BANDON, Ore. (July 25, 2012) – For Carl Jonson, playing in this week’s Pacific Coast Amateur Championship is more than just another golf tournament. If not for Jonson's family, this championship may have never been reconstituted for the modern era.
It so happens that Jonson's grandfather Ernie, and his great uncle Carl, ran the Pacific Northwest Golf Association out of their accounting office in downtown Seattle. In the mid-1960s, when the Pacific Coast Amateur was trying to be resurrected from its early days as a premier amateur event during the early 1900s, Ernie and Carl played instrumental roles in securing Seattle Country Club’s hosting the event on August 10-12, 1967.
“It’s really cool to play in this event,” said Jonson of Bainbridge Island, Wash. “I don’t think I have a grasp on what it all means yet, but it’s a class tournament.”
A member of the PNGA’s Morse Cup team, Jonson was selected in large part due to his exceptional play during the PNGA’s Men’s Amateur in June where he finished as the tournament’s runner-up. There, he proved just how good of a golfer he is, when he set a course record of 63 at Wine Valley GC in Walla Walla, Wash. “I played great in the stroke play rounds, and then plodded my way through the matches,” explained Jonson before losing in the final match. “Overall it was a great week.”
Jonson, a rising sophomore who plays for the UNLV Running Rebels golf team, struggled on Tuesday at Bandon Trails GC with a 10-over par 80, which was the throwaway score for his team, but he bounced back nicely Wednesday at Bandon Dunes GC as he fired a 1-over par 73, to help the Pacific Northwest regain possession of the Morse Cup.
Knowing the tournament is a marathon and not a sprint, it’s no surprise that Jonson played well enough on Wednesday to climb back in the top half of the leaderboard. “You can’t let [a bad round] bother you,” said Jonson after his pedestrian round on Tuesday. “I just need to play well the next couple days and I’m right back in contention.”
His precociousness has also resonated outside this event. Having just finished up his freshman year at UNLV Jonson had the opportunity to play in every collegiate event as a freshman. The 19-year-old Jonson is enjoying his time in college and believes the Rebels have a talented team to make a run at an NCAA title.
“It’s been a great time, but it’s a lot of work,” he said. “It’s quite the responsibility trying to manage golf and school, but it’s working out so far.”
Like many things in life things come around full circle and the Pacific Coast Amateur’s lifeblood proves to be no different, thanks to Jonson and his family.