AUGUST 23, 2021
KAMLOOPS, BC (PGA of British Columbia) – The few players who managed to break par Monday in difficult conditions at Rivershore Golf Links have left themselves in great shape for the final round of the TaylorMade Golf & adidas Golf PGA of BC Championship presented by Axis Insurance Group.
Four-time PGA of BC Championship winner Bryn Parry (Seymour Creek Golf Centre), Nate Ollis (Cordova Bay Golf Course) and Cody Stewart (Chilliwack Golf Club) all carded 3-under-par rounds of 69 as winds gusted at the Kamloops facility throughout the day.
Also representing Chilliwack Golf Club, Zach Olson (70) and Jake Scarrow (71) were the only other players to finish in red figures, but the title will be wide-open for the taking Tuesday with 25 players within five strokes of the lead.
Ollis reached 5-under on his round through 16 holes Monday before bogeys at the par-3 17th and par-5 18th –- both playing into a stiff breeze out of the west -– brought him back to the field.
“It was pretty tidy for most of the day,” said the 28-year-old, who played Rivershore for the first time during Sunday’s practice round. “Bogeying 17 and 18 stings a little bit but it was a good round either way.”
Ollis has been on a run of outstanding play in recent weeks. His 6-under-66 at Kamloops Golf & Country Club last month was tied for the low round of the PGA of BC Assistants’ Championship, and just last week he set the competitive course record at Ardmore Golf Course, shooting a 61 to win the Vancouver Island Club Pro Series event by five strokes.
“I’ve always felt I’m a good tee-to-green player and the difference between me shooting low rounds or not is just whether I capitalize on my chances,” said Ollis, who credited The Ridge Course at Cordova Bay Head Professional Lance McCullough for helping him fine-tune his putting stroke recently.
“Lance gave me a good look a couple of weeks ago to help get me sorted and I’ve been rolling it great ever since.”
Ollis has been in the mix at past PGA of BC Championships and Assistants’ Championships but is still looking for a breakthrough victory at the zone-wide level. He said it would be “awesome” to pick up a win Tuesday.
“I haven’t played that many of them so I’m going to keep knocking on the door,” he said, “but a provincial championship would be would be absolutely outstanding.”
Parry, meanwhile, will have the chance to win his fifth PGA of BC Championship title on Tuesday, which would move him out of a tie with Scott Minni as the event’s most successful player. The most recent of Parry’s victories in this tournament came in 2019, but the 49-year-old did not defend his title last year while taking virtually all of 2020 off of tournament golf.
“I just think I’m so relieved and happy to be able to play and compete again,” he said. “The more I’ve been playing, the more comfortable I’ve been getting and I’m getting some of those old habits back.
“I think I’d played 25 rounds of golf in a year-and-a-half, but now I’ve played 25 rounds of golf in the past 60 days, so the difference is unbelievable.”
Scoring was tougher for players on the back nine Monday, so Parry’s 1-under 35 on the inward half was crucial.
“Especially the tee shots on 11 and 17, I hit a 4-iron and 3-iron that just came off perfect – probably the two best long iron shots I’ve hit in years,” said Parry. “The rest of the back nine I felt I could manage, but those are two swings are hard swings.”
Parry and Ollis are travelling together for this week’s tournament and will find themselves together in the final group with Stewart on Tuesday. Parry is hopeful to take bragging rights back with him down the Coquihalla for their return home.
“Oliver (Tubb)’s beat me a couple of times where I drove and then had to sit in the car with him for five hours home when he had the trophy,” he laughed. “So, we’ll see what happens.”
Stewart’s round included five birdies and bogeys at the par-3 second and 17th holes.
“I hit driver really well today and was relatively aggressive on a lot of the par-4s. The par-3s played tough so playing those a couple over wasn’t too big of a deal,” said Stewart, who is playing in his second PGA of BC Championship. “I made the putts I needed to keep the round going and other than that it was pretty solid.”
Olson and Scarrow will play alongside Brad Clapp (Ledgeview Golf Club) in the penultimate group on Tuesday, both having been in the thick of things at last month’s Assistants’ Championship before Olson finished T2. Stewart said all of Chilliwack Golf Club’s Professionals have managed to push each other in recent weeks to solid results.
“We’ve been watching Zach and Jake play really good golf the last two months or so,” said Stewart, 25. “We go out and try to beat each other but cheer each other on. In between tournaments, it’s fun, you’re competing with guys who are really good players, so I would 100 per cent agree that we feed off each other.”
Clapp, the PGA of BC’s reigning Club Professional Champion, was among five players to finish at even-par, joined by current Seniors’ Champion Rob Anderson (Kelowna Golf & Country Club), Jeremy Johnson (Fairmont Hot Springs Resort), Finlay Young (GolfTEC Kelowna) and Mark Bicknell (Victoria Golf Club).
CLICK HERE to view complete scoring and Round 2 tee times. The final round will begin at 7:00 a.m., with the leaders set to tee off at 11:30 a.m.
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About Axis Insurance Group
The Axis Insurance Group was formed in 2017 through a brand amalgamation of several BC-based insurance brokerages with roots tracing to 1928. The experience of its combined 150 team members is uniquely positioned to serve Canada with risk-management and insurance services.
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