The Kootenay Zone golf team, featuring a few local players, walked away with a silver medal following their play on the links for the B.C. Summer Games in Nanaimo.
The Kootenay’s top finishing single golfer—Ethan Paton out of Salmo—tied at 17th overall, but the rest of the team was able to shoot a combined net score of 434, which was good enough to end up in second place in the standings.
Justin Sawley, Kira Dereniwsky and Alysha Buchy represented Kimberley at the Nanaimo Golf Club, while Nathan Nichol hails from Cranbrook.
Though Buchy wasn’t quite happy with the way she played, she’s thankful for the Summer Games experience.
“It was lots of fun. I met a lot amazing people there and our team got along so good. I enjoyed myself a lot,” she said. “The course was pretty flat. The greens were pretty tough, and hitting your approach shots onto the green, that was hard. You had to place it on the right place.
“My game wasn’t very good. I definitely didn’t play as strong as I could’ve, but our team came through.”
Kevin Nesbitt, based out of the Champion Lakes Golf and Country Club in Fruitvale, served as the Kootenay zone coach.
“To me, they did really well. They played well and had some fun,” Nesbitt said. “Everybody had higher expectations for themselves, personally, which is kind of a nice thing. You always want to do better for sure. When it came down to it, they came out with silvers.”
All eight members of the team had to qualify through tournaments in the East and West Kootenay. Buchy has been golfing, or swinging a golf club, since she was a young kid and she jumped at the opportunity to go to an event as big as the Summer Games.
“I always thought about it and wanted to, and when I got asked to go I was pretty happy and excited about it,” she said.
Having three other local golfers helped bring the team close, she added.
“I think that helped to make the atmosphere more comfortable and stuff,” Buchy said, “but once our team met—when we met the West Kootenay kids—we all got along so good, like we’ve known each other for a while.”
The Fraser Valley came out on the top of the podium with a combined score of 420 on a team that included the boys individual winner Sy Lovan out of Surrey. Fraser River Delta took the third podium spot and the bronze medal with a score of 443.