Graf battles into round of 16 at prestigious PNGA Men’s Amateur Championship

Carter Graf was learning on the fly at the Pacific Northwest Golf Association Men’s Amateur Championship this week.

The 17-year-old Sylvan Lake golfer still managed to advance to the round of 16 in the 117th running of the prestigious event in DuPont, Wash.

He was playing in the first match play tournament of his golf career this week, after making the round of 64 through a two-round stroke play qualifier on Monday and Tuesday.

In his opening round match on Wednesday, Graf defeated Riley Killip of Olympia, Wash., on the first playoff hole of the match. Graf drained a 30-foot birdie putt to clinch the win.

Thursday in the round of 32, Graf downed American Derek Bayley two-and-one. Graf said he was six-under on the round before he was finally able to finish off his opponent.

Graf battled Reid Hatley in the quarterfinals but lost three-and-one. Overall he said the experience in DuPont was a memorable one and he was happy with how he played.

“Once the match play rolled around I started putting better and hitting the ball pretty good,” he said.

“That was my very first time playing match play. I watched quite a bit of it on TV. Know how it works. It was a lot of fun. definitely a different type of golf.”

The 17-year-old has been carrying a pretty consistent smile through the golf season this summer, after making a big decision earlier this year.

Graf settled on North Carolina State to continue his golf career, giving a verbal commitment to play NCAA Division I Golf for the Wolfpack in 2019.

He said they first watched him play at junior nationals last summer and then through a few conversations and a visit to the campus, it was an easy decision to attend NC State.

“Super pumped about it. They have a really good golf team. I really like the coach. It’s awesome. Excited to go down there and start playing golf at the college level against some of the best in the country,” Graf said.

The young golfer added he’s satisfied with where his game is at now but knows he’ll need to keep improving before next September of 2019 when he makes the trip to North Carolina.

“Just keep the consistency of good play up and working on my game,” he said.

“I’m pretty happy with where it’s at right now. Keep on working on my swing. I’ll have really good coaches and guys to play with there, so it will help my game even more.”

Next up for Graf is a trip to Montana for a three-day tournament as a tune-up for the Canadian Junior Boys Championships that will be held in Medicine Hat from July 31- Aug. 3.

After that he will travel to Duncan, B.C., to play in the Canadian Men’s Amateur Championships, from Aug. 6-9.

Email sports tips to Byron Hackett

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Grassroots movement to clean up Red Deer is gaining momentum

Homeless people need more attention than shopping carts, says former councillor Cindy Jefferies

Improving life for people with Alzheimer’s and their families is a priority for Raitt

The federal Conservatives deputy leader is dealing with the disease in her own home

PHOTO: International Peace Day

Visitors broke bread, made crafts and trading cards at a gathering marking… Continue reading

Snowfall warning issued for Central Alberta

Environment Canada issued a snowfall warning for Central Alberta Friday afternoon. Warning… Continue reading

POLL: Most Red Deerians don’t want cell phones in the classroom

Sixty-six per cent of Advocate readers who responded to an on-line poll… Continue reading

Updated: Grey Cup in Red Deer to raise funds for military families

Money raised will go to the Military Family Resource Centre and be used locally

Saskatchewan RCMP charge man in abduction that sparked Amber Alert last Sunday

NORTH BATTLEFORD, Sask. — Saskatchewan RCMP have arrested a man following an… Continue reading

One dead following police-involved shooting in Burlington, Ont.

BURLINGTON, Ont. — Ontario’s police watchdog says a 32-year-old man was shot… Continue reading

Several injured as Tornado tears through Ottawa and Gatineau, Que.

OTTAWA — A tornado ripped through the Ottawa area Friday afternoon, damaging… Continue reading

B.C. wildfires burned large areas affected by mountain pine beetles: Experts

VANCOUVER — Clearing or burning beetle ravaged forests may be costly but… Continue reading

Dustin Byfuglien scores in overtime, Jets beat Flames 4-3 in pre-season

WINNIPEG — Bryan Little tied the game late in the third and… Continue reading

Mistrial denied in Calgary murder trial over jury’s visit to hotel Denny’s

CALGARY — A Calgary judge has denied a request for a mistrial… Continue reading

Former Canadian astronaut says space shuttle is a vehicle of hope

OTTAWA — Sending messages of hope from space is a big part… Continue reading

Canada requests trade panel on uncoated groundwood paper ruling by U.S.

OTTAWA — Canada has requested a NAFTA trade panel review a U.S.… Continue reading

Most Read