Chris Crisologo (British Columbia Golf photo)
By Brad Ziemer, British Columbia Golf
KAMLOOPS, B.C., CANADA (July 13, 2018) -- His last win had come some 11,000 kilometres from home and was beginning to feel like a lifetime ago. Actually, it had only been seven months since Chris Crisologo travelled to Buenos Aires, Argentina and won the South American Amateur Championship.
That was a huge win for the talented 22-year-old from Richmond, but so was the one he earned Friday at Rivershore Golf Links in Kamloops.
In a way, it might even be bigger for Crisologo, a young man who is proud of his British Columbia roots and was absolutely delighted to hoist the Bostock Trophy as the 2018 winner of the B.C. Amateur Championship.
“It is good to finally get one of these provincial championships,” a relieved Crisologo said. “It has been a long battle. I just feel fortunate to have pulled through today.”
Crisologo shot a tidy, three-under par 69 to beat Kaleb Gorbahn of Smithers by two shots and win the 116th playing of the B.C. Amateur. Crisologo, a member of Canada’s National Amateur Team, finished with a 72-hole total of 12-under par. Needing only a par on the par 5 18th hole to win, Crisologo instead two-putted for birdie.
The Marine Drive member had come to Rivershore not feeling that great about his game. He had disappointing results during a four-week overseas trip to Scotland, Ireland and the Netherlands and certainly wasn’t oozing with confidence when play began on Tuesday.
“Obviously my game wasn’t up to par coming into this, so there weren’t many expectations,” he said. “The last two wins have been like that. In Argentina there weren’t too many expectations and same with here.”
One of the first people to congratulate Crisologo was Marine Drive legend Doug Roxburgh, who a couple of hours earlier had finished playing in his 52nd straight B.C. Amateur. Crisologo said the support of Roxburgh and everyone at Marine Drive has meant more than words can say.
“It is amazing seeing someone like Doug out here making cuts and still playing really good golf,” Crisologo said. “It is an inspiration for us. It means the world to me. Obviously, we have so much support from Marine Drive. We have so many talented players at Marine. These guys push me every day.”
With his younger brother Michael caddying for him and his mom and dad walking every step of the way, Crisologo played what was close to an error-free round of golf. He made four birdies and his only bogey came on the par 3 11th hole, where he three-putted. He made several crucial par-saving putts of five to seven feet along the way.
“Those were big putts for sure,” he said. “Those are what we call the momentum putts and if you can keep making them you can kind of of carry that through the whole round and have that positive energy throughout.”
Crisologo recently completed a stellar collegiate career at Simon Fraser University and has a busy summer schedule that includes the Pacific Coast Amateur at the Olympic Club in San Francisco later this month and next month’s Canadian Amateur Championship at Duncan Meadows and Pheasant Glen golf courses on Vancouver Island.
Crisologo will be joined on the B.C. Team at the Canadian Amateur by Gorbahn and Victoria’s Kevin Carrigan, who finished third at nine-under par. Gorbahn, who recently completed his collegiate golf career at the University of Nevada at Reno, put pressure of Crisologo all day. He fired a four-under 68 and was lamenting a couple of short missed putts late in his round that could have made things interesting.
He missed a five-footer for eagle on the par 5 15th hole and had to settle for a birdie. And then on the par 4 16th hole, Gorbahn missed a four-foot putt for birdie. “Obviously I was a little frustrated, but I knew I had to get through 17 and maybe birdie 18 and see what Chris does,” Gorbahn said. “Chris played great all week and I couldn’t be happier for him. I’m obviously disappointed I didn’t win, but it’s a good finish and my game is looking up.”
Gorbahn said he is delighted to make Team B.C. and earn the right to compete for the Willingdon Cup at the Canadian Amateur. “I have always wanted to be on the B.C. team,” he said. “I came close a couple of years ago when I was fourth. So it is good. I am playing good golf and hopefully I can keep that form for the Canadian Am and compete there and represent British Columbia, which I am proud to do.”
For Carrigan, it was yet another close call at the B.C. Amateur. He shot a two-under 70 Friday. “It was a grind,” he said. “I made some putts, I missed some putts but Chris played really well all week. You look forward to people like him winning these championships if you are going to lose them.”
Carrigan, who has had a number of top-five finishes at the B.C. Amateur, vows to keep playing until he wins one. “I thought this was my year, but I am going to keep playing it for sure,” said Carrigan, a two-time Canadian Mid-Amateur champion.
He’ll probably never play as many as the 66-year-old Roxburgh, who continues to defy Father Time. He shot an even-par 72 on Friday and finished tied for 27th place at six-over par.
Zach Olson of Abbotsford finished alone in fourth at seven-under after shooting a 73 on Friday. Surrey’s Ian Kim fired the day’s best round, a six-under 66, and moved into fifth place at six-under par.