Gold Mountain to host NCAA West Regionals

Several Northwest universities, including Washington, Washington State and Oregon State, are expected to compete at the May 15 NCAA West Regionals. - Jesse Beals/Staff Photo
Several Northwest universities, including Washington, Washington State and Oregon State, are expected to compete at the May 15 NCAA West Regionals.
— image credit: Jesse Beals/Staff Photo

Competition set for May 15-17.

Gold Mountain Golf Complex in Bremerton will host the NCAA West Regionals competition, scheduled for May 15-17.

Known in the golf community as a challenging yet fair course, Gold Mountain was selected as one of three sites to host a regional competition, placing a third of the nation’s top collegiate-level golfers against each other in Bremerton’s backyard.

Scarlet Golf Course, in Columbus, Ohio, will host the Central Regional while the Council Fire Golf Club in Chattanooga, Tenn., will host the East Regional.

“This is something we’re proud of,” said Gold Mountain director of golf Scott Alexander. “This is a big honor.”

Challenging college’s best golfers — 27 teams and six individuals will compete, with the top 10 teams and two individuals advancing to the NCAA Finals — Alexander said the course offers little room for error but still awards good play.

“It’s known not only to be a tough course, but a fair course,” he said. “If you hit two good shots you’re in position for a birdie.”

Golfers will tee off three consecutive days, playing 54 total holes.

“It’s not impossible to score if you’re hitting well,” Alexander said of the expected scores. “(The course) separates the good shots from the bad shots.”

Selections will be made May 5, determining exactly which teams will compete at the Regionals. Oregon State University, Washington State University and the University of Washington all are expected to receive consideration.

“Gold Mountain is one of my favorite golf courses in the country,” said Ryan Donovan, men’s golf coach at San Diego State University. “It is a true test of golf with all of the elements to make this a championship golf course. The conditions of the course are superb and the greens are as smooth as any golf course I’ve seen.”

Every hole at Gold Mountain poses a different challenge, but Alexander believes holes 12 and 18 will prove particularly pivotal.

With a 30- to 40-foot elevated tee and deep bunkers to the right, the par-3 hole 12 should create numerous bogie situations.

“You really have to hit a good shot,” Alexander said of the 12th hole. “A par’s a great score there.”

Though not the toughest hole on the course, the layout of the 18th and final hole, when scores become most relevant, will create an interesting end to golfers’ rounds

“It’s 324 yards and we’ll set the tee up so they can reach the green in one,” Alexander said. “There are six bunkers and a lake on the second half of the hole on the way up to the green.”

Gold Mountain, which hosted the 2006 U.S. Public Links Championship, also will host the 2011 junior championships.

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