Ziemer's B.C. Golf Notes: Matthew Wilson wins NextGen Pacific title; Scutt new head pro at Royal Colwood; Redwoods to reopen this week; Mission Golf Club to host senior men’s tourney; UBC sweeps Cascade Collegiate Conference Championships

Matthew Wilson File Photo - Image Credit Chuck Russell/Golf Canada

By Brad Ziemer, British Columbia Golf

Matthew Wilson wants to end his junior golf career on a high note and the Nanaimo native is off to a terrific start. Wilson kick-started his final round with a pair of chip-in eagles on his front nine at Summerland Golf Club and won the NextGen Pacific Championship by one shot over Joshua Ince of Surrey.

“I have put in a lot of work this off-season and one of the things I really wanted to do, especially with this being my last year of junior golf, is get my game in a good spot to win a lot of golf tournaments,” Wilson said.

The Nanaimo Golf Club member began the final round of the 54-hole event two shots behind Ince. Those two eagles were followed up by three straight birdies to begin his back nine and put Wilson comfortably in front.

But Wilson had to weather some adversity when he double-bogeyed his 14th and 15 holes. “It’s hard to keep a good round going like that,” Wilson said.

“Those doubles just happened. I didn’t hit any really bad shots. It just kind of caught me off guard and after my second double, I knew I had three holes left and kept going. I just stuck to my process and didn’t get mad. I know a lot of people who would just get mad in that situation and probably lose it.

"I have worked a lot on my mental game the past couple of years because it is definitely one of the biggest parts of the game, especially when you are in the final group in the final round.”

Wilson fired a final round 67 to finish the event at eight-under par. It’s the second NextGen win for Wilson, the 2021 B.C. Juvenile Boys champion who also won the NextGen Fall Championship in 2022. His solid play the last three years has earned Wilson a scholarship to play collegiate golf at Weber State, a NCAA Division I school in Ogden, Utah, beginning this fall.

Before heading south, Wilson will play in the B.C. Junior Boys Championship at Gallagher’s Canyon in Kelowna and the Canadian Junior Boys Championship in Innisfail, Alta.

WALK IN THE PARK: Reigning Canadian Junior Girls champion Eileen Park of Red Deer, Alta., went wire-to-wire to win the NextGen junior girls title in Summerland. Park finished the tournament at three-under par, nine shots clear of Elisa Wu of Vancouver and Jenny Guo of West Vancouver.

NEW COLWOOD PRO: A former B.C. Amateur and B.C. Junior Boys champion with deep Victoria golfing roots is the new head professional at Royal Colwood Golf Club. Gordy Scutt certainly paid his dues before accepting the Colwood job this spring. The life-long Victoria resident played collegiate golf at the University of Washington from 1998 through 2002. He played on the Canadian Tour for five years before beginning his golf industry apprenticeship at a Victoria Golf Town location.

He went on to spend nine years as an assistant pro at Olympic View and another four at Victoria Golf Club before being appointed head pro at Colwood. The now 44-year-old grew up on the fairways of Cedar Hill Golf Course in Victoria. “It is obviously pretty exciting,” Scutt says. “It’s a great golf course, a great club with lots of great history. It’s awesome.” Scutt won the 1997 B.C. Junior Boys Championship at Beach Grove Golf Club in Tsawwassen and captured the 2000 B.C. Amateur Championship at Prince George Golf & Curling Club.

Scutt credits his time at Victoria Golf Club working under head professional Lindsay Bernakevitch with helping prepare him for the Colwood job. “Lindsay was great,” Scutt said. “He’s an amazing everything — person, player, boss. He was very instrumental in helping me get to where I am today.”

NEW SENIOR TOURNEY: The inaugural Mission Senior Men’s Amateur will be played July 4-5 (a Thursday and Friday) at Mission Golf Club. The event is open to all players aged 55 and older with a Golf Canada handicap. Longtime Mission member Greg Bismeyer, a past B.C. Mid-Master champion, is serving as tournament organizer. He hopes the Mission event will complement popular senior men’s tournaments held annually at Rivershore Golf Links in Kamloops and Kelowna Golf Club.

