Ziemer's B.C. Golf Notes: Grading B.C.’s PGA TOUR regulars for their fall term; Nathu closes strong to earn conditional status on PGA LA Tour; Three British Columbians tee it up in AJGA Tournament of Champions; Bald Eagle to remain closed until spring

L-R: Adam Hadwin, Nick Taylor, Roger Sloan, Adam Svensson - BC Golf Image

By Brad Ziemer, British Columbia Golf

The fall portion of the new 2021-22 PGA TOUR season ended at the recent RSM Classic in Sea Island, Ga., so it’s a good time to examine the results of the four British Columbia regulars.

We’ll start with Abbotsford’s Adam Hadwin, who will head into the new year ranked 65th on the FedEx Cup points list. 

Hadwin played in six of the eight full-field fall events. He missed the cut in the season-opening Fortinet Championship, but rebounded to make his last five cuts. A tie for sixth place at the Shriners Children’s Open in Las Vegas highlighted Hadwin’s fall campaign.

Unfortunately, Hadwin finished no better than 45th in his other four events, so his fall was a good, but not a great one. Grade: B.

Fellow Abbotsford native Nick Taylor made four of six cuts this fall, but couldn’t get much going on the weekends. His best finish was a tie for 33rd at the World Wide Technology Championship at Mayakoba in Mexico. As a result he stands 140th on the FedEx points list and will have some work to do when the tour resumes its schedule in January. Grade: C-.

Merritt’s Roger Sloan finished last season with momentum on his side as he rallied to clinch his spot in the top 125 and lock up his full status for this season. That momentum hasn’t really carried forward into the fall.

Sloan only had one good result in the seven fall events he played, a tie for 14th place showing at the Sanderson Farms Championship in Jackson, Miss. He missed four cuts and was 61st and 71st in the other two tournaments where he made the cut. Sloan is currently 122nd on the points list. Grade: C.

Surrey’s Adam Svensson graduated from the Korn Ferry Tour, where he won twice in 2021, for his second stint on the PGA TOUR. He’s not off to the best of starts. Svensson missed the cut in four of his seven starts. He posted his best finish, a tie for 22nd, at last month’s Butterfield Bermuda Championship.

He fell from fifth to 26th in the last week’s reshuffle of the 50 players who got their cards via the Korn Ferry Tour, which means he could have trouble drawing into some events in the new year. Svensson currently sits 133rd on the points list. Grade: C-.

JUNIOR CHAMPS: The American Junior Golf Association’s season-ending Tournament of Champions at the PGA National Resort & Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., featured three Metro Vancouver players. Michelle Liu of Vancouver tied for 34th, Vanessa Zhang of Vancouver tied for 47th, and Lauren Kim of Surrey tied for 61st.

CLUTCH FINISH: Ziggy Nathu’s South American gamble paid off. Nathu, a University of B.C. graduate who is two years into his journey as a professional golfer, fired a six-under 66 in the final round of a PGA Tour LatinoAmerica qualifying school in Buenos Aires, Argentina. That moved him into a tie for 15th, which gives the Richmond resident good conditional status for the 2022 season.

Nathu eagled his last hole, when he chipped in from a grass bunker behind the green. He finished the 72-hole event at eight-under, just one shot out of the top 12 which would have given him four guaranteed starts.

Still, Nathu has been told his conditional status will get him into the tour’s first two events of its 2022 season -- this week’s 115 VISA Argentine Open in Buenos Aires and next week’s Scotia Wealth Management Chile Open in Santiago. “That’s really good for me, to be able to keep playing right off the bat,” Nathu said in a telephone interview. 

Nathu knew he was taking a bit of a gamble when he passed up other PGA Tour LA Q-schools in Florida and Mexico to instead tee it up in Argentina. That now looks like a smart decision as he’s already in South America and ready to tee it up the next two weeks.

“I had planned to be down here for three weeks,” Nathu said. “Even if I missed at Q-school and didn’t get starts I would have played in the Monday qualifiers the next two weeks. It was definitely a gamble, but I felt like my game was in the right place leading up to it.”

Nathu was pleased by the way he was able to bounce back after a tough second round, when he shot a three-over 75. He followed that up with a four-under 68 in tough conditions in the third round and his 66 the final day.

“It’s nice to now know I can bounce back,” he said. “The weather for round 3 wasn’t ideal. It was on and off pouring rain and windy and just knowing I can put up a good number in those conditions and then back it up the next day in really good scoring conditions and shoot six-under is big. I feel I can build off that and carry it forward.”

ON POINT: News that the Canadian government is  dropping COVID testing requirements for Canadians visiting the United States for 72 hours or less was music tothe ears of Kyle German, general manager of Bald Eagle Golf Club in Point Roberts. Bald Eagle has been closed since the very early days of the pandemic. The course superintendent has remained on the job, but Bald Eagle won’t be ready to play until this spring.

“It’s going to take some time,” German said. “Our super has been working, but he has just been keeping it alive. It hasn’t been nurtured. It is going to need some growing season to get ready. We are hoping for early spring.”

German has spent the last 18 months doing some teaching and playing the odd tournament. He recently returned from a pro-am involving a number of B.C. pros in Maui, where he shot scores of 69, 67, 64 and 62 to win the event played on the three Wailea courses. “I made no bogeys the last three rounds,” German said. “It was pretty cool.”

THE CANADIANS ARE COMING: With the border testing restrictions being eased on Nov. 30, Semiahmoo Golf Course in Blaine is expecting to see lots of its British Columbia members during the month of December. Nearly half of the club’s members are from B.C. and they haven’t been able to play the course for the last 20 months. “We are so excited,” said head pro Chris Garrison. “The tee sheet is starting to populate a little bit. It has been such a long time, of course. It will be so great to see them come back and return.”