Ziemer's B.C. Golf Notes: Davison goes back to (Q) school; Hadwin looking for more good Vegas vibes; Taylor buoyed by Tour’s COVID response; Wong wins PGA of BC women’s title
BC's Callum Davison Is Headed Across The Pond To Attend The PGA EuroPro Tour Q-School - Image Credit: Jurgen Kaminski (JKam Photos)/BC Golf
By Brad Ziemer, British Columbia Golf
Duncan’s Callum Davison has headed to England to try and earn a spot on the PGA EuroPro Tour. The 20-year-old Davison, a former B.C. Bantam Boys champion, will tee it up Tuesday and Wednesday at a first-stage Q-school site at Donnington Grove Golf Club in Newbury, England, about 80 kilometres west of London.
He hopes to advance to the final stage of Q-school which goes next week in Oxford, England. “It’s a tour I played on when I was 18,” Davison says. “With COVID I just want to make sure I have somewhere to play full-time next year. I’d rather play on the Mackenzie Tour but the way I look at it, if you don’t have a full schedule you don’t have a chance to go anywhere.”
The PGA EuroPro Tour is Europe’s leading developmental tour and offers its top five players status on the European Tour’s Challenge Tour at season’s end. The tour has 14 regular events scheduled for 2021 throughout England, Scotland and Ireland, with each offering first-place money of 12,500 British pounds (about $21,400 Cdn). The winner of the season-ending Tour Championship receives 25,000 pounds (about $43,000 Cdn).
Davison played on the tour in 2018 with limited success, but thinks his game is now in much better shape. He recently earned a couple of starts on the 2021 Mackenzie Tour thanks to his strong play in the four-event Canada Life Series.
Davison says he has no regrets about forgoing collegiate golf opportunities and turning pro right out of high school. “At the start I thought a bit about missing that college experience, but golf-wise this has been best for my golf,” says Davison, whose older brother Cameron played collegiate golf at Pepperdine in southern California.
“This is what I want to do for a living. I hope to one day play on the PGA TOUR and make a living at this. At worst, I can always go back to university or find something else that I don’t need a college degree for. At the end of the day this seemed best for my golf game.
“I have been fortunate enough to play with some guys who have been on the European Tour and they give you some wisdom. You just learn. I have learned a lot more in the last two years than I did in all of junior golf or amateur golf.”
Adam Hadwin (L) And Nick Taylor Are Both In The Field This Week At The Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in Las Vegas - Image Courtesy Golf Canada
VEGAS BABY: Abbotsford’s Adam Hadwin returns from a two-week break to play in this week’s Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in Las Vegas. It’s an event where Hadwin has two previous top-10 finishes, including a tie for fourth at last year’s tourney. Fellow Abbotsford native Nick Taylor is also in the Las Vegas field. Taylor missed the cut at last week’s Sanderson Farms Championship, where Merritt’s Roger Sloan tied for 32nd and earned $39,380.
WELL DONE: Taylor thinks the PGA TOUR deserves considerable credit for its handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. “I have been very pleasantly surprised with the amount of cases,” Taylor says. “Our bubble is very different than other sports. We’re tested regularly, but people are in and out of that bubble every week. . .There are more risk factors than other sports. It has been incredible how few positive cases there have been. That’s a good thing and obviously everyone is taking it seriously.”
When the Tour restarted this summer after a lengthy break, Taylor had his doubts that things would go this smoothly. “Before I even went out to restart after the break, the Travelers (Championship) had a handful of cases and it looked like it could be the beginning of the end. But there was a five- or six-week stretch there where there wasn’t one positive case. That’s amazing.” Taylor, his wife Andie and their infant son Charlie recently returned to their Phoenix-area home after spending much of the spring and summer in Abbotsford.
LAST CALL: Sadly, it is that time of year when many British Columbia golf courses are winding down their seasons. The three Whistler courses -- Whistler Golf Club, Nicklaus North and Chateau Whistler -- all close after play on Oct. 11. Big Sky in Pemberton also ends its season on Oct. 11.
Some Kootenay area courses have already closed for the season. Trickle Creek in Kimberley closed after play on Oct. 2, while Greywolf in Invermere shut down on Sept. 27. St. Eugene Mission in Cranbrook closes on Oct. 12. In the Kelowna area, the Okanagan Golf Club closes on Oct. 25 while Gallagher’s Canyon has set Oct. 31 as its last day. The last day of public play at Predator Ridge in Vernon is Oct. 12.
PGA of BC Women's Champion Christine Wong - Image Courtesy PGA of BC Facebook
WONG WINS: Christine Wong of University Golf Club won the PGA of BC Women’s Championship played at Richmond Country Club. Wong had six birdies and no bogeys to collect 42 par points in the final round of the 36-hole competition played in the Stableford scoring format. Wong finished with 80 points, 10 clear of runner-up Kyla Inaba of Predator Ridge Golf Resort. Salimah Mussani of Riverway Golf Course, the 2019 champion, finished third with 69 points. Wong earned $1,000 for the win.
CHIP SHOTS: Riley Wheeldon of Comox finished second at an Outlaw Tour event played at Southern Dunes Golf Course in Maricopa, Ariz. Wheeldon completed the 54-hole event at 14-under par, two shots behind winner Charlie Beljan of Mesa, Ariz. . .Surrey’s Adam Svensson and Stuart Macdonald of Vancouver both missed the cut at the Korn Ferry Tour’s Savannah Golf Championship. They’re both in the field for this week’s season-ending Orange County National Championship in Orlando.