If there was one thing that epitomized Chris Tanabe’s three-day run through the 106th Pennsylvania Amateur, it was that it took him no time at all to get into his round.
In his three rounds at Aronimink Golf Club, the junior-to-be at Bucknell played the front nine in 11 under par. He birdied each of the nine holes at least once, making 11 in all to go with an eagle and two bogeys.
On Wednesday, when he started his round with a three-stroke lead, a birdie at No. 1 and a 15-foot par save at No. 2 again locked him in right away, and he went on to a two-stroke victory, a result that wasn’t as close as the final score would indicate.
Tanabe, 20, of Sewickley, Pa., was 2 under for his final round through 16 holes before a lightning delay halted play for 1 hour, 27 minutes. He went double bogey-bogey after returning for a 71 but still had plenty of cushion, carding a 54-hole total of 5-under 205.
Nate Menon of Wyomissing, about to enter his redshirt sophomore year at Stanford, began the day in a tie for second but was unable to put much pressure on Tanabe and settled for a 70, tying him for runner-up honors at 207 with Kyle Vance, a Kansas State junior from Audubon, Pa. Vance fired a 68.
Tanabe torched Aronimink’s front nine for a 28 in Tuesday’s second round, holing out an 8-iron for eagle at the opening hole. Wednesday’s start wasn’t quite as dynamic, but he did drain a 15-footer for birdie at No. 1.
A bogey at the fourth hole gave his pursuers some hope, but he all but put the championship away in a three-hole stretch later on the front nine -- putts of 4 feet and 6 feet for birdies at the sixth and seventh, and a 6-foot par save at the tough par-3 eighth after he bunkered his tee ball.
Tanabe’s lead at that point was six strokes, and he never was threatened.
“It was really solid,” he said. “I set myself up in a good position on the front nine, going 2 under. It would be hard starting three back for anyone just to catch that. Before the delay, I played solid. I gave myself a very comfortable lead going into the back nine and throughout the back nine.
“My putter was working the whole week, so I was just trying to get looks on the green and not have to be getting up-and-down, because I knew if I had a decent look from inside 20 feet I had a decent chance of making it with how I was putting.”
A birdie at the par-5 16th boosted his score to 8 under. He missed the green at No. 17, a par-3, and hit a poor chip before the siren sounded to suspend play. He took three more shots to get in the hole and three-putted 18, but the outcome had been decided.
“Chris played really well,” Menon said. “I know he gave a couple back at the end, but I never really was able to put much pressure on him and he was rock-solid from the start."
While it took a little later for Tanabe to accept the championship trophy because of the delay, at least he didn’t have to sweat out the wait because of the sizable lead he owned.
“I wasn’t really trying to think about golf at all,” he said. “But absolutely , yes, it was easier.”
Chris Tanabe, Sewickley Heights 69-65-71—205
Kyle Vance, PAGA individual member 67-72-68—207
Nate Menon, LedgeRock 66-71-70—207
Connor Schmidt, Nemacolin 71-70-67—208
Garrett Engle, Harrisburg 69-70-69—208
Brett Young, Nemacolin 69-70-70—209
Max Siegfried, Aronimink 68-71-71--210
Ryan Tall, Spring Ford 72-72-67—211
Evan Brown, PAGA individual member 72-68-71—211
Ben Cooley, Huntingdon Valley 71-69-72—212
Zachary Barbin, Loch Nairn 71-66-76--213
Michael Brown Jr., LuLu 69-74-70--213
Patrick Sheehan, Talamore 69-74-70--213
Will Davenport, Whitemarsh Valley 67-71-77--215
Kevin Scherr, PAGA individual member 72-71-72—215
Brady Pevarnik, Hannastown 72-69-74—215
Mariano Medico, Fox Hill 77-70-69—216
Ben Feld, Green Valley 66-75-75—216
Vince Kwon, Huntingdon Valley 71-70-75—216
J.D. Hughes, Carlisle 71-69-76—216
Zachary Juhasz, Northampton 67-73-76—216
Marty McGuckin, Phila. Cricket 68-71-78--217
Carey Bina, Radnor Valley 74-70-73--217
Joe Parrini, York 70-76-71—217