Roxburgh Closing In On Successful Title Defence At B.C. Senior Men’s Championship

With A Seven-Shot Lead Going Into The Final Round, Doug Roxburgh Is Looking Pretty Good To Capture His Fourth B.C. Senior Men's Title At Big Sky GC In Pemberton - Image Credit Brad Ziemer/BC Golf

By Brad Ziemer, British Columbia Golf

PEMBERTON -- The wind whipped through the Pemberton Valley on Wednesday afternoon, but Doug Roxburgh didn’t even flinch. Roxburgh remained rock steady as he fired a one-under 71 to take a seemingly insurmountable seven-shot lead into Thursday’s final round of the B.C. Senior Men’s Championship at Big Sky Golf Club. 

“The wind really came up,” Roxburgh said. “I guess that is what often happens here in the afternoon. On some holes it added at least a club and you had to play a little defensive on some holes. There is a lot of water near the greens and off the tee and you kind start steering the ball. It was definitely challenging, but I hit a lot of good shots today.”

The 66-year-old Roxburgh seems poised to add to his already legendary status. The 13-time B.C. Amateur Championship winner has already collected three B.C. Senior Men’s titles.

Roxburgh had four birdies on Wednesday and was lamenting a couple of stumbles late on each side. He was two-under through his first seven holes Wednesday before double-bogeying the par 3 17th hole (his eighth of the day). Roxburgh bogeyed the same hole in Tuesday’s first round when he carded a five-under 67.

His only bogey Wednesday came on the par 4 eighth hole (his 17th of the day). “I made a sloppy double on No. 17 and then I played well all around (his back nine) and had a nice little shot into the eighth hole and just got scared and left it way out to the right, then hit a poor approach and missed the putt.”

Roxburgh chipped in for birdie on the second hole. “I haven’t chipped in in ages so that was nice to see,” he said. He sits at six-under par through 36 holes, seven shots ahead of Al Jensen of Nanaimo.

While Roxburgh was posting another sub-par round, his closest pursuers were losing their battle with the high winds that gusted all through the afternoon and early evening at Big Sky. Nanaimo’s  Sandy Harper, who started the day in in second place three shots back of Roxburgh, shot a six-over 78. “I started with a shank on No. 1 and made a seven,” Harper said. “The wind was a big factor but I only made one putt over three feet today.”

John Gallacher of Burnaby, who opened with a one-under 71 on Tuesday, fired a 75 on Wednesday. The two former champions agree Roxburgh will be tough to catch. “Virtually impossible,” Harper said with a chuckle. “His tempo is excellent and he is as steady as they come.” “Unless we break his leg tonight or feed him lots of wine,” added Gallacher. “That might not matter either.”

Jensen is alone in second place at one-over par after firing an even-par 72 on Wednesday, when he played in the calmer morning half of the draw. Gallacher and another former champion, Harry Ferguson of Invermere, are tied for third place at two-over par.

Roxburgh, who came within one shot of shooting his age for the first time on Tuesday, seems to have his game in wonderful shape after what has been a busy start to his summer. “I played the Marine Drive Amateur, the Kelowna Senior, then I played the Rivershore Senior, had a week off, played the Ogopogo (in Kelowna), went to Kamloops for the B.C. Amateur and then here. So it is six of the last eight weeks that I have played some golf. It has been good.”

Last week, Roxburgh tied for 27th at his 52nd straight B.C. Amateur Championship at Rivershore Golf Links in Kamloops. And his game plan for Thursday’s final round at Big Sky? “I am just going to go out and play golf and enjoy the day,” he said.

Roxburgh, who won his third B.C. Senior championship last summer at Myrtle Point Golf Course in Powell River, leads the Super-Senior category for players 65 and over by eight shots over Gallacher.

Click HERE for complete scoring from the B.C. Senior Men's Championship at Big Sky.

CHIP SHOTS: The top three finishers after Thursday’s final round will represent B.C. at the Canadian Senior Men’s Championship, which goes Sept. 4-7 in Bathurst, N.B. . .Zone 4 (Delta, Greater Vancouver, Squamish, Sunshine Coast) comprised of Vancouver's Steve Berry (Marine Drive GC), Surrey's Steve Savage (The Vancouver GC), Burnaby's John Gallacher (The Vancouver GC) and Gibsons' Mike Mannion (Sunshine Coast GC) won the 36-hole zone competition with a score of 20-over par. That was nine strokes better than Victoria's Timothy Howard (Gorge Vale GC), Marty Holman (Victoria GC) and Ken Rowan (Victoria GC) along with Jim Shaw (Olympic View GC) from Sooke, representing Zone 5 (Southern Vancouver Island).