Roxburgh Goes Wire To Wire To Win His Third B.C. Senior Title

Doug Roxburgh Accepts The BC Senior Men's Championship Trophy From British Columbia Golf President Patrick Kelly - Image Credit Brad Ziemer/British Columbia Golf

By Brad Ziemer, British Columbia Golf

POWELL RIVER -- Legends apparently don’t retire. They just keep winning championships. Doug Roxburgh, at age 65, added another line to his Hall of Fame resume on Thursday, winning the B.C. Senior Men’s Championship at Myrtle Point Golf Club in Powell River.

It was Roxburgh’s third B.C. Senior Men’s title to go along with his 13 B.C. Amateur Championship titles, four Canadian Amateur crowns, his Canadian Senior championship and countless other titles. He won with a score of one-under par after closing the 54-hole event with an even-par 72.

That was good for a two-shot win over Burnaby’s John Gallacher. Roxburgh managed his game beautifully all week, seldom hitting a stray shot. And when he did, he showed a magical ability to recover.

An example of that came on the par 4 11th hole when he drove his ball right and into a lateral hazard. After taking a drop, Roxburgh had to play to the left side of the green and was left with a long putt of more than 30 feet for par. With a four-shot lead at the time, he was playing for a bogey. Instead, he rolled in that long putt that broke hard left to right and saved his par. “I was definitely playing for bogey,” he said.

“I had to take a drop and I had no shot at the pin. I hit a nice shot to get it on the green and then fortunately one of the guys had a putt on a similar line and I saw it break quite a bit at the end and I played a bit more. I was fortunate I picked the right line and it broke at the end.”

Gallacher acknowledged that was a big turning point. He missed a good birdie opportunity on the hole and instead of a possible two-shot swing, there was no swing at all. “I think the biggest turning point was on 11 where he made that four,” Gallacher said. “I thought there was going to be a big change.”

Roxburgh also captured his first B.C. Super-Senior Men’s title, which is for competitors 65 and older and was held in conjunction with the Senior Men’s tourney. You can’t help but think there are more of those in his future. Gallacher stiffed a couple of iron approach shots on the 12th and 14 holes for birdies that cut Roxburgh’s lead to two shots. But he could not get any closer.

image credit brad ziemer

The BC Senior Men's Team For The Canadian Championship L-R: John Gallacher, Doug Roxburgh & Greg Bismeyer, With BC Golf President Patrick Kelly  

“My game was pretty solid and the course kind of suited me,” Roxburgh said. “I drove the ball quite well except for that one hole. I putted okay the first round and just average the other two. I didn’t really make anything. John started to make a little charge on the back nine and closed the gap to a couple. His birdie putt on 15 was one that if he would have made it would have tightened things up considerably.”

Roxburgh laughed when asked if winning gets old. After all, he’s done an awful lot of it over the years. “I still get nervous, but it’s a different type of nervous,” he said. “It’s more fun now and it’s not the end of the world and the courses are easier than what I used to play as an amateur. I just like to get out and play golf.”

And his fellow competitors absolutely love playing against him. “Doug is just an amateur phenom,” said Mission’s Greg Bismeyer, who finished solo third and played in Roxburgh’s group on Thursday. “He was what everybody else aspired to be growing up and stuff. I remember finishing rounds in the B.C. Amateur and hurrying out there just to watch him play and learn.

“It was an honour just to play with Doug today, considering what he done over the years. It was my (56th) birthday today so it was kind of cool.” Roxburgh credited a recent run of tournament golf with rounding his game into the best shape it has been in for quite some time. “I have played a lot,” he said. “This is like my seventh or eighth week in a row that I have played in tournaments.”

Next up is the British Senior Amateur in two weeks in England. Gallacher said Roxburgh is playing his best golf in recent years. “I was really impressed with his game,” said Gallacher, a two-time B.C. Senior champ. “We have played a fair bit the last couple years and his game was really sharp this week.”

Roxburgh would probably have won more than three B.C. Senior titles by now if he had started playing when he first became eligible at age 55. But he had a busy job with Golf Canada at that time and did not begin to compete in senior events until he was 60.

Bismeyer battled a bad back to shoot a 72 Thursday that left him alone in third place at five-over par. He will join Roxburgh and Gallacher to represent British Columbia at the Canadian Senior Men’s Championship, which goes Sept. 11-14 in Montreal.

Bismeyer visited the emergency department at Powell River’s hospital early Thursday morning to try and find some relief. He didn’t get much of that and was clearly uncomfortable during his round .“I have battled a bad back over the years and yesterday I felt it tightening up,” Bismeyer said. “I think three days of golf in a row when I haven’t been doing a whole lot caught up with me.”

Nanaimo’s Sandy Harper finished alone in fourth place at six-over, while Mike Mannion of Gibsons was fifth at seven-over. A two-man best-ball competition was also contested and the Nanaimo team of Harper and Al Jensen won with a score of 14-under par.

For complete final scoring click HERE.