Shooting the low round of the final day propelled Vernon golfer Austin Armanini into the top three at the B.C. Junior Boys Golf Championship at the Morningstar Golf Club in Parksville.
The 72-hole event was held June 28 to July 2.
Armanini shot a final-round 3-under-par 69 to end up in a three-way tie for third place with Charlie Derrheim of Delta and Ryan Liang of Vancouver at 8-over-par 296 for the four rounds. The trio was nine shots back of the winner, Gavyn Knight of the host course. Knight – the only golfer in the field to finish below par – was five shots better than Kelowna’s Cooper Humphreys.
Armanini won a playoff to earn sole possession of third place. Knight, Humphreys and Armanini have qualified for the provincial team that will take part in the Canadian Junior Boys Championships Aug. 9-12 at Vallée du Richelieu in Sainte Julie, Que.
Ryan Vest of Vernon had been in third place after three rounds but a final day 12-over 84 landed Vest in a tie for 12th place overall.
Vest also qualifies for the Canadian tournament, as do the top 17 and ties from the provincial finals which includes Kelowna’s Kyle Mayner.
Two other North Okanagan golfers missed the 36-hole cut. Jaden Snitynski of Vernon shot rounds of 85 and 81 for a 166 total, and Braxton McDonald of Coldstream had rounds of 88 and 83 for a 171 total. The cut score was 160.
Armanini, Humphreys and Eli Harris of Kelowna teamed up to win the Zone competition. The Zone 2 Thompson Okanagan reps were eight shots better than a trio from Zone 5 South Island.
Knight was able to stay cool and composed, despite some soaring temperatures and tough competition.
The 17-year-old played a steady and consistent four rounds of golf, shooting a 74-71-71-71 to end up with a 1-under 287 on the course he knows so well.
“It means a little bit more because I grew up playing here,” said Knight. “To have the B.C. junior here and win it is pretty good.”
Knight, who works at and uses Morningstar as his prime training ground, used his knowledge and experience on the course to his advantage.
“It definitely played a role for sure because I could hit shots and I knew where the ball is going,” said Knight.
Finishing in second place, five strokes behind at 292 (73-73-71-75), was Humphreys, who unfortunately suffered an equipment malfunction when his putter broke.
“I think because of the hot weather the epoxy got loose and it just came off,” said Cooper. “I felt it on hole two. The face opened when I hit the ball and of course, it missed just low right. Same thing on the next hole.”
The rule does not allow the broken putter to be replaced. Cooper was forced to putt with his wedge for nine holes until his putter was repaired. He said he was disappointed.
“It could have made a big difference with my score,” said Cooper. “But it is what it is.”
• West Vancouver’s Jennifer Gu took the junior girls B.C. title finishing with a 7-over 295. Tina Jiang of Richmond was second at 299.
• The North Okanagan boys contingent tuned up for the provincial championships by taking part in the Zone 2 men’s and senior men’s finals at Shannon Lake Golf Course in West Kelowna. The tournament was played in 40-degree conditions.
Humphreys scored a hard-fought victory, shooting a 1-over 71, for a two-day total of 2-under 138, one stroke better than Vest, who shot 72 (139). McDonald and Corey Hilditch of Oliver’s Fairview Mountain had strong showings at 71 and 72 respectively to finish tied for third at 140, two shots behind Humphreys. Josh Coletti of Kelowna Golf and Country Club finished fifth after a final-round 5-over 75.
Vernon’s Brandon Chai had rounds of 79 and 74 for a 36-hole total of 153.
The Senior event would qualify the Zone team that will represent the Thompson Okanagan at the BC Provincials to be held in late July at the Bootleg Gap Golf Club near Kimberly. The 2021 Senior Champion is Norm Bradley (Kelowna Golf & Country Club), who has now successfully defended his zone title five times, and he is also the defending BC Provincial Champion.
Bradley shot a 1-over par 71. He will lead the four-man team that also includes Trevor Delaney (Shuswap Lake Estates), Stephen Anderson (Kelowna Golf & Country Club) and Scott Humphreys (Predator Ridge Golf Club).
—With files from Michael Briones, Parksville Qualicum Beach News