Waikoloa, HI – No. 13 Washington opens the spring season Thursday at the Amer Ari Invitational on the Big Island of Hawai’i. The Dawgs will look for another strong showing at a tournament that last year they advanced to a playoff with UCLA, before falling at the 54-hole tournament of 18 each day.
The Dawgs will face a 20-team field at 24th Annual Amer Ari Invite that includes 11 squads ranked in the top-50. Along with the Dawgs and co-runner-up No. 16 UCLA, No. 2 Georgia Tech, No. 9 Stanford, No. 12 Oklahoma, No. 18 Texas and No. 22 USC are ranked inside the top-25. Auburn, Arizona State, Oregon State and UC Davis are top-50 teams, while the rest of the field will be made up of co-hosts Hawai’i and UH Hilo along with Cal State Monterey Bay, Colorado, Oregon, San Jose State, TCU, Texas Tech and Osaka Gakuin of Japan.
Last season the Dawgs made an incredible charge on the final day of the Amer Ari. After a slow start, Cheng-Tsung Pan and Jonathan Sanders each finished birdie-eagle over the final two holes to get the Dawgs into a playoff with UCLA. In the playoff, the Bruins prevailed with all pars on the 17th hole, while the Huskies made three pars and two bogeys. Still, it was a terrific result for Washington and something they look to replicate if not better this season.
The tournament be held at the Waikoloa Beach Resort‘s King Course, a 7,074-yard, par 72. Last year, Washington shot 280-275-287 (842) to finish 22-under. Senior Trevor Simsby is the Dawgs top returning finisher, packing T-2nd last year at 9-under and just two strokes back of the individual medalist honor.
Other strong Washington performances included current sophomore Sanders and Pan, both finished the weekend at 5-under, tied for tenth.
This year’s lineup will feature Sanders in the No. 1 spot, followed by Pan, Gerrit Chambers, Simsby and Corey Pereira. Chris Babcock and Kevin Kwon have also made the trip and will be playing as individuals.
Live scoring for all three rounds from Waikoloa will be available at golfstat.com.