QUALICUM BEACH, British Columbia (July 14, 2016) --
Nolan Thoroughgood joined the junior program at Royal
Colwood Golf Club in Victoria when he was 11 years old.
His parents didn’t see much of him that summer. “We
live right beside the course so he went over every day
that summer,” Garth Thoroughgood said of his son.
“He’d leave the house at 9 and we wouldn’t see him
until 9 at night. They spoiled him there and he just fell
in love with the game. He gave up hockey two years
later and said he is just going to focus on golf.”
That decision seems to be working out just fine. On
Thursday, Nolan -- now 15 and heading into Grade 11
at Royal Bay Secondary -- shot a two-under par 70 in
the third round of the B.C. Amateur Championship at
Pheasant Glen Golf Resort and will take a one-shot lead
into Friday’s final round.
He sits at seven-under par through three rounds
and can’t really believe he’s leading the biggest event
he’s ever played in. “I am going to be nervous,” he said.
“But I know my game is good right now. I just have to
trust myself and hit my lines. I am going to be nervous
either way on every hole.”
Thoroughgood came to Pheasant Glen after what he
described as a disappointing tie for 14th at last week’s
B.C. Junior Championship at Arbutus Ridge Golf Club in
Cobble Hill. “He was upset with the way he played last
week, so he ended up standing in the pouring rain on
Saturday for two and half hours hitting balls at the
range and said he was going to straighten it out and
that’s what he did,” his dad said.
“That was my first B.C. Junior and this is my first
BC Am,” Nolan said. “If I made the cut I wasn’t going to
complain. But I didn’t expect to be in this position.”
Nolan’s dad is caddying for his son this week. He said
he did little but offer Nolan encouragement. The two
quietly bumped fists when Nolan hit a nice shot or sunk
a key putt. And he did lots of that on Thursday.
He got his round rolling with three straight birdies
on the 8th, 9th and 10th holes. “Through eight, nine
and 10 I literally hit every single line I looked at,” Nolan
said. “I hit a good shot on eight and made a good putt.
On nine (a par 5) I hit it to 10 feet, missed my eagle,
but had a tap-in birdie.
I was hitting all my lines and killing my driver. On
10 I hit my 5-iron to 10 feet for eagle. It’s hard not to
make birdies when you are hitting it that close on par
5s. That doesn’t normally happen for me, but for
whatever reason things are going my way.”
He leads 20-year-old Zach Anderson of Nanaimo by
one shot. Anderson also played well Thursday, firing a
one-under 71 that he said could have been much lower.
“I hit it really well,” said Anderson, who just completed
his second year at Washington State University.
“I probably only missed two or three fairways and
hit it close almost every time and nothing seemed to
drop. The first two days I was automatic from eight feet
and in. But today nothing dropped. I finally made a
short one on 14. I probably couldn’t have shot any
higher the way I hit it today.”
Like many others in the field, Anderson had never
heard of Thoroughgood before this week’s event. “I
didn’t know who he was before today and he just
showed up and is hitting it awesome,” Anderson said.
“It is good to see a young guy playing well.” The
leaderboard is dominated by young guys.
Richmond’s Chris Crisologo, who is 20, sits alone in
third at four-under par after shooting the day’s best
score, a three-under 69. Surrey’s Samuel Su, 17, is
alone in fourth at three-under. And there are lots more
kids close behind chasing them.
None of them is as young as Thoroughgood, who
insisted he will be happy with whatever happens in
Friday’s final round. “I’d love to win,” he said. “If I win it
would be amazing. If I come top three that would be
amazing. if I come top 20 that would be amazing. I
don’t have any real goals set.”
CHIP SHOTS: The final group tees off at
9:40 a.m. Friday . . . The top three players after
Friday’s final round will represent B.C. at the Willingdon
Cup competition during the Canadian Amateur
Championship, which goes Aug. 8-11 in Ottawa. . .A
two-man best-ball competition is being held
concurrently with the B.C. Amateur. The teams of Nate
Ollis of Victoria and Zaahidali Nathu of Richmond and
Chris Crisologo and Jacob Vanderpas of Vancouver are
tied for the lead at 20-under. That is one shot better
than the Courtenay duo of Mark Valliere and Logan