Ziemer's B.C. Golf Notes: Tower Ranch sold to Vernon-based company; Hadwin enjoys another successful visit to desert; Lauren Kim fifth at Annika Invitational; Osland hot on Cactus Tour

Tower Ranch GC - Image Courtesy BCGMA

By Brad Ziemer, British Columbia Golf

Vernon businessman Gurjit Jhajj’s timing could not have been much better when he got into the golf business by purchasing Sunset Ranch in Kelowna about five years ago.

The ensuing COVID-19 pandemic gave golf a boost and brought new players to the game. Sunset Ranch, like most other courses, has benefitted.

That got Jhajj, owner of Durali Properties Ltd., thinking about adding a second course to his company’s portfolio. He did not have to look much farther than just down the road.

Jhajj ended up buying Tower Ranch Golf Course, which is only a few kilometres from Sunset Ranch.

Durali Properties, a family-owned business with holdings that include fast food franchises, hotels and real estate, completed the purchase of Tower Ranch earlier this month from the Edmonton-based Carrington Group of Companies. Terms of the sale were not disclosed.

Asked in an interview with British Columbia Golf why he decided to buy Tower Ranch, a highly regarded Tom McBroom layout, Jhajj chuckled said: “For the love of the neighbour.”

Jhajj said his company has been looking to expand its recreational holdings. “We have enjoyed having Sunset Ranch the last four or five years and for the last couple of years the golf industry has been elevated and hopefully it stays like that,” he said. “They have a great staff at Tower Ranch, it is a well-run facility and we were looking to expand our portfolio on the recreational side of things.”

Tower Ranch, which opened in 2008, was 59th in ScoreGolf’s most recent ranking of the top 100 courses in Canada.

TOP-20 FINISH: Another year, another nice finish in the American Express tournament in the southern California desert for Adam Hadwin. The Abbotsford product tied for 18th after closing with a five-under 67 that left him at 20-under par, seven shots back of winner Jon Rahm. Hadwin earned $110,000 and is now 51st in the FedEx Cup points race.

This was the latest in the long list of great results for Hadwin at The American Express event. He has not missed a cut in eight starts and has four finishes inside the top six, including a solo second in 2017 when he shot 59 in the third round and a tie for second in 2019.

Hadwin and Surrey’s Adam Svensson are both in the field for this week’s Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, Calif., where Luke List is the defending champion. Last year, Svensson finished 79th at Torrey Pines and Hadwin missed the cut. Taylor, who tied for 30th at Torrey Pines last year, is taking the week off.

TOUR OPENER: Merritt’s Roger Sloan tied for 31st at the The Bahamas Great Exuma Classic, the season-opening event on the Korn Ferry Tour. Sloan closed with a three-under 69 to finish at four-under par. That was 10 shots behind winner Chandler Phillips of Huntsville, Tex. Sloan earned $6,350. Edmonton’s Wil Bateman, who won the PGA Tour Canada Order of Merit last year, tied for fourth. The Korn Ferry Tour remains in the Bahamas this week for the Great Abaco Classic.

THE NOMINEES ARE: The finalists have been announced for Sport BC’s 55th annual Athlete of the Years Awards and British Columbia golfers are well represented. Surrey’s Lauren Kim and Cooper Humphreys of Vernon are finalists in the Junior Female and Junior Male Athlete of the Year categories. Shelly Stouffer of Nanoose Bay is a Master Athlete of the Year finalist.

UBC’s women’s golf team is a finalist for Team of the Year. UBC men’s and women’s golf coach Chris Macdonald, who also coached B.C. to a gold medal sweep at the Canada Summer Games, is a finalist for Coach of the Year. Winners will be announced March 9 at an awards ceremony held at the Vancouver Convention Centre.

NICE FINISH: Surrey’s Lauren Kim closed with a six-under 67 and finished fifth at the American Junior Golf Association’s Annika Invitational at Eagle Creek Golf Club in Orlando. Kim’s 54-hole total of 10-under par left her five shots behind winner Ashleen Kaur of Cypress, Tex. The tournament featured top junior players from across North America. Vancouver’s Michelle Lui finished 11th at seven-under par, while Vanessa Zhang of Vancouver tied for 19th at four-under.

MONDAY, MONDAY: Point Grey Golf & Country Club will play host to this summer’s CP Women’s Open Monday qualifier. That 18-hole qualifier is scheduled for Aug. 21 and the top four finishers will gain entry into the CP Women’s Open, which is being held Aug. 24-27 just down Southwest Marine Drive at Shaughnessy Golf & Country Club. At last year’s Monday qualifier prior to the CP Women’s Open at Ottawa’s Hunt Club, three Vancouver players — Michelle Liu, Vanessa Zhang and Lucy Lin — earned spots into the tournament.

FAST START: Kelowna’s Megan Osland has had a couple of nice weeks on the Cactus Tour in Arizona. Osland won the tour’s season-opener earlier this month at Riverview Golf Club in Sun City, where she finished the 54-hole event at six-under par for a seven-shot victory. She followed that up last week with a second-place finish in an event at Sun City Country Club. She leads the Cactus Tour money list through its first two events of the new season.