Shelly Stouffer Just Keeps Winning
Nanoose Bay Resident Shelly Stouffer Captured Both The B.C. Women's Mid-Amateur & Mid-Master Championships At Sandpiper GC In Harrison Mills - All Images Credit Bryan Outram/BC Golf
By Brad Ziemer, British Columbia Golf
HARRISON MILLS — For those of us wondering what Shelly Stouffer was going to do for an encore, she provided an answer at Sandpiper Golf Course.
Apparently, the Nanoose Bay resident is going to just keep winning.
After a stellar 2022 campaign, Stouffer began her 2023 season by capturing both the B.C. Women’s Mid-Amateur and Mid-Master titles at the scenic Harrison Mills layout.
Stouffer stormed from behind and won her third Mid-Amateur title by two shots, although it really wasn’t that close. She tripled-bogeyed her final hole after thinning her 8-iron approach shot into the pond fronting the 18th green.
“I wish I had finished better, but a win is a win,” said Stouffer, who has done a lot of winning the past three or four years. Her incredible 2022 season was highlighted by capturing the U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur Championship in Alaska, where she became the first British Columbian to win a United States Golf Association title.
She also won her third straight B.C. Senior Women’s Championship, won the B.C. Mid-Master Championship, the PNGA Senior Women’s title and the Canadian Senior, Mid-Amateur and Mid-Master titles. She finished second at last year’s B.C. Mid-Am tourney at Talking Rock Golf Course in Chase, so Stouffer joked that 2023 is actually off to a better start than 2022.
Stouffer began the final round of the 54-hole event at Sandpiper three strokes behind second-round leader Tina Papatolis, a Canadian now living in Issaquah, Wash. “I knew I had some catching up to do, but I was all square after two holes,” said Stouffer, who began her round with a birdie on Sandpiper’s long par 5 first hole.
“I was solid for the first 17 holes. I came out and played really well. I had four birdies today. I hadn’t made any birdies, I had just the one eagle before today. I was solid and I was really happy with my game.” Stouffer knows improving upon last year’s results will be difficult, but is feeling no pressure as she tries to do just that.
“I feel like I am hitting the ball really well and my game feels pretty good,” she said. “I worked hard over the winter. I got more fit and that helps me. I’m keeping the ball in play. I am hitting a lot of fairways and I’m probably hitting the ball longer than I did last year. Generally, I like my iron play. Everything is pretty good.”
The Mid-Amateur tournament is open to players aged 25 and older, while the Mid-Master division is open to players aged 40 and older. Stouffer beat Chilliwack’s Emery Bardock by two shots to win the Mid-Amateur and had a three-stroke cushion over Papatolis in the Mid-Master competition.
BC's Provincial Women's Mid-Amateur Team L-R: Christina Spence Proteau, Emery Bardock & Shelly Stouffer
Stouffer closed with a three-over 75 to finish the event at 15-over par. She, like the rest of the field, struggled the first day when she uncharacteristically shot an 81. Other than that poor approach shot on 18 and a three-putt from three feet on Sandpiper’s tough par 4 11th hole, Stouffer played wonderfully on the final day at Sandpiper.
She followed up that three-putt with what she called her best shot of the day — a 9-iron to five feet on the par 3 12th hole. She made that putt for birdie and a little redemption. Stouffer joked that her sloppy finish was reminiscent of her finish at the 2019 Mid-Amateur she won at Ledgeview Golf Club in Abbotsford. “I remember four-putting the 18th green and winning that one,” she said with a smile.
The big-hitting Bardock claimed second place thanks to a strong finish to her round. She played the final nine holes in one-under par. “I got off to kind of a tough start today,” said Bardock, who plays collegiate golf for the University of the Fraser Valley and is finishing up her degree in physical geography. “I played a way better back nine, which was nice. Day one for me was pretty tough, but overall I was happy with the way I played.”
Stouffer, Bardock and Port Alberni’s Christina Spence Proteau, who finished fourth, will represent British Columbia at the Canadian Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship, which goes July 25-27 at Mad River Golf Club in Creemore, Ont.
Click HERE for complete final scoring.
CHIP SHOTS: Spence Proteau finished third in the Mid-Master division. . .Next year’s B.C. Mid-Amateur and Mid-Master championships are scheduled to be played at Golden Golf Club.