“The Rivershore and Kelowna tournaments are well attended, always sell out and are a lot of fun,” Bismeyer said. “We decided to start a two-day stroke play tournament in Mission. We are hoping everyone in the Lower Mainland looking to get out and play a good competitive tournament on a good track will be interested and come out and play.” The entry fee is $210, which includes two tournament rounds, lunch the first day and a baron of beef dinner the second day. All players will also receive a dozen Pro VI golf balls.

The tournament will be flighted based on handicaps and will also include a Super Senior division. Entries can be emailed to missiongolf@shaw.ca or sign up by calling 1-866-463-3556.

WEATHER PROBLEMS: Vancouver’s Stuart Macdonald tied for 32nd at the PGA Tour Americas KIA Open in Quito, Ecuador. The event was reduced to 54 holes when the final round was cancelled due to weather conditions. The PGA Tour Americas concludes the Central and South American portion of its schedule with an event May 16-19 in Bogota, Colombia.

BACK IN BUSINESS: Redwoods Golf Course in Langley reopens on May 9 after being closed for more than two years due to the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project. Green fees are $89 Monday through Thursday and $109 Friday through Sunday (tax included). Township of Langley residents are eligible for a $10 discount.

OPEN SEASON: A full field of 120 players will tee it up on May 9 at a Canadian Open regional qualifier at Pitt Meadows Golf Club. That means the winner of the qualifier will get an exemption into the RBC Canadian Open, which goes May 30-June 2 at Hamilton Golf & Country Club. The remaining top 10 per cent of the field will earn a spot in the Canadian Open Monday qualifier held during tournament week.

ON TO NATIONALS: It was a UBC sweep at the Cascade Collegiate Conference Championships at Loomis Trail Golf Course in Blaine, Wash. The UBC men and women both easily won the team titles and Dylan MacDonald and Jessica Ng took home individual honours. The UBC women won by 47 shots over runner-up Oregon Tech, while the men registered a 38-stroke win over second-place Lewis-Clark State. Ng closed with a five-under 67 to finish the 54-hole event at one-over.

That was seven shots better than teammates Elizabeth Labbe and Grace Bell, who tied for second. MacDonald finished at eight-under par to beat teammate Hudson Lafayette by two shots. Lafayette closed with a tournament-best seven-under 65 in the final round. The UBC men and women now head to the NAIA national championships. The women’s tourney goes May 14-17 at TPC Deere Run in Silvas, Ill., while the men’s event goes May 21-24 at Dalton Golf & Country Club in Dalton. Ga. The UBC women are currently ranked No. 1 in the NAIA, while the men are ranked sixth.

KWON TURNING PRO: Delta’s Mary Parsons tied for fifth at the Annika Women’s All Pro Tour’s Mackie Construction Pro Golf Classic in Abilene, Tex. The former B.C. Junior Girls champion finished the 72-hole event at three-under par, 11 shots behind winner Nannette Hill of Jupiter, Fla. Former Canadian Junior Girls champion Yeji Kwon of Port Coquitlam tied for eighth at two-under par. Kwon played the event as an amateur, but plans to turn pro later this summer. She has decided to forego a scholarship opportunity to play collegiate golf at Baylor University in Texas. Kwon plans to play LPGA Tour qualifying school this summer.

CHIP SHOTS: Madison Young, the Georgia native who played her way into the U.S. Women’s Open at a qualifier last month at Vancouver Golf Club, won the Epson Tour’s Casinos Del Sol Classic this past weekend in Tucson, Ariz. . .Khan Lee of Meadow Gardens fired rounds of 67 and 64 to win the Vancouver Golf Tour’s Surrey Open at Surrey Golf Course by five shots.