TUALATIN, Ore. –Junior-to-be Tyler Falk capped off a memorable week on Saturday, taking second place at the Oregon Amateur Championship, at Tualatin Country Club. After qualifying for the match-play bracket during two days of strong stroke play, Falk won five heads-up matches before falling in the championship to Oregon State senior Nick Chianello.
Falk advanced to the 64-man match-play bracket after shooting a 76-72=148 during the stroke play qualifier, securing a tie for 15th place and earning the number 19 seed. An unlucky draw put him up against former Beacon Brent McKee in the first round. After defeating McKee 5 and 3, Falk posted wins against Salem’s Eric Fiskum, Happy Valley’s Pat O’Donnell, Lake Oswego’s Matt Keyser, and Beaverton’s Steven DeSilva as he advanced to the championship match.
Chianello’s path to the championship included a win over former Oregon Duck Jack Dukeminier, the defending champion who had the number one seed in the tournament. He also defeated former Concordia Cavalier Jesse Heinly in the semifinals.
The 36-hole championship match began with two straight holes in favor of Chinello as he birdied hole one and pared hole two. Falk would get those two back on the fourth and fifth holes, bringing the match All Square with a birdie on the long par-five sixth.
Chianello then took three straight holes to go three-up through ten, a lead which he would never relinquish. Falk did rally to within 1down on the 20th hole, but Chianello was able to pull away for the 4&3 victory.
After the round, Falk said, “Today I struggled to get going and I never really found my game. I couldn’t pick up any momentum and it seems when I did, Nick made a couple of good putts. All things considered, this week was good, I learned a lot.
The 2011 Cascade Collegiate Conference Player of the Year as a freshman, Falk followed that season up with a ninth-place finish at the Oregon Amateur. He went on to struggle a bit at the US Amateur Championship, and that experience kicked off a difficult sophomore season with the Beacons, which he wasn’t able to turn around until the very end of the season. He is now hoping that his strong showing this week puts him in a good place heading into his junior season.
“When I first started going to NCU, God wasn’t really big in my life,” he said, “The stuff that has happened in the last couple of years had really brought out my faith and I have a lot to thank God for. He has a reason for everything and he has a reason for what happened today. I’m trying to stay positive and use this experience to make me a better golfer going into next year.”
Nick Askew, Sports Information Director