Even in the unrelenting rain on Sunday, University of Oregon alumnus Zach Foushee had more fun playing golf than he has in a long time.
Foushee turned professional in 2017 after helping the Ducks to a NCAA Championship in 2016. It was a grueling few years trying to make it as a professional golfer. At the 64th annual Royal Oaks Invitational Tournament in Vancouver this week, Foushee returned to his amateur roots.
In his first amateur event in five years, Foushee torched a soggy Royal Oaks Country Club for a tournament-record 12-under to beat the field by 10 strokes.
“It’s been a lot of fun this week,” Foushee said. “I’m not playing for a living now.”
Loyola Marymount’s Riley Elmes tied the tournament record the last time the ROIT was held, in 2019, when he finished 9-under, the first golfer since the 1950s to achieve the mark. Foushee was unaware of the mark and thought he might need a birdie at the par-4 18th to go in the record books. Instead, a tap-in par was plenty.
Unlike Elmes, who was on his way out of college and soon turning pro, Foushee is on the other end of his career. He competed for two years on Canada’s Mackenzie Tour — now called the PGA Forme Tour — and made 14 cuts in 22 events.
In that time, he earned just $21,755 in prize money while seeing exactly what it took to compete at that level.
“I shot even(-par) the first day (in one tournament) and this guy goes out and shoots 10-under,” Foushee explained. “He goes back out in the morning and shoots 8-under. I’m 18 shots back starting my second round.”
A trip down to Florida with PGA Tour member and former Duck teammate Aaron Wise confirmed to Foushee that his dream of playing in the sport’s highest echelons wasn’t in his cards. He is now a commercial real estate broker and has to go to work Monday after firing 66-68-70 over the weekend.
Still, Foushee welcomes the more laid-back golf events he’ll now compete in. He hopes to qualify for the U.S. Amateur and compete in some USGA events.
Oregon State’s Mateo Fuenmayor finished in second place with a 2-under. Heron Lakes Golf Course member William Snow carded a 1-over to win the junior-senior division. Pat O’Donnell, of Happy Valley, Ore., returned to the winners’ circle after carding a 7-over. It’s O’Donnell’s seventh victory in the senior division and ninth victory in any division.
Former Seattle Mariners pitcher Erik Hanson did not win a division for the first time since 2017. Hanson finished 10-over to finish third in the senior division.
Mountain View graduate and University of Wisconsin commit Graham Moody finished 6-over after three straight rounds of 74. It was good enough for 15th place overall. His high school teammate Tyler Klepec finished 143rd in the 180-player field. Camas sophomore Eli Huntington finished 90th.
ROYAL OAKS INVITATIONAL TOURNAMENT
At Royal Oaks County Club
Overall champion — Zach Foushee, University of Oregon (68-68-70), -12
Championship Division winner — Zach Foushee, University of Oregon (68-68-70), -12
Junior-senior Division winner — William Snow, Heron Lake GC (72-71-74), +1
Senior Division winner — Pat O’Donnell, Happy Valley (73-74-76), +7
Overall Top 10: 1. Zach Foushee (68-68-70), -12; 2. Mateo Fuenmayor (69-73-72), -2; 3. William Snow (72-71-74), +1; T4. Jake O’Neal (72-74-72), Sam Tidd (72-70-76), +2; T6. Derek Baade (73-75-71), Nate Stember (72-73-74), Jordan Lee (76-69-74), +3; T9. Reid Hatley (74-76-70), Alfred Raja (74-73-73), Hunter Wescott (75-71-74), Ethan Evans (70-73-77), +4.