Three hours spent on the putting green after his opening round helped Vernon’s Ryan Vest figure out the lightning-fast greens at the Storey Creek Golf Course in Campbell River, home of the 119th B.C. Men’s Amateur Golf Championship July 13-16.
Vest, who turned 15 on July 16, shot rounds of 77, 71, 69 (second-lowest score of round) and 72 to finish with a four-round score of 1-over-par 289, good for a tie for 11th spot. The result qualifies Vest for the 116th Canadian Men’s Amateur Golf championship Aug. 1-5 at the Ambassador Golf Club in Windsor, Ont.
“My game was pretty good at the B.C.’s,” said Vest, a member at Predator Ridge Resort. “I drove the ball extremely well, hitting the fairway on every hole. And after the opening round, I went to the practice green for three hours. The greens on the course were so fast but I finally got them figured out.”
Vest is thrilled about heading east for the nationals.
“I’m pretty excited,” he said. “I’ll be working with my coach, Kyla (Predator Ridge pro Inaba) to make sure my game is pretty solid.”
Vest has been golfing in 2021 with an incredibly heavy heart. His father and one of his biggest fans, Jeff, passed away in January.
“It’s been hard,” said Vest, softly. “I’ve missed him being on the course, miss him every day. I want to play well for him.”
Kelowna native Cooper Humphreys, who lives at Predator Ridge and plays golf daily at the resort with Vest, finished in a tie for 23rd at 6-over 294. Humphreys, who tied for third in 2019 in Pemberton as a 14-year-old, had rounds of 77, 72, 73, and 72.
Lake Country’s Brandon Frechette was tied for 49th place with a 72-hole score of 301, 13-over-par. He was only one shot behind Vest at the halfway mark after opening with rounds of 73 and 76. But a third-round 80 dropped him down the field. Frenchette rebounded to shoot even-par 72 on the last day.
Victoria’s Ashton McCulloch was a two-shot winner (9-under) of the Amateur over Vancouver’s Patrick Weeks. B.C. Junior Boys champion Gavyn Knight of Parksville finished third at 6-under.
Three North Okanagan golfers missed the 36-hole cut score of 7-over 151.
Austin Armanini of Vernon, who is slated to compete next month with Vest at the Canadian Junior Boys championships in Quebec after a third-place result at the provincial tournament, shot rounds of 84 and 76 in Campbell River to finish at 160.
Coldstream’s Braxton McDonald shot 88-80-to end up at 168, and Vernon’s Brandon Chai finished with a 170 score after shooting 87-83 in the first two rounds.
• Vernon’s Kendra Jones-Munk finished fourth at a recent Maple Leaf Junior Golf Tour event in the 15-19 year old girl’s division. The tournament at the par-70 Ledgeview Golf and Country Club in Abbotsford was held July 12-13.
Jones-Munk shot rounds of 81 and 76 to finish at 157 for the 36 holes, eight shots behind the winner, June Hsiao of Coquitlam.
Lake Country’s Ethan Reiber was 11th in the Junior Boys division with rounds of 90 and 84 for a 174 total. Ryan You of Langley (70-74-144) edged Andrew Biggar of Abbotsford (76-69-145) by one shot to win the title.
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