THE 2009 BC AMATEUR
The most recent 'big' event at Duncan Meadows was the 2009 playing of the prestigious BC Amateur championship. Kelowna's Dan Brown started the final round 3 shots behind local golfer Brady Johnson but Dan took the Bostock Trophy with the superior final round, finishing the 72 hole event with an unprecedented 11 under par over the 6750 yard course
Story Reprinted From Inside Golf
The 108th BC Amateur is now in the books and Kelowna resident, Daniel Brown came from behind to take home the title.
The 26-year old originally from Creston, BC started the final round at Duncan Meadows golf course on Vancouver Island three shots back of third round leader Brady Johnson, a member of nearby Royal Colwood in Victoria.
Brown started his fourth round with a birdie on the first and then got up and down twice in the next three holes.
"Getting out of the gate with a birdie is always good and saving par on two and four gave me the confidence to know that my pitching was going to be good all day," Brown recalled after finishing.
He followed up with another tap-in birdie on the fifth and two more on #7 and #9 to move to 10-under.
This stirring opening nine would actually leave him two more shots behind Brady Johnson who had birdied three straight holes from #5 through #7 after eagling the first, moving him to a stunning 15-under par for the tournament.
Brady's Final Putt During His Second Round Course Record 65
Brady had already served notice earlier this year that he was a player to watch when he finished runner-up at the Victoria Canadian Tour stop held at the Uplands Golf Club.
He then followed this up by shooting a Duncan Meadows championship tee course record 65 during the second round.
Duncan Meadows has been termed a strong "technical" course by both Doug Roxburgh and PGA Tour player Frank Lickliter, where keeping your ball below the hole will generally lead to good scores.
Coming into the tournament, it was expected that the province's top players would be able to post a lot of red numbers over the par 72, 6750 yard layout.
The course was in top condition and some recent rain had made the greens quite receptive, at least during the early rounds.
But by the final day, a week of 25 plus degree Celcius weather was firming up both fairways and greens and like Augusta, this tournament does not really start until the back nine in the final round.
Holes #13, #14 and #15 are an 'Amen Corner' where the tournament cannot be easily won, but it can most certainly be lost.
After missing a short birdie putt on the par-five 12th, on the 450-yard par-four 13th, Johnson lost his tee shot right in a hazard and then after taking a drop on a fairly severe side slope put a second ball in a pond 30 yards further on. By the time he had putted out he had carded a triple-bogey seven.
A Triple Bogey 13th Derailed Brady Johnson's Chances For An Easy Victory
Brown had been witness to all this from the nearby par-three 14th green where he was making a three-putt bogey of his own.
But previous birdies at 12 and 13 had moved him to minus-eleven and meant that Johnson's lead was now only a slim two strokes.
After missing makable birdie putts at both #15 and #17, Brown would find himself behind a tree 115 yards from the green on Duncan Meadows' par-four, 400-yard finishing hole.
He talked about the shot after the round.
"I was behind this tree in heavy rough and needed to keep the ball underneath the branches while using enough loft to make sure I did not run through the green."
He then hit a great running shot that made it to the fringe above and to the right of the hole leaving a very tricky 10-yard shot that would have to be played along a ridge before being allowed to feed down.
Using his putter he was able to get the ball to within five-feet leaving a downhill slider that he would calmly drain to shoot a five-under 67.
Still the tournament was Johnson's to win and after pars on both #15 and #16, he played the par-three 16th.
"The pin was 189 yards and back left and I wanted to leave the ball five, eight yards short," he said after the round.
"I hit a six-iron and the wind died and I guess the adrenaline was going."
The shot went long left down a step slope into bush and two chips and two putts later, he was now a stroke behind Brown with two to play.
Johnson's fellow competitors in the final group, defending champion Eugene Wong and Scott Kral were not doing any better.
Kral who was the leader through the second round after opening with rounds of 67 and 68, had stumbled in the third round shooting 74 and in the final round was already three-over for the day.
Wong was never able to get things going in the final round and a lost ball on the 16th was the final nail in his coffin.
Eugene Wong Was Never Able To Get His Putter Going
Said Wong, who finished with a 1-over 73, "I played steady golf all week but today I just couldn’t get my putter going."
On the par-five 17th, Johnson hit back-to-back utility woods and found himself in a greenside bunker.
He hit a strong sand shot to inside ten feet but the putt took a small bump and his birdie attempt lipped out high side.
On the 18th, ironically, Brady found himself behind the same tree as Brown had been minutes before just a few yards further back.
