Birdies Hard To Come By At B.C. Juvenile Boys and Girls Championships On Golden Eagle’s South Course

Burnaby's Luna Lu Leads The Ladies At The BC Juvenile Championships At Golden Eagle GC - Image Credit Bryan Outram/BC Golf 

By Brad Ziemer/British Columbia Golf

PITT MEADOWS -- Par has proven to be a very good score through two rounds of the B.C. Juvenile Boys and Girls Championships.

Golden Eagle Golf Club’s South Course has presented a stiff test to a field that includes some of this province’s best young players. While not long, visually it can be quite intimidating. There seems to be trouble nearly everywhere. The leaders have managed to avoid most of those ever-present penalty areas and not taken any of the big numbers that can easily be had if you stray off line.

The leaders of both the boys and girls divisions stand at one-under par through 36 holes. No one has gone lower than 68 on the par-70 layout.

One of those 68s was recorded Wednesday by Burnaby’s Luna Lu, who carries a two-shot lead over June Hsiao of Coquitlam and Rebecca Kim of Victoria into Thursday’s final round.

Matthew Wilson of Nanaimo, Shunkichi Yamamoto of Victoria and Vancouver’s Forest Van Alstine share the boys’ lead.

Lu had three birdies and just one bogey in her round Wednesday. “My game was really consistent today,” said Lu, a 14-year-old who is heading into Grade 9 at Burnaby North Secondary. “My putting was really good and I kept it on the fairways and greens.”

Fairways and greens has become a mantra of sorts for much of the field, which is limited to players aged 16 and younger. “Definitely being a straight ball hitter is really important here,” said Kim, a 16-year-old who plays out of Victoria Golf Club. “The fairways are really narrow. It’s really about good ball-striking here.

“You definitely need to be awake and alert all the time out here. You really have to know where you are and where you're trying to hit it. It definitely keeps you on your toes a little bit.”

image credit Bryan Outram/BC Golf

Victoria's Shunkichi Yamamoto Is One Of 3 Tied For The Lead In The BC Boys Juvenile Championship

Yamamoto, a 16-year-old who plays out of Gorge Vale Golf Club, shot a two-under 68 Wednesday to grab a share of the boys’ lead. After struggling with his driver in the first round, Yamamoto used it only twice on Wednesday. “I'm just trying to keep it in play and get it to a yardage that I am comfortable with,” he said. “I'm just trying to get myself as many birdie chances as possible.”

Van Alstine, a 15-year-old who plays out of Shaughnessy Golf & Country Club, fired a one-under 69. “I am pretty happy with my round,” he said. “I made three straight birdies on 8, 9 and 10. I bogeyed 17 but made a good 15-footer for par on 18 so I am pretty happy about that.”

Van Alstine said he feels comfortable on the South Course’s tight layout. “I played the practice round and I was like 'this course feels like it plays to my game,'” he said. “I just lay up to 150 yards in and I feel pretty good from there. Priority 1 is getting it in play and then get aggressive.”

Wilson, 15, fired an even-par 70 on Wednesday that he wasn’t too pleased with. “I burned a few edges today,” he said. “Left to right putts aren’t my favourites and I had a few of those today. But I didn’t shoot myself out of the tournament. I have given myself a chance tomorrow and that’s solid. I feel confident going into tomorrow.”

Harvey Liu of Surrey is just one shot back in fourth place at even-par after his one-under 69 on Wednesday. Eric Joo of Coquitlam and Louis Chun of Port Coquitlam are tied for fifth at one-over par.

The field was cut in half after the second round.

Click HERE for complete scoring. 

CHIP SHOTS: The Zone 6 team of Matthew Wilson of Nanaimo, Mack Sanderson of Qualicum, Christos Vassilopoulos of Nanaimo and Manpreet Leth of Nanaimo won the 36-hole Zone competition with a score of five-over par.