Ziemer's B.C. Golf Notes: Sloan hoping he has some bite in his game at Barracuda; B.C. women shine at Canadian Amateur; Silver for Sabbatini; Former T-Birds top 10 on Mackenzie Tour
Roger Sloan Needs A Solid Finish To His Season To Maintain His PGA TOUR Status - BC Golf file photo
By Brad Ziemer, British Columbia Golf
After a one-week Olympic break, the PGA TOUR begins its stretch run this week with some players having more to play for than others.
Roger Sloan of Merritt has a lot on the line with just two regular-season events remaining -- this week’s Barracuda Championship in Truckee, Calif. and the season-ending Wyndham Championship the following week in Greensboro, N.C.
Sloan stands 137th on the FedEx Cup points list and must move inside the top 125 to qualify for the FedEx Cup playoffs and, more importantly, secure his exempt status for next season on the PGA TOUR.
Sloan also must try to remain inside the top 150 as players finishing 126th to 150th retain some status for next season that typically allows them to play something in the neighborhood of 12 to 15 events.
Sloan has been playing well early this summer. He has made four straight cuts and tied for 16th in his most recent start at the 3M Open in Minnesota. He is obviously in the Barracuda Championship field, where he will be joined by the Abbotsford duo of Adam Hadwin and Nick Taylor.
Hadwin solidified his spot inside the top 125 with a tie for sixth two weeks ago at the 3M Open and currently sits 107th on the points list.
Taylor is 147th, but has nothing to worry about as he remains fully exempt next year as a result of his win at the 2019 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. He would, however, love to get inside the top 125 to get a piece of that lucrative playoff money.
Players finishing 126th to 200th at the end of the regular season qualify to play in the three-event Korn Ferry Tour Finals, where they will compete with the top 75 players on he Korn Ferry Tour in that tour’s three-event finals series where 25 fully exempt PGA TOUR cards will be handed out.
AMATEUR HOUR: Several British Columbians had strong showings at last week’s Canadian Women’s Amateur Championship in Spruce Grove, Alta. Surrey’s Angela Arora tied for third at two-over par, four shots behind winner Lauren Zaretsky of Thornhill, Ont. B.C. Junior Girls champion Jennifer Gu of West Vancouver and Katherine Hao of Burnaby tied for fifth at three-over par. Mary Parsons of Delta tied for 10th. Sonja Tang of Vancouver (T11), Martina Yu of Coquitlam and Erin Lee of Langley (both T13) also finished inside the top 20.
The 116th playing of the Canadian Men’s Amateur Championship goes this week at Ambassador Golf Club in Windsor, Ont. Thirty British Columbians are in the field, including B.C. Junior Boys champion Gavyn Knight of Parksville.
This week’s winner receives an exemption into the 2022 RBC Canadian Open and a spot in next week’s U.S. Amateur Championship at Oakmont Country Club in Pennsylvania.
B.C. FOURSOME: Four British Columbians are in the field for this week’s U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship at Westchester Country Club in Rye, N.Y. Vancouver’s Michelle Liu and Lauren Kim of Surrey, both members of Canada’s national junior team, qualified at a site in Colorado. Vanessa Zhang and Victoria Liu, both of Vancouver, earned their spots at a recent qualifier held at Seymour Golf & Country Club in North Vancouver.
SILVER FOR SABBATINI: Rory Sabbatini earned his first PGA Tour win 21 years ago at the 2000 Air Canada Championship at Northview Golf Club in Surrey. He was a South African back then, but now he is an Olympic silver medalist from Slovakia. Sabbatini closed with a brilliant 10-under 61 to claim silver, earning a medal for a country that has fewer than 30 golf courses.
Sabbatini’s wife, Martina Stofanikova, is Slovakian and her cousin is president of the Slovak Golf Association.
“South Africa has so many golfers to represent them, but Slovakia doesn’t have anybody to represent them,” Sabbatini said of his decision to play for his adopted homeland. “And we looked at it as a way to use it as a springboard to try and create more interest in the game of golf in Slovakia and to create more interest amongst the junior golfers.”
B.C. CONNECTION: The women’s golf competition in Tokyo goes this week and there is a B.C. connection on the Canadian team. Morgan Creek’s Brett Saunders is part of the Canadian team’s coaching staff. Saunders works closely with Alena Sharp, who along with Brooke Henderson, will be representing Canada this week.
T-BIRDS FLY: The Mackenzie Tour kicked off its eight-event season with the Mackenzie Investments Open in Blainville, Que., where three former UBC Thunderbirds finished inside the top 10. Andrew Harrison of Camrose, Alta., finished sixth at five-under par, four shots behind winner Brendan Leonard of Gander, Nfld. Harrison had the low score of the final round, a seven-under 65.
Two other former T-Birds, Zahidali (Ziggy) Natu of Richmond and Evan Holmes of Calgary, tied for 10th at two-under par. The Mackenzie Tour resumes Aug. 19-22 when the Osprey Valley Open is held at TPC Toronto’s Heathlands Course.
ON FORME: Langley’s James Allenby and Lawren Rowe of Squamish both tied for 31st at the Forme Tour’s Birck Boilermaker Classic in West Lafayette, Ind. They finished the event at five-under par, 10 shots behind winner Turk Pettit of Sugar Cove, N.C. Riley Wheeldon of Comox tied for 55th at even-par.
The Forme Tour has now completed four of its eight-event schedule. It resumes Aug. 10-13 for the Fuzzy Zoeller Classic at Covered Bridge Golf Club in Sellersburg, Ind.
NORTHERN EXPOSURE: Kevin Stinson of Cheam Mountain in Chilliwack fired rounds of 69 and 71 to win the annual Lakepoint Charity Pro-Am at Lakepoint Golf Club in Fort St. John by four shots. Stinson earned $5,000 for the win. Three players, Riley Lamb of Meadow Gardens, Chad McAdie of Cheam Mountain and Sy Lovan of Marine Drive, tied for third at even-par.