Ziemer's B.C. Golf Notes: BC Golf Championship schedule spread across the province; Hadwin closes strong in La Quinta; Mackenzie Tour hopes to return this summer

The 2021 British Columbia Golf Championship Season Begins May 25th At Gorge Vale GC In Victoria With the Men’s and Women’s B.C. Mid-Amateur Championships - Image Courtesy Gorge Vale GC

By Brad Ziemer, British Columbia Golf

British Columbia Golf’s 2021 championship tournament schedule is testament to the fact that we are blessed with so many terrific golf courses throughout the province. “We are literally all over B.C. this summer,” says Doug Hastie, manager of field operations and tournament director with British Columbia Golf.

“We try to rotate our events around the province as much as we can.”

That has been done especially well this year as the championship schedule features events in Victoria, central Vancouver Island, the Kootenays, the Okanagan and Metro Vancouver. 

The 119th playing of the B.C. Amateur Championship goes July 13-16 at Storey Creek Golf Club in Campbell River. “It is just such a great golf course,” Hastie says.

“It's cut through the woods and you feel like you are on your own golf course every hole. It’s a unique layout with five par 5s and five par 3s. We expect to have a strong field and a strong tournament there. I think the players will really enjoy the golf course.”

Tristan Mandur of Duncan won the 2020 playing of the B.C. Amateur.

Storey Creek, designed by Les Furber, played host to the 1999 B.C. Amateur, when Marine Drive’s Brad Newman-Bennett edged Guildford’s Dan Swanson by one shot. Storey Creek may be Furber’s best work in B.C. 

Another excellent Furber course, Bootleg Gap in Kimberley, will play host to the B.C. Senior Men’s Championship July 27-29. Norm Bradley of Kelowna is expected to defend his title won last last summer at Sunshine Coast Golf & Country Club.

The 119th BC Amateur Will Be Played At Storey Creek GC This July - Image Courtesy Storey Creek GC

This year’s championship schedule begins with the Men’s and Women’s B.C. Mid-Amateur Championship, which will be played May 25-27 at Gorge Vale Golf in Victoria. The event was scheduled for Gorge Vale last spring but cancelled due to COVID-19. The Mid-Amateur was eventually rescheduled for later in the summer.

The men’s competition was played at Okanagan Golf Club’s Bear course in Kelowna, where Swanson prevailed. Nonie Marler of Vancouver won the women’s Mid-Am, which was held at Campbell River Golf & Country Club. Talking Rock Golf Club in Chase will play host to the B.C. Senior Women’s Championship June 15-17. Shelly Stouffer of Nanoose Bay won last year’s championship at Campbell River G&CC.

The B.C. Women’s Amateur Championship goes June 22-25 at Summerland Golf & Country Club. Vancouver’s Michelle Liu, at age 13, became the youngest winner of the B.C. Women’s Amateur when she topped the field last year at Campbell River G&CC.

Michelle Liu Became The Youngest-Ever Winner Of The BC Women's Amateur At Campbell River G&CC In 2020 - File Image

The B.C. Junior Boys and Girls Championships will go June 29-July 2 at Morningstar Golf Club in Parksville. The events are being held concurrently for the third straight year. “The girls field is 40 to 60 players and you could have your own tournament, but it doesn’t feel as big or as important as when you have a full field,” Hastie says. “So we thought if we had 120 boys and 40 girls it makes it a bigger championship and they get to experience that. When you have 160 players it has a whole different feel to it.”

The final two events on the championship schedule will be held in Metro Vancouver. The Juvenile Boys and Girls championships will be played Aug. 10-12 at Golden Eagle Golf Club’s South Course in Pitt Meadows, while the B.C. Bantam Boys and Girls Championships will be contested Aug. 16-17 at Langara Golf Course in Vancouver.

“Golf courses are very busy during this pandemic and we are very appreciative of all these golf courses agreeing to play host to these events and we feel very privileged to be able to be there,” Hastie says. “We realize the sacrifice their members and the public are making to allow us to play our events there.” The events will be run with CODID-19 protocols in place. “Decisions on whether caddies and spectators will be permitted will be made at a later date,” Hastie says.

Registration for this year’s championships begins March 1.

STRONG FINISH: Abbotsford’s Adam Hadwin closed with a six-under 66 and tied for 32nd at The American Express tourney in La Quinta, Calif. Hadwin’s 72-hole score of 10-under par was 13 shots behind winner Si Woo Kim of South Korea.

Merritt’s Roger Sloan and Abbotsford’s Nick Taylor were both in contention through two rounds but faded on the weekend. Sloan closed with a three-over 75 and tied for 40th at eight-under while Taylor shot 73 Sunday to finish tied for 47th at seven-under.

TORREY TIME: Hadwin and Sloan are both in the field for this week’s Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines, where Australian Marc Leishman is the defending champion. Taylor is taking the week off.
Hadwin has made the cut in four previous appearances at Torrey Pines. His best finish came in 2015, when he tied for 32nd. This will be Sloan’s fourth appearance at the Farmers. In his lone made cut at Torrey Pines, he tied for 64th in 2015.

FINGERS CROSSED: After a one-year hiatus due to COVID-19, the Mackenzie Tour-PGA Tour Canada circuit hopes to play a full schedule in 2021. That includes a qualifying school scheduled for May 24-May 27 at Crown Isle Golf Resort in Courtenay, providing government permission is granted. The tour has yet to release its full schedule, which in past years has included three B.C. stops in Metro Vancouver, Victoria and Kelowna.

WINTER TOUR: The Vancouver Golf Tour tees off its winter tour with one-day events scheduled for Wednesday (Jan. 27) at Northview’s Canal course and Saturday (Feb. 1) at Royalwood in Chilliwack.

CHIP SHOT: Belated congratulations to Victoria Golf Club head pro Lindsay Bernakevitch, who was recently named as one of five new inductees into the Saskatchewan Golf Hall of Fame. The 40 year-old Bernakevitch, who won four straight Saskatchewan Amateur titles in the early 2000s, becomes the youngest member of the Saskatchewan Golf Hall of Fame.