Golf

PNGA’s Bodenhamer accepts USGA senior manager position

One late night in April, executive director John Bodenhamer was sitting in his office at Pacific Northwest Golf Association headquarters when his cellphone rang.

The call was from Mike Davis, the new United States Golf Association executive director and the man most responsible for the 2015 U.S. Open being awarded to Chambers Bay Golf Course.

Seeing how late it was on the East Coast – the USGA headquarters are located in Far Hills, N.J. – Bodenhamer knew the call was important.

The result of that call is steering Bodenhamer’s golf career in a new direction.

As part of Davis’ reshuffling of the USGA’s senior-level staff, Bodenhamer, 49, was announced Thursday as the new senior managing director of rules, competitions and amateur status.

The move will return Bodenhamer, a Lakes High graduate, to a part of golf he touched when he first became executive director of the PNGA in 1990 – managing championship competitions.

No longer will it be the Pacific Coast Amateur, or the Washington State Amateur. Now, Bodenhamer will help set up the USGA’s national events, both opens and amateurs.

“The opportunity caught me between the eyes,” Bodenhamer said. “I thought long and hard about it, and gathered more information … and it became apparent the position and the responsibilities present challenges I find intriguing.”

On the surface, the new job looks a lot like Davis’ old job, senior director of rules and competitions. In many ways, it is. Davis will continue to play a large role in U.S. Open site selections and championship setups.

Bodenhamer will oversee much of what goes on at those marquee events, and will report to Davis and USGA managing director Jeff Hall.

Also, Bodenhamer will be the key ambassador in the USGA’s resurgent relationship with the Royal & Ancient Golf Club at St. Andrews, which governs golf played in much of the world, as well as have a hand in the future of equipment testing.

“I am thrilled John will be joining our staff,” Davis said. “He brings a vast amount of experiences and knowledge to the USGA, and his background in golf administration will be an incredible asset to our association.”

As the executive director of the PNGA since 1990, Bodenhamer leaves behind a long list of impactful accomplishments – notably restructuring the Washington State Golf Association in 1992; acquiring The Home Course in 2007 as the host site for the association; and helping land numerous USGA championships, including the 2010 U.S. Amateur.

He has served on the USGA’s amateur status committee, the handicap procedure committee and the regional associations committee over the years as well.

By Aug. 1, Bodenhamer will be in his new position and relocate to New Jersey, But because his son, John, Jr., is one year away from graduating from high school, the family – including his wife, Pam, and daughter, Megan – will not move until after the spring of 2012.

CHIP SHOTS

David Mathis shot a 5-under 65 Thursday to grab the opening round lead at the St. Jude Classic in Memphis, Tenn. Mathis jumped to the top of the leaderboard late in the day, finishing with six birdies and one late bogey. Robert Karlssonshot a 66 and was tied for second with John Merrick, Kris Blanks, Kevin Kisner and Colt Knost. … Mindy Kim shot a career-low 64 to take a two-stroke lead after the first round of the LPGA State Farm Classic. Sarah Kemp and Jiyai Shin were tied for second at 6-under at Panther Creek Country Club in Springfield, Ill.

News Tribune news services contributed to this report.

Todd Milles: 253-597-8442 todd.milles@thenewstribune.com

TRACKING LOCALS ON THE PGA TOUR

THIS WEEK: PGA Tour’s FedEx St. Jude Classic, through Sunday, TPC Southwind, Memphis, Tenn.

IN THE FIELD: Tacoma’s Michael Putnam and Olympia’s Andres Gonzales.

Putnam’s first-round score: 1-over-par 71.

Gonzales’ first-round score: 5-over 75.

Position: Putnam is tied for 54th; Gonzales is tied for 130th – all trailing leader David Mathis (65).

Recap: Not much going for either local. Putnam (two bogeys, one birdie) got in trouble when he went for the par-5 third green in two shots, and knocked it in the water, leading to his first bogey. He made birdie at the island-green 11th hole, a par 3, by rolling in a 12-foot putt, but gave it back three holes later. … Gonzales was 8-over after 15 holes, including double bogeys at the 12th and 15th holes, but ended his round with three consecutive birdies – capped by a 25-putt on the finishing hole.

Tee times today: Gonzales at 11:21 a.m. PDT off the 10th tee, and Putnam at 11:39 a.m. PDT off the 10th tee.

Todd Milles, staff writer

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