Kevin Carrigan (British Columbia Golf Assn. photo)
Nanaimo, B.C. (June 1st, 2016) - After two rounds of the 2016 British Columbia Golf Men's & Women's Mid-Amateur/Mid-Masters Championships, Victoria's Alison Murdoch and Kevin Carrigan continue to hold respective leads heading into the 3rd and final round of the 54-hole event.
Whereas Carrigan's lead looks pretty solid, Alison Murdoch will play in the final group with her two closest pursuers, Shelly Stouffer and Christina Proteau, just two and three shots behind.
Jordan Belton desperately wanted to defend his B.C. Mid-Amateur title this week at Nanaimo Golf Club, but the Surrey resident knew it wasn't going to be easy. Not so much the golfing part, but getting there. Belton's wife Courtney delivered their first child, a son named Bauer, just two weeks ago, and he knew that being away for a few days would be a tough sell.
So Belton, with his wife's blessing, decided he'd commute daily from their Surrey home to Nanaimo. He flies home after each round and then gets up early and catches a flight back to Nanaimo. "I didn't know if my wife was going to let me, but it worked out," Belton said Wednesday.
"There's lots of flights in and out of here and the schedule worked and she was accommodating. It's working out good. I flew home yesterday and had dinner with her and it was funny, I said to her that an hour before we sat down for dinner last night I was sitting on the (clubhouse) deck having a beer watching guys come in on 18 and now I'm here. It's convenient."
Belton had a 10:18 a.m. tee time for Wednesday's second round of the B.C. Mid-Amateur and Mid-Master Championships.
"I took the 9 o'clock flight this morning. I fed the baby at 6, was out the door at about 7:15. I just head to the south terminal and take a sea plane right out of the river there. It's a 15- or-20-minute flight, a little cab ride up the hill and I am ready to go. It's pretty cool."
Belton, a 32-year-old Vancouver Golf Club member who works as a portfolio manager for RBC Dominion Securities in White Rock, won last year's Mid-Amateur title at Talking Rock Golf Course in Chase.
Tuesday's opening round at Nanaimo Golf Club was a real roller-coaster ride for Belton, who made six birdies but shot 77. Wednesday's second round was better. Belton fired a two-over 74.
He played the first two rounds with Kevin Carrigan of Victoria, who the entire field is chasing and does not figure to catch.
Carrigan fired a four-under 68 in Tuesday's first round to open up a five-shot lead. He added a five-under 67 on Wednesday and carries a nine-shot lead on fellow Victoria resident Craig Doell into Thursday's final round of the Mid-Amateur portion of the competition.
The Mid-Amateur is open to players 25 years and older. The B.C. Mid-Master Championship is also being contested at the same time. It is open to players 40 years and older. "I scraped it around well on the front nine," Carrigan said. "I had a lot of up and downs. I think I had 31 putts yesterday and putted awesome. Today I had about 23 putts and it was even better."
Carrigan said he won't think too much about his big lead as he heads into Thursday's final round."It is not like i am going to change my game plan tomorrow," he said. "I am going to hit driver on all the par 5s, I am going to hit driver on most of the par 4s and see if I can do it again."
Doell was four-under through 12 holes Wednesday, but made a couple of late bogeys to card his two-under 70 that left him at even-par through 36 holes. He leads the Mid-Masters competition by two shots over Sandy Harper of Nanaimo and Gudmund Lindbjerg of Pitt Meadows.
Doell and Carrigan are partners in the two-ball best-ball competition that is also being contested at Nanaimo. Their two-round total of 16-under par leads four other teams by nine shots.
Her lead remains two shots, but Alison Murdoch wasn't exactly feeling comfortable heading into Thursday's final round of the B.C. Women's Mid-Amateur and Mid-Master Championships.
Murdoch fired a four-over 76 Wednesday at Nanaimo Golf Club and her two-round total of 154 has the Victoria Golf Club member two shots in front of Shelly Stouffer of Nanoose Bay and three up on Christina Proteau of Port Alberni. Those three players will play together in the final group on Thursday.
"They are much more capable of seriously low scores than I am," Murdoch said of Proteau and Stouffer. "But I wouldn't mind playing in the last group tomorrow, go out there and whack away and see what I can do."
After a rocky front nine, where she made two double-bogeys, Murdoch steadied the ship on the back side.
"I played a really steady back," Murdoch said. "But those two doubles on the front, you can't get away from them. You want to take credit for your birdies, but you are stuck with your doubles as well."
Stouffer had the day's best round, a two-over 74 that was an eight-stroke improvement over her first round on Tuesday. "That was a lot of fun after yesterday's debacle," Stouffer said.