74th OGA Tournament of Champions Kicks off 2018 Season This Weekend
ALOHA, ORE. – Championship season begins this weekend with the 74th OGA Tournament of Champions, taking place April 7-8, 2018 at The Reserve Vineyards & Golf Club in Aloha, Ore.
Both rounds of the 36-hole event will be played on the South Course at The Reserve. The event features club champions of OGA Member Clubs from the past two years, including recent champions of OGA Championships and participants in OGA team events from the last two years.
All three defending champions from a year ago will be in the field attempting to win a second-straight title: Arthur Kim (Tigard, Ore.) in the Open Division; Gretchen Johnson (Portland, Ore.) in the Women’s Division, and Brad Carey (Lake Oswego, Ore.) in the Senior Men’s Division.
Along with Kim in the Open Division is a strong field of club and OGA champions. Will Snow (Vancouver, Wash.), who last year fell in a playoff to Kim in this event, will be looking to take it one step farther in 2018. Last year’s Oregon Junior Amateur champion, Craig Ronne (Klamath Falls, Ore.), will be playing, along with 2017 Oregon Mid-Amateur winner and former Oregon Amateur champion Jack Dukeminier (Beaverton, Ore.).
Also in the Open field will be last year’s Oregon Public Links champion, Max Murai (Beaverton, Ore.); Brent McKee (Portland, Ore.), half of the winning side at the 2017 Oregon Amateur Four-Ball Championship; PNGA Cup participants Jim Dunlap (Tigard, Ore.), Jeff Ward (Bend, Ore.), and Robbie Ziegler (Portland, Ore.), as well as 2016 Oregon Mid-Amateur champion Philip Bagdade (Portland, Ore.).
The Women’s field is as strong as it’s been in many years. Along with Johnson, the defending champion, the field is highlighted by Lara Tennant (Portland, Ore.), last year’s OGA Women’s Golfer of the Year, after she won both the Oregon Senior Women’s Amateur and Oregon Women’s Mid-Amateur, along with earning co-medalist honors at the U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur Championship.
Amanda Jacobs (Portland, Ore.), a member of last year’s USGA State Team representing Team Oregon, will also be playing. She finished T3 in last year’s Tournament of Champions, also earning runner-up at the Oregon Women’s Amateur Championship and the Oregon Amateur Four-Ball.
Last year’s Oregon Junior Amateur champion, Ellie Slama (Salem, Ore.), will be playing in her first Tournament of Champions. Slama is a current member of the Oregon State University Women’s Golf Team. Also competing this weekend are Kate Harper (Beaverton, Ore.), former winner of this event and the Oregon Women’s Amateur Champion in 2008, and Leilani Norman (Eugene, Ore.), member of last year’s PNGA Cup squad and two-time Oregon Senior Women’s Amateur champion.
The Senior Men’s Division is entering its third year of existence, and it will feature an impressive group of players. Pat O’Donnell (Happy Valley, Ore.) is a two-time winner of the Open Championship (1983-84), and is the winner of last year’s Oregon Senior Men’s Stroke Play. Past Senior Men’s champion Bill Winter (Tigard, Ore.) will be competing, along with Byron Patton (Tigard, Ore.), who was one-half of the winning side of the Senior title at last year’s Oregon Amateur Four-Ball.
Also in the hunt include Bradley Karns (Vancouver, Wash.) and Denny Taylor (Gladstone, Ore.), Hudson Cup team members in 2017; Kim Wenger (Eugene, Ore.), 2017 OGA Tour Senior champion, and Mike Kloenne (West Linn, Ore.), a member of last year’s winning team at the OGA Men’s Team Championship.