Winner Of Ledgeview Qualifier To Earn Spot In RBC Canadian Open Field

By Brad Ziemer, British Columbia Golf

Thanks in no small part to the work of Ledgeview Golf Club General Manager Brad Clapp, a spot in next month’s RBC Canadian Open field will be up for grabs at a regional qualifier at the Abbotsford course on May 12.

Golf Canada rules stipulate that a minimum of 120 players must compete in a regional qualifier in order for that coveted pass into the Canadian Open to be made available to the winner.

Clapp, a former winner on the PGA Tour Canada circuit, made it his personal mission to see that the Ledgeview field cracked that magic number. He is happy to report that nearly 140 players have now committed to play in the regional qualifier.

“We have been working pretty hard to get to that number,” Clapp says. “If we were stuck at 115 or 118, I had some backup guys ready to sign up. I was going to make sure we got to that 120 number.”

This will mark the first time in recent memory that the B.C. regional qualifier will provide the winner with an entry into the RBC Canadian Open, which goes June 8-11 at Oakdale Golf & Country Club in suburban Toronto.

Vernon’s Bryce Barker won last year’s regional qualifier at Meadow Gardens Golf Club in Pitt Meadows. But because the field only numbered 80-something, Barker only earned a spot into the Monday qualifier for the Canadian Open.

Barker will tee it up at the Ledgeview qualifier and is oozing with confidence after shooting a 14-under 58 last month at his home course, Vernon Golf Club. “It’s opened my eyes up to what is possible,” Barker said of that 58. “I really like Ledgeview, it’s tight and if you are a good driver of the ball it gives you lots of scoring chances.”

Ledgeview, which produced the likes of Nick Taylor, Adam Hadwin, James Lepp and Ray Stewart, has undergone some upgrades after work on the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion was completed on the course. “We have a couple of new lengthened tee boxes that we are going to put in play,” Clapp said.

“And we have just opened up our new greens after pipeline construction. No. 12, 15 and 18 are all brand new greens.”

image courtesy pga of bc

Ledgeview GM Brad Clapp Has Had Success Of His Own As A PGA of BC Professional

Ledgeview, which plays as a par-70, can yield some low scores. “I wouldn’t be surprised if someone has a good wedge and putting day and goes as low as seven or eight-under,” Clapp said. “But a lot depends on green speeds and weather. We see it each year when we have the Ledgeview Open or any Vancouver Golf Tour event.

"Three or four-under is a good score. I think anywhere in that five to six-under range is what I am predicting depending on how they (Golf Canada) set it up. And if we use all of our new back tees, it could be two or three-under.”

The Ledgeview qualifier is one of five regional qualifiers that Golf Canada will hold across the country. “Golf Canada is thrilled to see record numbers of amateurs and professionals attempting to qualify for the 2023 RBC Canadian Open,” said Mary Beth McKenna, Golf Canada’s director of amateur competitions.

“This year, we added a fifth regional qualifier and at least three regional sites will meet the threshold of 120 players, which will award the low medalist a direct exemption into the 2023 RBC Canadian Open.”

Clapp thinks the Ledgeview winner will likely be a player who knows the course well. “It is a course where local knowledge plays so much of a factor,” Clapp said.

“Because these greens are so sloped and because you get so many weird-angle lies, it is difficult for really good players to come in and learn these greens in one or two days and shoot six or seven-under. So I think it could be a local person that my members know, probably a member of the VGT or the PGA of BC.”

While the winner gets that coveted spot directly into the RBC Canadian Open, the top 15 per cent of the field will earn a spot in the tournament’s Monday qualifier.