Vernon’s Ryan Vest finished second at the 2022 B.C. Junior Boy’s (U19) Golf Championships in Oliver, just one stroke behind the winner. (Black Press – file photo)

Vernon’s Ryan Vest finished second at the 2022 B.C. Junior Boy’s (U19) Golf Championships in Oliver, just one stroke behind the winner. (Black Press – file photo)

Vernon golfer captures silver medal at B.C. Junior finals

Ryan Vest led after 54 holes of the 72-hole provincials, but ended up one shot behind gold medalist

So close.

Agonizingly close.

Vernon’s Ryan Vest, who lists the Harvest Golf Club in Kelowna as his affiliation course, could not hold a 54-hole, three-stroke lead and settled for runner-up at the 2022 B.C. Junior Boys (U19) golf championship at Oliver’s Nk’Mip Canyon Desert Golf Course June 27 – July 1.

Vest was at 10-under-par 206 after the first three rounds, which included back-to-back 67s on Days 2 and 3, to go along with an opening-round even-par 72. He was three shots better than Vancouver’s Ryan Liang (70-71-68) and five ahead of eventual winner James Lee of Whistler, who had rounds of 70-70-71, heading into the final 18 holes.

But Vest shot 4-over 76 in the final round to end up at 6-under 282, while Lee carded a third round of 2-under 70 to finish one shot better than Vest at 7-under 281.

Coquitlam’s Ethan Posthumus was alive in the last round, shooting even-par 72 after coming off a 3-over 75 in Round 3 to finish third at 287. Liang ballooned to a 7-over 79 in the final round and finished fourth overall at even-par 288.

Caleb Davies of Langley had the low score of the final round, 5-under 67, matching Vest’s double 67s for the tourney’s low rounds.

Coldstream’s Braxton McDonald went 75-74-77-76 to finish at 302, +14, good for a tie for 20th spot. The top 61 golfers made the 36-hole cut.

Vernon’s Jaden Snitynsky missed the cut. He fired rounds of 86-81 to post a score of 167.

There was some consolation for Vest.

He and McDonald teamed to win the tournament’s Best Ball competition, finishing with a score of 266, one shot better than the teams of Liang and Freddy Sun of Vancouver, and Cooper Alexander and Matthew Wilson of Saanichton and Nanaimo, respectively.

Vest, Oakley Mayner of the Kelowna Golf Club and Kaleden’s Grady Lancaster from the Penticton Golf and Country Club, won the Zone competition with a two-round total score of 291. The Zone 2 trio was seven shots better than Zone 3, made up of golfers from Abbotsford, Surrey and Langley.

There were no entries from the North Okanagan in the B.C. Junior Girls championships held at the same time at Nk’Mip Canyon.

The event was won by Burnaby’s Luna Lu, who was one shot better than Amy Seung Hyun Lee of Langley.

Vest and McDonald are among the field entered for the 120th B.C. Men’s Amateur Championship, set for July 12-15 at Christina Lake Golf Course in Boundary Country.

Also taking part from the North Okanagan will be Jaden Steinke and Christopher Leitch of Vernon, and Kelowna’s Cooper Humphreys, who plays out of Vernon’s Predator Ridge. Humphreys finished tied for third at the 2019 B.C. Men’s Amateur at Pemberton. He is the reigning Canadian Juvenile Boys golf champ.

Snitynsky and Tanner Witt of Vernon are playing in a tournament qualifier Sunday, July 10, at Christina Lake.

• The Vernon Golf and Country Club duo of Adam Blair and Braeden Cooper finished in a five-way tie for 12th spot at the G&G Brands & Callaway Golf PGA of BC Pro-Assistant Championship at Crown Isle Resort & Golf Community in Courtenay.

Blair and Cooper had rounds of 73 and 63, as did Vernon’s Conner Kozak and partner Lee Ranger, former head pro at The Rise Golf Course in Vernon, both now playing out of The Okanagan Golf Club in Kelowna. The duos finished at 8-under-par.

The Chilliwack Golf Club team of Ryan Tofani and Zach Olson shot a final-round 61 in scramble play to win the tournament.

The Pro-Assistant Championship is a 36-hole tournament in which Club Professionals (Head, Executive and Head Teaching Professionals) team up with another PGA of BC Professional affiliated at the same facility to compete against their colleagues.

Brooks Jones and Bradlee Jones from the Vernon club finished at 2-under (75-67) and tied for 35th spot.

This story was updated Wednesday, July 6, at 10:30 a.m. to include the PGA of BC results

READ MORE: Vernon golfer cracks top dozen at B.C. Men’s Amateur Golf Championship

READ MORE: Okanagan golfer oh-so-close to pair of Canadian titles

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