The times Bainbridge Island’s Carl Jonson shows up on the leaderboards of the best amateur tournaments in the Northwest, he comes in with a crash landing.
Take this week, for example. The UNLV golfer shot a course-record, 8-under-par 63 at Wine Valley Golf Club to earn co-medalist honors and the No. 1 seed for match play at the 111th Pacific Northwest Men’s Amateur Championship in Walla Walla.
And after two very contrasting rounds Thursday, Jonson is clearly the man to beat in the quarterfinals.
Jonson survived a morning grinder before pulling out a 1-up victory over Brush Prairie’s Gaston De La Torre, then led the entire way for a 2-and-1 triumph in the round of 16 over Canadian Riley Fleming.
“I felt like I was in good form coming in,” Jonson said. “I shot 69 (in the final round of the Sahalee Players Championship) … so I have gotten my stride since then.”
De La Torre birdied four of the first five holes to grab a 4-up advantage. After that, Jonson did not lose a hole, and slowly whittled down the deficit.
After he tied it with a bogey at No. 15, he rolled in a 20-foot putt over a ridge for birdie at the 17th hole to take his first lead. And on the finishing hole, he made a testy 21/2-footer to win the match.
“The morning was a grind … so you have to be patient, and realize you have to have faith things will go your way,” Jonson said. “It turned out how I planned.”
Against Fleming, he birdied the first two holes to take a quick 2-up lead, and never trailed thereafter.