This is a big year for Matt Cowell.
The Friday Harbor native won the Bellingham Amateur over Labor Day weekend at Lake Padden Golf Course.
The win comes four months after he won the May Masters — and made his first hole in one — at the same course. And one month ago, Cowell shot 64 par-72 San Juan, setting a course record.
Of the Bellingham Amateur, Cowell said, “It’s the biggest tournament I’ve ever won.”
Cowell led the field of 87 golfers with 71-74-71 to finish with even par — quite an accomplishment considering the 30-mph winds that whipped around the forest-lined fairways.
Because of the trees, “it gusts a lot and it’s hard to tell which direction it’s going,” Cowell said.
He persevered, almost acing the same hole — the No. 12 — that gave him his first hole in one in May; the ball rolled from a few feet and lipped out.
All told, Cowell outdistanced the second-place finisher by 5 strokes.
Cowell, the son of Thomas and Kathleen Cowell of Neil Bay, golfed for the Friday Harbor Wolverines from 2001-04 and placed in the top 10 in state 1A in three of four years. The Wolverines finished second three times and fourth once in state tournaments.
Cowell golfed for Santa Barbara City College, which was ranked No. 1 in Southern California. He’s now majoring in business finance at Western Washington University and expects to graduate in winter quarter. He works at the Lake Padden pro shop.
Cowell won the 2008 Herb Kranick Memorial Golf Tournament at San Juan and is a three-time winner of the San Juan Open.