"The branches were in my way and I chose a more lofted club and hit it as hard as I could," Brady said.
To a pin that was only six steps from the front edge, he was able to get the ball on the green and below the hole leaving a 15-footer to get into a playoff.
The putt just lipped out again high side and Daniel Brown was the 2009 BC Amateur Champion.
"I really felt that I could make it but in all honesty, I pulled it a bit," Johnson said. "I would have liked to seal the deal here but I had two bad holes. Until the 13th hole, my game was in cruise control. I was making solid contact and putting well."
Daniel Brown's Name Will Be Added To The Bostock Cup
In an interview afterward, Brown, who is the Pro Shop manager at the Kelowna Golf Town talked about his preparation for the tournament.
"I don't have the time to play golf so I play rounds on the range. I play courses hole-by-hole. I spend about an hour and a half each day practicing after work."
With three sons, one a four year-old and the other two, eighteen month-old twins, it is understandable that he has not played many rounds this year.
"I have played about forty rounds and thirty of those have been in tournaments." Brown did come into the tournament on a high. Last week, he won the Ogopogo tournament.
Asked about his win there, he said, “I’ve always been a good ball striker. You can’t play without confidence and winning the Ogopogo has really given me a boost.... It was great to play at a level I know I’m capable of. It’s hard to put together four good rounds but I knew I had it in me.”
He credits his strong iron play to his swing coach, Randy Panton, the head professional at the Creston Golf Club where he played growing up and holds the course record of 60.
"Randy has known me since I was a baby. I owe a lot to him. I can't say enough about how much he has helped me in my development."
Now he and Brady will represent B.C. on the Willingdon Cup team that will compete in the Canadian Men’s Amateur at Club de golf Le Blainvillier in Blainville, QC, August 9-13.
They will be joined by the world's No. 1-ranked amateur player, Nick Taylor, who was already selected, having received an exemption to play in the U.S. Public Links Championship where he was runner-up in one of golf's top amateur tournaments.
For the fourth position, there was a sudden victory play-off between Eugene Wong and Kevin Carrigan who had posted a final round 66 that included seven birdies and an eagle.
After playing the 18th hole three time and the 17th twice, Wong eventually emerged as the player who would join Taylor, Brown and Johnson.
Kevin Carrigan Missed A Spot On The Willingdon Cup Squad Via A Playoff Loss
This is the second time Carrigan has shot the low score in the final round only to lose a spot on the Willingdon Cup team in a playoff.
Two years ago, Carrigan set the course record at Morningstar in Parksville during the final round with a 61 and then lost a two-hole playoff to Jay Snider.
“In both playoffs, I felt that I was outplayed," said Carrigan. “I wasn’t in contention all week so it was a confidence builder that I could have a final round like that."
Course owner Ming Hui was very happy with the way the tournament went.
"The course was in terrific shape and we’ve done enough events to show that our facility is very capable of hosting these championships," said Hui. "We’ve proven to the national golf scene, we have a pretty good reputation."
Duncan Meadows will be hosting its next major event in a couple of years.
In 2010, Duncan Meadows will host its third RCGA national championship when the top female golfers come to compete in the Canadian Women’s Amateur Championship.
Chip Shots: Crown Isle's Riley Wheeldon was hoping to follow in the footsteps of his close friend Eugene Wong.
Riley Wheeldon Tried To Double Up His Victory At The B.C. Juniors And For The First Two Rounds It Looked Like He Might Have A Shot
Wong accomplished the rare feat of winning both the junior and amateur men's championships in the same year in 2008. Riley was able to post sub par scores during the first two rounds but faltered down the stretch.
Competition for the zone team championship and club team championship is on day one and two of the Championship only.
Four-person zone teams are named by each zone prior to the start of the tournament. The zone team competition uses the low 3 of 4 scores each day.
Two-person club teams are selected after the first round by taking the two players with the lowest score from each club with two or more competitors.
From Zone 5, Bryan Toth of Gorge Vale Golf Club, Craig Doell of Victoria Golf Club, Scott Kral of Cowichan Golf & Country Club and Ben Griffin of Uplands Golf Club claimed the Zone Team competition at 10-under 422.
The Club Team competition was claimed by Gorge Vale Golf Club team of Bryan Toth and Jarred Callbeck based on a better back nine on the second day.
For the real time leaderboard, the club had to make hand-made signs when players went into double digits under par. Owner Ming Hui said, "We never had an event where we needed them before."