For nearly a decade, Eric Johnson was as vital as anybody in getting Bandon Dunes Golf Resort in world-class shape.
And now it is Johnson who will be getting Chambers Bay Golf Course ready for the world in 2015 – for the U.S. Open.
The longtime course superintendent at Bandon Dunes and Old Macdonald – and before that at Spyglass Hill on California’s Monterey Peninsula – has been hired by KemperSports as the new director of agronomy at Chambers Bay. He started his new job Monday as the replacement for Dave Wienecke, who resigned in May.
Johnson, a 1995 Oregon State graduate, will oversee the physical shape of not only the course, but all the surrounding property.
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Josh Lewis, named the interim course superintendent when Wienecke left, will retain that title on a permanent basis and will serve under Johnson.
Olympia’s Jarred Bossio said he is close to regaining his 2011 summer form – one that helped him win the Washington State Men’s Amateur.
Bossio won three consecutive holes on the front nine Wednesday in the opening round of match play at the 111th Pacific Northwest Men’s Amateur to take down Gig Harbor’s Chris Tedesco, 4 and 3.
Bossio won the seventh hole with a 15-foot birdie putt. And when both golfers hit their tee shots in the bunker at No. 8, Bossio got up and down for par, making a 10-footer at Wine Valley Golf Club in Walla Walla.
“I got a new … long putter, and I can tell I am rolling it a lot better,” Bossio said. “The inconsistency is coming from me being a little off with my swing, and I have never been the player to aim away from the pin, so I have gotten myself in trouble.”
Facing a big deficit early, Enumclaw’s Tyler Salsbury also won three holes in a row to cut his deficit to 1-down to Rak Cho, of Eugene, Ore.
On the 13th hole, however, Salsbury got aggressive with a 40-foot birdie putt – and missed the 5-footer coming back. That gave Cho a 2-up edge on his way to a 3-and-2 victory.
“With a guy playing that solid, you can’t give him holes,” Salsbury said.
Other locals winners included Covington’s Kent Hagen (2 and 1 over Damien Telles), Olympia’s Kento Ogimi (in 19 holes over Kyle Hurt) and Vashon Island’s Greg Gildea (2-up over Scott Malo).
TEACHER TOPS PUPIL
It was Williams vs. Williams in the opening round of the 87th U.S. Amateur Public Links, and the mentor took down the pupil at Soldier Hollow Golf Course in Midway, Utah.
Alex Williams, an assistant under University of Washington golf coach Matt Thurmond last season, birdied the 17th to upend UW player Chris Williams, 2 and 1.
Cheng-Tsung Pan, also a UW player, won his opener – a 3-and-2 verdict over Shane Smith of Godfrey, Ill.