Ziemer's B.C. Golf Notes: Taylor’s Game Shows Signs Of Life; UBC Women Head To Nationals With High Hopes; Svensson Snaps Streak

Abbotsford's Nick Taylor Is Shown Here Playing In A Vancouver Golf Tour Event At The University Of The Fraser Valley In His Hometown - Image Courtesy VGT

By Brad Ziemer, British Columbia Golf

Nick Taylor shot four rounds in the 60s at the AT&T Byron Nelson tourney in Dallas and showed some positive signs that he is snapping out of a mid-season funk on the PGA TOUR.

Rounds of 69, 68, 69 and 69 left Taylor at nine-under par and tied for 32nd place. For Taylor, it’s as good as he has felt on the golf course in a long while. The Abbotsford native recently endured six straight missed cuts and admitted in a telephone interview Sunday night that he has been frustrated by his play.

“I was very frustrated and it was hard to stay positive,” Taylor said. “It went on long enough that doubt starts to creep into your mind and you start playing to almost make cuts. It gets in your mind when you get off to a tough start in a round and you’re like, here we go again. So I feel like it is behind me and I feel like this week I took a big step in the right direction.”

Taylor said he has struggled with his putting and was also missing some of his shots left. “It was a combination of a bunch of things,” he said. “My good rounds, I couldn’t get anything out of them, and when I wasn’t hitting it great my misses were bad enough where I was really in some tough spots.”

Taylor’s Sunday finish moved him up two spots on the FedEx Cup points list to 111th. He must finish inside the top 125 to remain fully exempt for next year. Taylor’s recent struggles followed a positive start to his season. He finished inside the top 25 in four of his first seven events.

Taylor and fellow Abbotsford native Adam Hadwin, who took last week off, are both in the field for this week’s Fort Worth Invitational at Colonial Country Club. Hadwin is now tied with Dustin Johnson and Jason Day for the PGA TOUR lead with 17 consecutive cuts made. Matt Kuchar had made 30 in a row, but missed the cut at the Byron Nelson tourney.

HIGH HOPES: The University of B.C. Thunderbirds enter this week’s NAIA Women’s Championship tourney seeded third overall. The 72-hole event begins Tuesday at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. Cecile Kwon, Avril Li, Kate Johnston, Kelly Hellman and Shania Remandaban will compete for the Thunderbirds.

The five players at the nationals for UBC include three freshman, a sophomore and a junior, which should mean the immediate future is bright for the Thunderbird women. “We have had a great season,” said UBC coach Chris Macdonald.

“Likely the reason for their success is the girls are very supportive and respectful of each other. They can all play as the No. 1 player.  “We know we’re going to have a great effort from each student and at each event we have had a different player stand out.”

The University of Victoria, currently seeded 18th, received an at-large berth into the tourney.

TOP-10 FOR VIKES: The University of Victoria finished 10th at last week’s NAIA Men’s Championships, which were played at the TPC at Deere Run course in Silvis, Ill. The Vikings fired a final round of one-over 285 to move up six places in the competition. They finished the 72-hole competition at 34-over par. That was 43 shots behind the winning team from Oklahoma City University.

Victoria was led by senior Mike Griffin, who tied for 26th place with a score of five-over par. The University of B.C. Thunderbirds tied for 12th place, four shots behind the Vikings.

TOUGH FINISH: Langley’s James Allenby had a nice start but not the finish he was looking for in his first start of the year on the PGA Tour LatinoAmerica circuit. Allenby was tied for 11th heading into Sunday’s final round of the Puerto Plata DR Open in the Dominican Republic, but fell into a tie for 39th after closing with a four-over 75 to finish at two-under for the tournament. A top-20 finish would have secured Allenby a spot in the tour’s next event in Ecuador.

Allenby, who gained conditional status at the LatinoAmerica Q-School earlier this year, has dominated the Vancouver Golf Tour over the past year. His decision to go to the Dominican Republic likely cost him a spot in next week’s season-opening event on the Mackenzie Tour-PGA Tour Canada circuit.

By passing up last week’s VGT Players Championship played at Sandpiper and Chilliwack golf courses, Allenby allowed Mission’s Kevin Stinson to pass him on the Order of Merit and claim the VGT exemption into the Freedom 55 Financial Open at Point Grey Golf & Country Club in Vancouver.

Stinson tied for second at the Players Championship, finishing one shot behind winner Jason Cordes of North Vancouver.

SNAPS STREAK: Surrey’s Adam Svensson snapped a streak of four straight missed cuts with a tie for 27th place at the Web.com Tour’s BMW Charity Pro-Am in Greer, S.C. Svensson started the year hot, winning the second event of the season in the Bahamas and following that with a pair of top-10 results in February and March.

That start effectively locked up a top-25 finish on the money list and secured Svensson PGA TOUR privileges to start the 2018-19 season. But the higher he can finish on the money list the better chance he will have of setting his own schedule next season. Svensson currently stands No. 5 on the money list.

JUNIOR ACHIEVEMENT: Cole Wilson’s win at the recent Future Links Pacific Championship at Bear Mountain in Victoria has vaulted the 17-year-old Kelowna resident to the No. 1 spot in Canada’s Junior Golf Rankings.

Four other B.C. players are in the top 10, including Jeevan Sihota (5) of Victoria, Callum Davison (7) of Duncan, Michael Crisologo (8) of Richmond and Dustin Franko (10) of Delta.

WISE GUY: Two years ago, Aaron Wise won the Mackenzie Tour-PGA Tour Canada qualifying school at Crown Isle Golf Resort in Courtenay. On Sunday, Wise won the AT&T Byron Nelson tourney in Dallas. Yes, you could say the 21-year-old former NCAA champion from the University of Oregon has a bright future.