The Pacific Coast Amateur is a big one, and three of the top players in the Southern Nevada Golf Association are scheduled to play individually and also as a the team for the Morse Cup (representing the SNGA). Craig Erickson, Daren Johnson and UNLV’s J.J. Gresco are set to play July 20-23, 2021, at Chambers Bay in University Place, Wash. –By Brian Hurlburt, www.LasVegasGolfInsider.com.
Some of the top amateurs in the West annually play in the historic event, which dates back to 1901 with the modern version having been created in 1967 by the Pacific Coast Golf Association. In 2020, the event wasn’t held due to the pandemic. The Pacific Coast Golf Association is comprised of 15 member associations including the SNGA. There are 13 from the United States and two from Canada.
For Erickson, it is nice to represent the SNGA, but it also gives the 41-year-old father of two a chance to measure his game against a strong field filled with many current college players.
“I am excited for the challenge and to see how my game stacks up against the top college players,” said Erickson, who carefully plans his golf tournament schedule around family and work obligations. “A lot of these players can play and practice anytime, but I have to be very strategic and plan my events around my kids and my work. But this is a huge event, so I have found a way to make it work and it will be a special event.”
The SNGA team hopes to win the event for their home association for the first time since Frank Acker, Craig Barlow and Ryan Mitchell represented the SNGA in 1995. In 2000, the SNGA’s Billy Harvey won the individual title. DragonRidge Country Club director of Instruction Mike Davis won the event in 1969 and 1970.
The tournament is known as a breeding ground for PGA Tour players as the likes of Aaron Wise, Billy Mayfair, Doug Ghim, Will Zalatoris and Jason Gore have won the event.
Here are some of the honors earned by Team SNGA:
- Gresco plays for UNLV and won the 2020 Clark County Amateur and the 2021 SNGA Tournament of Champions.
- Johnson was the 2019 SNGA player of the year and is a former Nevada State Amateur champion.
- Erickson is a former Nevada State Match Play champion and also a Nevada Mid-Amateur champ.