Fairwinds Golf Course member Christos Vassilopoulous chips out of the sand trap at the B.C. Junior Boys and Girls Championships. — Michael Briones photo

Ko, Zhang win B.C. junior golf titles at Fairwinds

Nanoose Bay club showcases province’s top young competitors

For four days, Fairwinds Golf Club featured the future golfers of British Columbia.

The club hosted the B.C. Junior Boys and Girls Championships that brought together 147 young golfers — 115 boys and 32 girls — who played four rounds of challenging golf.

Fairwinds pro Ryner Wilson said any one of them could one day be in the upper echelons of golf.

“There’s been lots of famous golfers that have won the B.C. juniors,” said Wilson. “PGA golfer Adam Hadwin is from British Columbia and he has done well in this event before.”

It was 15-year-old Brycen Ko from Richmond who took home the boys championship trophy when he posted scores of 73-68-70-72 for a 283 total and finished at 1-under par. Four strokes behind was another Richmond resident, Michael Crisologo, with Jackson Rothwell of Victoria taking third place after beating Jackson Jacob of Langley in a sudden-death playoff.

The top three finishers will represent British Columbia in the inter-provincial team event at the Canadian Junior Boys Championship, which goes Aug. 12-15 in Hartland, N.B.

In the girls competition, 17-year-old Angela Zhang, who plays out of Shaughnessy Golf & Country Club, carded 73-81-73-71 for 298 with Cindy Koira of Victoria placing second and Erin Lee of Langley taking third place.

Fairwinds’ tight, demanding layout took its toll on many of the province’s top juniors this week, but Ko said he enjoyed the challenge and is proud of the fact he stayed patient and avoided many big mistakes. “Golf is fun and we are lucky to have this privilege to be playing and I am just really appreciative of that,” he said.

“It feels great to be a B.C. Junior champion. I am just happy that I was able to do the job and it feels great that all the hard work paid off.”

The top Parksville golfer was Gavyn Knight who regularly plays at Pheasant Glen Golf Resort. After opening with an 82, Knight bounced back in the next three rounds to card a 73-76-77 for 308, good enough for a share of 31st place.

He will take part in the 51st annual Eddie Hogan Cup tournament that is scheduled to start Friday, Aug. 9 at the Riverside Golf & Country Club in Portland, Ore.

British Columbia has been represented in this tournament every single year since its inception in 1969 and has won it twice in 2009 and 2013.

Gavyn was selected to the 2019 B.C. team that will go up against teams from across the United States.

He will join Daniel Bennett of Victoria Golf Club, Riley Lai of Marine Drive Golf Club and Luke Quanson of Northview Golf & Country Club.

The team was selected by a British Columbia Golf selection committee as part of a two-year development program in order to prepare for this year’s 51st edition of the Eddie Hogan Cup matches.

The team will be coached by Matt Cella from The Triactus Golf Academy in Richmond. This will be Matt’s first time as BC’s Hogan Cup Team leader and he feels his squad will be fully prepared for what’s coming up,

“We have a very well rounded team and preparations have already begun,” he said. “I’m very excited to be coaching the Eddie Hogan team this year as it’s the first time I have been to the event. I’m looking forward to the challenge that international competition brings and getting the team ready. It’s a very difficult course so the focus will be on course strategy and driving the ball in the fairway,” said Cella. — NEWS Staff, BC Golf

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