Centennial High graduate Nick Chianello dominates the middle of the course to win title

Centennial High graduate Nick Chianello won six straight showdowns to claim the 103rd Oregon Amateur match-play golf championship last weekend at Tualatin Country Club.

He finished by winning the two-round final "4 & 3" over Tyler Falk of Springfield, winning the first two holes of the match and never trailing. Chianello went 4-up on the opening day by claiming 4 of 5 holes in the middle of the round, highlighted by an eagle on the 508-yard, ninth hole.

Falk climbed to within one hole with a birdie on the par-4, second hole on Day 2, but once again Chianello made a run over the middle of the course taking 5 of 6 holes, this time highlighted with birdies on a pair of par-5s to go 6-up with six to play.

Falk survived the next two holes before the pair halved the par-3, 15th giving Chianello the trophy.

Chianello's toughest challenges came early in the tournament.

He he rallied from an early two-hole deficit in his opening match to defeat Portland's Trey Pflug "2 & 1". The duo was all-square midway through the back-nine before Chianello won the 14th hole with a par and the 16th with a birdie before closing out the match with a par on the 386-yard, 17th hole.

He went on to beat Gladstone's Denny Taylor "3 & 1" in the second round, using birdies on the 16th and 17th holes to secure the victory.

Chianello, a senior at Oregon State in the fall, finished bracket play with 21 birdies and an eagle. He was seeded ninth after the stroke-play qualifying rounds.

Ryan Pickthorn of Damascus qualified 36th and lost in a tight "1-up" decision to Lake Oswego's Sean Collopy in the first round. Pickthorn held a one-hole lead after carding a birdie on the 13th hole, but a bogey on the 18th allowed Collopy to advance.

Amy Beth Simanton of Lake Oswego won the women's tournament "8 & 7" over Kendall Prince of Corvallis. Simanton tallied 10 birdies over the 29 holes of the championship match and carried a comfortable lead throughout.

Her biggest challenge came in the quarterfinals where she scored a "1-up" victory over Lindsay Aho of Brush Prairie, Wash., after claiming the 18th hole by two strokes.

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