Ziemer's B.C. Golf Notes: GolfBC Championship set for Gallagher’s Canyon; Stouffer finishes inside top 30 at U.S. Senior Women’s Championship; Another senior moment for Rutledge; Durham qualifies for U.S. Mid-Am

Gallagher's Canyon GC Will Host This Week's GolfBC Championship - Image Courtesy Tourism Kelowna

By Brad Ziemer, British Columbia Golf

British Columbians Stuart Macdonald and Jared du Toit have some momentum on their side heading to this week’s GolfBC Championship at Gallagher’s Canyon in Kelowna on the PGA Tour Canada circuit.

Both players recorded top-25 finishes at last week’s CRMC Championship in Brainerd, Minn. Macdonald, a Vancouver native who spent this past year on the Korn Ferry Tour, tied for 16th at 17-under par, while Kimberley’s du Toit tied for 24th at 16-under.

The event was won by a familiar face at the GolfBC Championship. Californian Jake Knapp, who captured the 2019 GolfBC Championship at Gallagher’s, won the Minnesota event with a score of 26-under. That was two shots better than current Fortinet Cup points leader Wil Bateman of Edmonton.

Knapp, Bateman, du Toit and Macdonald will all be in the field at Gallagher’s for what is the last full-field event of the season. The top 60 players on the points list advance to next week’s Fortinet Cup Championship in Kitchener, Ont.

The GolfBC Championship will feature several other British Columbia players, including recent Vancouver Open winner Ilirian Zalli of Vancouver. Zalli received a sponsor’s exemption into the event along with Vernon junior Ryan Vest and amateur Justin Towill of Kelowna. The other sponsor’s exemption went to Jonathan Garratt, a native of Leicester, England who is director of instruction at Gallagher’s Canyon. 

Other British Columbians scheduled to play in the $200,000 event include James Allenby of Langley, Chris Crisologo of Richmond, Tristan Mandur of Duncan, Lawren Rowe of Squamish, Jeevan Sihota of Victoria and Riley Wheeldon of Comox. Eight players will be added to the field out of a qualifier scheduled for Aug. 29 at Okanagan Golf Club’s Bear Course in Kelowna.

AMAZING WEEK: Nanoose Bay’s Shelly Stouffer tied for 29th at the U.S. Senior Women’s Open in Kettering, Ohio. Stouffer finished the event at 18-over par, 21 shots behind winner Jill McGill of Dallas. Only four players in a field full of LPGA Tour legends finished under par at NCR Country Club’s South Course. 

“The week was simply amazing,” Stouffer said. “Every practice round was awesome. I played practice rounds with Helen Alfredsson, JoAnne Carner and Annika Sorenstam. Rallying to make the cut was great, playing the weekend was fabulous and having my sister (Sandra) on the bag was great as well.” Stouffer defends her Canadian Senior Women’s title this week at Breezy Bend Country Club in Headingly, Man.

AMATEUR HOUR: North Vancouver’s Taylor Durham has played his way into the U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship, which goes Sept. 10-15 at Erin Hills in Wisconsin. Durham fired a two-under 70 in a qualifier at North Bellingham Golf Course to earn a spot in the field. Durham recently won his second straight club championship at Marine Drive Golf Club and earlier this summer tied for 38th at the Canadian Amateur Championship at Point Grey Golf & Country Club.

CANADA SEVENTH: Canada tied for seventh at the World Amateur Team Championship in France. The Canadian team of Lauren Kim of Surrey, Brooke Rivers of Brampton, Ont., and Nicole Gal of Oakville, Ont., finished the 72-hole event at two-under par. That was 11 shots behind the winning team from Sweden, which earned the Espirito Santo Trophy. Rivers was the top Canadian, finishing tied for 10th in the individual competition, while Kim tied for 33rd and Gal tied for 64th. The men’s competition goes this week in France. Canada’s team includes A.J. Ewart of Coquitlam, Johnny Travale of Stoney Creek, Ont., and Garrett Rank of Elmira, Ont.

SENIOR MOMENT: Victoria’s Jim Rutledge celebrated his 63rd birthday by winning his seventh PGA of Canada Senior Championship at Connaught Golf Club in Medicine Hat, Alta. Rutledge closed with a six-under 66 to finish the 54-hole event at 16-under par. That was good for a four-shot win over former British Columbian Phil Jonas, who now lives in Saskatoon, and Scott Allred of Calgary. “My goal today was to get out of the gate quick and I managed to birdie one and two and six and seven, so that helped me get through the front nine,” Rutledge said.

“Overall, I’m very happy with the way I played.” Rutledge also took home the Super Senior title for the second straight year and earned a total of $8,000 for the two wins. “I drove the ball really, really well this week,” he said. “It’s a golf course that is fairly narrow and you can get into trouble, but I kept it in the middle and set myself up for a lot of birdies.”

PLAYOFF WIN: Cordova Bay’s Nate Ollis beat Bryn Parry of Seymour Creek Golf Centre on the third hole of a sudden-death playoff to win the PGA of BC Championship at Pitt Meadows Golf Club. Both players had finished the 36-hole event at four-under par. Ollis, who has dominated the Vancouver Island Pro Tour this season, earned $6,300 for the win. Parry, who was seeking his fifth PGA of BC Championship, earned $4,200 for his second-place finish. Nigel Sinnott of Cheam Mountain in Chilliwack missed the playoff by one shot and finished alone in third place.

LAST CHANCE: Merritt’s Roger Sloan needs a big finish at this week’s Korn Ferry Tour Championship in Newburgh, Ind., to salvage PGA TOUR playing privileges for the 2022-23 season. Sloan missed the cut at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Classic in Columbus, Ohio, the second of three Korn Ferry Tour Finals events. Sloan enters the Tour Championship tied for 44th on the Finals points list. He needs to move into the top 25 in order to earn one of 25 PGA TOUR cards being handed out. If Sloan fails to do that he will be forced to play next season on the Korn Ferry Tour. Ontario’s Michael Gligic finished fourth in Columbus and clinched his PGA TOUR card for next season.

CHIP SHOTS: Shaughnessy Golf & Country Club had a large contingent at last week’s CP Women’s Open at the Ottawa Hunt and Golf Club. General manager Brian Mossop and director of golf Ashley Zibrik were among those attending as Shaughnessy prepares to play host to the event Aug. 24-27 of next year. . .Courtenay’s John Robertson tied for 20th at the Canadian Men’s Mid-Amateur Championship, which was played last week at The Thornhill Club in Thornhill, Ont. Other British Columbians making the cut included Kamyar Yamini of Vancouver (T45), Billy Hole of Vancouver (T45), Brad Le Page of Abbotsford (T47) and Brandan Price of Vancouver (T58). Charles Fitzsimmons of London, Ont., won the event.