Sports

Local amateur golfer Casey Adams’ play anything but amateurish

Casey Adams during the final round of the Capitol City Men’s Amateur golf tournament back on June 12. Adams is competing in the Washington State Men’s Amateur and the Tacoma City Amateur tournaments this week.
Casey Adams during the final round of the Capitol City Men’s Amateur golf tournament back on June 12. Adams is competing in the Washington State Men’s Amateur and the Tacoma City Amateur tournaments this week. sbloom@theolympian.com

Casey Adams’ summer golf calendar remains full.

Some might even say overfull.

The 26-year-old from Lacey is quickly establishing himself as the king of playing in county and city championships all over the South Sound.

It doesn’t even matter if the events run together — like this week as Adams gets ready to tee it up at the 90th Washington State Men’s Amateur beginning Tuesday at Tacoma Country & Golf Club.

On Sunday, Adams just finished up the two-day Lewis County Amateur at Riverside Golf Club in Chehalis. He tied for fifth behind winner Jon McCaslin.

It was a light day for Adams on Monday — he played a practice round at Tacoma C&GC.

And after the three-day state amateur wraps up, it is on to defending his crown at the Tacoma City Amateur. It starts Friday at his home course at Capitol City Golf Club in Lacey, moves to RMG Club’s The Classic on Saturday and concludes Sunday at Fircrest Golf Club.

“I usually play nine or 10 tournaments, but I added a couple more this summer,” Adams said.

Thing is, as much as he plays, Adams just doesn’t wear down. In the past three years of amateur golf, he has not finished outside the top 10 in any tournament he has played.

In his past six events, he has posted all top-five finishes, including a victory at the West Seattle Amateur.

Why does he do it? He wants to simulate life on a professional tour — a career ambition he still holds true.

“I should be tired — and if I am not, I didn’t do it right,” Adams said. “I’ve got to figure out if I have the stamina to make it through long weeks like this.”

Adams has a simple way of planning out his schedule. As a member of the Pacific Northwest Golf Association, he goes to a member-only part of its website to check out all of the city championship tournaments being held during that particular summer.

In 2015, Adams had a banner year, winning the Capitol City Amateur, the Bremerton City Amateur and his first Tacoma City Amateur. He also had high finishes in the Tacoma Open, Fort Lewis Amateur and the Lewis County Amateur.

This summer, he added the West Seattle Amateur, the Puget Sound Amateur, the Champion of Champions tournament and the Seattle City Amateur — an event he led until the final few holes — to his schedule.

“What impresses me the most is that I’ve been with him at many tournaments that he’s won, and been with him at tournaments he’s lost in a heartbreaking way,” said University Place’s James Feutz, now a golfer at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California. “In both cases, you wouldn’t be able to tell whether he won or lost by his attitude.”

Adams said that has been one of the biggest lessons he has learned in the past few years — controlling his emotions at critical moments on the course.

“I am an emotional player, and I know that,” said Adams, a graduate of River Ridge High School in 2008. “And I can be erratic. But you have to control (your emotions).

“It is an ongoing process, because it’s hard to get yourself when nothing is going your way … to keep grinding, keep grinding, keep grinding.”

Oh yeah, Adams holds down two jobs, too.

They are jobs that allow him to play tournament golf. On Sundays and Mondays, he works in the pro shop at Capitol City, and during the rest of the week, he is a sixth-year caddie at Chambers Bay where he gets up to an average of five loops a week.

Ultimately, Adams wants to take a run at getting on a professional tour. In fact, he is holding a fundraising tournament Sept. 24 at Capitol City with the hopes of earning enough money to go to Mackenzie Tour-PGA Tour Canada qualifying school next spring.

In the meantime, he will test his skills against the best amateurs in the region — especially this week at the Washington State Men’s Amateur.

“The reason I sign up is to win, not just go out there and play well,” Adams said. “That is the whole reason I play competitive golf.”

90th Washington State Men’s Amateur

When and where: Tuesday-Thursday at Tacoma Country and Golf Club, Lakewood

Format: 54 holes of stroke play. Field of 120 players is cut to lowest 60 players and ties after two rounds.

Tee times: 7:30 a.m.-2 p.m.

2015 champion: Charles Kern, Mercer Island.

Skinny: Kern overcame a five-shot deficit in the final round to overtake overnight leader Joe Harvie last year at the Rope Rider Course at Suncadia in Cle Elum. Kern is not defending his title, but Harvie — an Orting High School product — is in this week’s field. … Lakewood’s Joe Highsmith, who recently made match play in the U.S. Junior Amateur, is one to watch, especially since this is his home course. … Ephrata’s Andrew Whalen finished runner-up to Carl Yuan at the PNGA Men’s Amateur earlier this summer, and is a threat to win.

86th Tacoma City Amateur

When and where: Friday at Capitol City, Saturday at RMG Club’s The Classic and Sunday at Fircrest Golf Club.

Format: 54 holes of stroke play, with cut to lowest 30 players and ties after two rounds.

2015 champion: Casey Adams, Lacey.

Skinny: Adams sank a 15-foot birdie putt on the final hole at Twin Lakes Golf & Country Club to close the door on the hard-charging, three-time tournament champion Sean Packer, and capture his first Tacoma City Amateur title. Adams’ win came after he lost to Ben Nelson in a sudden-death playoff in 2012 at Fircrest.

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