B.C. Golf Notes: Du Toit To Make His Pro Debut In Victoria; Wong Finds Place To Play In China

BC's Jared du Toit Debuts As A Professional This Week At Uplands GC In Victoria In The Mackenzie Tour/PGA Tour Canada's Bayview Place Cardtronics Open - Image Courtesy Golf Canada

By Brad Ziemer, British Columbia Golf

Kimberley’s Jared du Toit will make his pro debut at this week’s Bayview Place Cardtronics Open at Uplands Golf Club in Victoria and that sounds very familiar to Max Rottluff, du Toit’s former Arizona State University teammate.

“That’s is where I made my pro debut last year,” Rottluff said after his round Sunday at the Freedom 55 Financial Open at Point Grey Golf & Country Club in Vancouver. Rottluff, who hails from Dusseldorf, Germany, thinks du Toit will do just fine on the Mackenzie Tour-PGA Tour Canada circuit.

“Obviously he has shown his game is ready,” Rottluff said of du Toit, the 2015 B.C. Amateur champion. “He has the game, so I'm not too worried. Can he do it in his first event? Hopefully, but I wouldn’t be too worried. I am sure he will do just fine.”

Rottluff, who hopes to spend some time with du Toit this week in Victoria, said he would advise him not to worry too much about the cut. “In college golf you always play without a cut, so that is definitely a mental challenge there,” he said. “But he played well in the Canadian Open last year. He is going to do just fine.”

Rottluff missed his first two cuts of the season last year in Victoria and Kelowna and then won in his third start at the SIGA Dakota Dunes Open in Saskatoon. He went on to finish eighth on the money list in his rookie season on the Mackenzie Tour.

BACK TO CHINA: North Vancouver’s Eugene Wong, another former B.C. Amateur champion, has found a place to play. With the PGA Tour China series in limbo, Wong was more than a little concerned about his 2017 schedule. But he received word from the China Golf Association that it would be running a Chinese pro tour without the PGA TOUR’s involvement.

Wong has travelled to Guangzhou to play in this week’s first event. He has been assured others will follow, but has not yet seen a full schedule. “They say they will have 12 events,” Wong said. “So far we only know of one.”

Wong said he has been told that he will have exempt status on the new China tour as a result of having won on the PGA Tour China circuit in 2015.

VICTORIA RULES: Victoria Golf Club head professional Lindsay Bernakevitch and club champion Craig Doell combined to post a nine-under 62 at Nicklaus North Golf Club in Whistler and win the PGA of BC Tournament of Champions event.

Bernakevitch and Doell eagled both of the par 5s on the front nine at Nicklaus North en route to earning Victoria Golf Club its third win at the event. The Victoria duo edged Fairview Mountain head pro Brian McDonald and club champion Lance Johnston by one shot. The host team from Nicklaus North -- head pro Andrew Smart and club champion Nick Papoutsis -- finished two shots back in third place.

NICE RUN: Delta’s Amanda Minni and partner Ellie Slama of Salem, Ore., made it to the Round of 32 before being eliminated at the U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball Championship in Myrtle Beach, S.C. Minni and Slama will be teammates as incoming freshmen this fall at Oregon State University.

GATES SHUT: The future looks bleak for Point Roberts Golf Course, which has been closed all year and is not being maintained. Owner Kenje Nose had said earlier this year that he had lined up new investors for the course and it would re-open in May. But the gates to the course remain locked, the greens and fairways have not been cut and the bunkers are overgrown.

The course, popular with Metro Vancouver players, has struggled in recent years. At one point last year the course had its water cut off because of unpaid taxes.

CHIP SHOTS: Langley’s Adam Cornelson will be defending his title at this week’s Bayview Place Cardtronics Open. Last year in Victoria, three other British Columbians finished inside the top 10. West Vancouver’s Seann Harlingten finished fourth, Thomas Hay of Langley tied for sixth and Chilliwack’s Brad Clapp tied for ninth. . .Victoria’s Nolan Thoroughgood, who won last year’s B.C. Amateur Championship as a 15-year-old, has a spot in the field this week at Uplands. . .Vancouver’s Oliver Tubb fired a four-under 68 at Richmond Country Club to win the Vancouver Golf Tour’s First Tee Million Dollar Challenge Pro-Am. Tubb earned $1,600 for the win. Brad Clapp finished second after shooting a two-under 70.