwest. Peck finished in seventh at the Sahalee and seventh at this event last year. He crushes it off the tee and has an excellent short game. The Washington native should have a good feeling for the greens at Eugene CC. I wouldn’t be surprised if he turns out to be the local fan favorite over the weekend.