B.C. Amateur Notes: Morgan Creek A Respite For Williams Lake Duo; Thoroughgood Commits To Oregon State

13-Time B.C. Amateur Champion Doug Roxburgh (L) And 2016 Champion Nolan Thoroughgood (R) Both Made Some News At Morgan Creek In The Opening Round Of The 115th BC Amateur - Images Credit Jurgen Kaminski (JKam Photos)/BC Golf

By Brad Ziemer, British Columbia Golf

Morgan Day and Mark Berg will tell you that spending some time at Morgan Creek Golf Course beats hanging out at the evacuation centre in Kamloops. Day and Berg both work at Williams Lake Golf Course and were among thousands of area residents who had to leave town because of forest fires that are threatening the area.

Day works in the pro shop and Berg is the course superintendent. “It has been an interesting last 10 days or so,” Day said. “We got the official evacuation order on Saturday and made the commute to Kamloops which normally takes three hours and it took around eight hours. It has been pretty surreal to be honest.”

Day is playing in the B.C. Amateur Championship and Berg is caddying for his friend. Day said there was no way he was going to miss the tournament. “As long as the highway was open to get down here we were coming for sure,” Day said. “It’s nice to get down here into some cleaner air.”

Day wasn’t happy with his 11-over 83 on Tuesday, but what his home town is going through helps put bogeys in perspective. “As far as I know the town is still okay, but there are a couple fires pretty close to town,” he said.

SOON TO BE A BEAVER: Victoria’s Nolan Thoroughgood, who at age 15 last summer became the youngest winner in the history of the B.C. Amateur Championship, has verbally committed to Oregon State University. Thoroughgood, who is heading into Grade 12, will join fellow Victoria resident Keaton Gudz at Oregon State. Gudz, the 2014 B.C. Junior champion, starts his freshman year at Oregon State next month. Thoroughgood had a tough opening round on Tuesday. He hit only four fairways and fired a four-over 76.

NEW CADDIE: Kimberley’s Jared du Toit will have a new caddie on his bag for this week’s Mackenzie Tour-PGA Tour Canada event in Mirabel, Que. That’s because his younger brother, Russell, is playing in the B.C. Amateur. Russell had looped for his brother in Jared’s first three events on the Mackenzie Tour.

He will back on Jared’s bag for next week’s RBC Canadian Open at Glen Abbey Golf Course in Oakville, Ont.Russell fired a five-over 77 in Tuesday’s first round at Morgan Creek. “I doubled my first hole and my last hole,” he said after his round. Du Toit’s dad, Mike, is caddying for Russell this week at Morgan Creek.

SOLID START: Sixty-five-year-old Doug Roxburgh joked before his round Tuesday that Morgan Creek was a par 77 for him. So the 13-time B.C. Amateur winner figured his even-par 72 was a five-under round. Roxburgh, who is playing in his 51st B.C. Amateur, was pleased with his opening round.

“For sure, I salvaged a decent score,” he said. “I doubled 15. I tried to hit a shot out of a divot and ended up in the hazard. Then I hit a nice 6-iron and made about a 10-footer on 16. I barely cleared the water and got up and down for a birdie on 17 and then made one here on 18 for par that should never have gone in.”