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

B.C.’s top junior golfers shine at Fairwinds

More than 140 competing for provincial honours

Fairwinds Golf Club is currently hosting the B.C. Junior Boys Championship.

The provincial competition has 147 of the top junior players from across B.C., including golfers from Parksville Qualicum Beach that competed in the four-day event.

Brycen Ko from Richmond leads the pack as he shot a tournament-low 3-under par 68 to grab the lead. The 15-year-old from Richmond stands at 1-under par and has a one-shot lead on Fort Langley’s Jackson Jacob.

“After my round yesterday, I came into today just thinking put yourself in a good spot,” Ko said. “And I think I accomplished that. I just think I have to be patient. My main focus was just to hit fairways and greens. It is that kind of golf course where positioning is important.”

Ko had five birdies and just two bogeys in his round. Fairwinds’ tight, 6,200-yard layout has confounded the players. It demands accuracy off most tees and trouble seems to be lurking everywhere.

“The main thing my coach and I discussed was to hit fairways, to be in a good position and give yourself a chance for birdie,” said Ko, who just finished Grade 10 at Richmond Christian School. “I feel like if you are too aggressive this course can punish you.”

Jacob, who had the first-round lead, was happy to escape with his 1-over 72 on Wednesday. “That was probably the best 72 I have ever shot,” Jacob said. “I did not hit the ball very well today and it was a very long day. Our group was searching for balls on almost every hole. I am happy to get out with a 72. Definitely the course was showing its teeth today.”

Parksville golfer Gavyn Knight, a member of Pheasant Glen Golf Course, bounced back from an 82 opening on Tuesday to score 73 and 76 in the next two days and currently shares 31st place.

Richmond’s Michael Crisologo, last year’s runner-up, is in third place at 3-over after his 72 Wednesday. Defending champion Ilirian Zalli of Burnaby is tied for fifth place at 5-over after shooting a 1-over 72 on Wednesday. The field was cut to the top 55 and ties after Wednesday’s round. The cut fell at 17-over par.

The tournament also includes a two-man best-ball competition. The Kelowna team of Matt Hopley and Justin Towill lead with a two-round score of 12-under. The team of Crisologo and Dylan Bercan of Vancouver are one shot back in second place.

A 36-hole zone championship concluded Wednesday with Zone 4, representing Delta, Greater Vancouver, Squamish and the Sunshine Coast, prevailing with a score of eight-over.

The top three players after Friday’s final round 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.

Play continues today with the finals set for Friday.

To follow the progress of the players, go to https://golfcanada.bluegolf.com/bluegolf/rcga19/event/rcga19229/contest/4/leaderboard.htm

— NEWS Staff, with files from Brad Ziemer (BCGA)

Michael.Briones@pqbnews.com

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