Stead relishes Q-School experience

GOLF: Vernon golfer misses getting 2017 Mackenzie Tour status

Brady Stead

Brady Stead calls his 72 holes at the Mackenzie Tour PGA Tour Canada’s Canada Q-School “a very good experience in that I learned a lot from it.”

Stead, from Vernon, finished tied for 50th with a 3-over 291 total at the Crown Isle Resort and Golf Community in Comox.

The top-40 and ties earned him 2017 Mackenzie Tour status. Stead had been tied for 19th in the field of 118, sitting at 3-under. He finished with rounds of 76-74.

“I tried to take as much in as possible,” said Stead, a Camosun College Cougar (Victoria) graduate who is working as a teaching golf pro at the Royal Colwood Golf Club outside the provincial capital.

“I was in a great position after two rounds (one shot out of guaranteed status, which goes to top-15), so I proved to myself that one day I can compete and make cuts on the Mackenzie Tour.”

Stead struggled coming in on the final two days but said he hit a lot of great shots and battled to the very end. His good friend, Tyler Robertson, caddied and helped keep Stead’s spirits high all week.

“We dug deep and gave ourselves a chance, but sometimes it just doesn’t work out,” said Stead. “I am proud of the way I handled the final two rounds even though it wasn’t going my way.”

Stead plans to keep working, hopefully playing full-time on the Vancouver Golf Tour and the Bayview Vikes Performance Tour, and will keep working with coach Mac McLeod on improving. He is also going to try to qualify into local Mackenzie Tour events in Victoria, Vancouver and Kelowna.

“I’m learning, as a playing professional, there’s inevitably going to be up and downs,” said Stead. “Before Q school, I got into a playoff at the VGT Pagoda Ridge Classic (lost on third playoff hole to John Mlikotic). I’m going to keep plugging away and trust that my time will come.”

Stead competed Tuesday in the Regional Canadian Open qualifier at Bear Mountain in Victoria.

Meanwhile, Brandon Chai of Vernon was sixth in the Juvenile Boys category at the Maple Leaf Junior Tour’s Lindsay Kenney Classic at the Pagoda Golf Course in Langley.

Chai carded a 79 Sunday after shooting 76 Saturday, for a 155 total. Vernon’s Braeden Cooper was seventh in the field of 20 at 83-76-159. Michael Crisologo of Richmond won the flight at 74-69-143.