Competitors at the BCGA Zone 1 — East Kootenay Amateur Qualifier pose for a photo at Wildstone Golf Course in Cranbrook this past weekend. From left to right: Justin Sawley

Competitors at the BCGA Zone 1 — East Kootenay Amateur Qualifier pose for a photo at Wildstone Golf Course in Cranbrook this past weekend. From left to right: Justin Sawley

East Kootenay zone golf team determined for B.C. Amateur

Cranbrook & Kimberley represented on East Kootenay zone team following BCGA Zone 1 — East Kootenay Golf Qualifier at Wildstone Golf Course

Wildstone Golf Course played host to the BCGA Zone 1 — East Kootenay Amateur Qualifier this past weekend, with five competitors earning berths into the 2016 B.C. Amateur Championship.

Firing a 36-hole total of 160, Kimberley Golf Club’s Russell du Toit claimed top spot at the annual qualifier, beating out Paul Mensch (Kimberley Golf Club) and Andrew Bradshaw (The Springs at Radium), each of whom fired 162 through two rounds at Wildstone Golf Course.

“The weather was not very cooperative with 25-mile-per-hour winds on Saturday and rain on and off on Sunday,” wrote John Ough, BCGA Zone 1 — East Kootenay chair, via email. “But the players hung in there on this very difficult layout.

“Dave Linardic and staff set the course perfectly and golf course conditions were outstanding.”

Despite finishing behind du Toit, both Mensch and Bradshaw performed well enough to earn spots on the zone team that will represent the East Kootenay at the 114th B.C. Amateur Championship, which is set to be hosted by Pheasant Glen Golf Club in Qualicum Beach from July 12 to 15.

Joining du Toit, Mensch and Bradshaw on the East Kootenay Zone team are Justin Sawley (Kimberley Golf Club) and Scott Merriam (Cranbrook Golf Club).

Sawley qualified by finishing fourth at the weekend’s qualifying event at the par-72, 7,127-yard Wildstone Golf Course, firing a two-day total of 163.

Meanwhile, Merriam was granted a spot on the team by special appointment. He was unable to attend the qualifier as he prepared to compete at the Canadian University/College Championship at Morningstar Golf Club in Parksville, B.C., (May 31 to June 3) as a member of Camosun College’s men’s golf team. The Cranbrook product has represented the East Kootenay for three years running and was the low qualifier in 2015.

The zone qualifier brought a total of eight players to Cranbrook, three from as far away as Radium. According to Ough, the level of play was very good, especially considering the weather conditions competitors were required to battle.

The 114th B.C. Amateur Championship will feature 72 holes of stroke play competition and a cut at the conclusion of 36 holes. A total of 156 exempt or qualified amateurs will compete at the annual event. Kimberley native Jared du Toit, the older brother of Russell, won the 2015 edition of the provincial amateur championship.

Pheasant Glen Golf Club, which will host the provincial tournament, is a 6,928-yard, par-72 track well known for its lush fairways and excellent greens.

Next up for BCGA’s Zone 1 — East Kootenay is qualifying for the 2016 B.C. Senior Championship. The zone qualifier will be hosted June 28 and 29 at Kimberley Golf Club and Bootleg Gap Golf Course, respectively. There will be four qualifying spots up for grabs at the senior zone tournament.

To register for the senior men’s qualifier, contact Ough via email (jajrkim@gmail.com) or phone (250-602-9444). Deadline to register is set for Saturday, June 18.

The 2016 B.C. Senior Championship will be hosted at Shuswap Lake Estates July 19 to 21.