By Brad Ziemer
KELOWNA — If Stuart Macdonald’s wife looked more excited than he did after his hole-in-one on the par 3 13th hole in Sunday’s final round of the GolfBC Championship, there’s a reason for that.
It was the Vancouver native’s ninth ace. His wife Carly, who was caddying for him this week, didn’t see any of the first eight.
A PGA Tour Canada media staffer happened to be on site when Macdonald dunked his eight-iron from 188 yards and captured some wonderful photos, including one with a look of pure joy on Carly’s face.
“She kept her mouth open for like 20 seconds,” Macdonald said with a laugh after posting his five-under 66 at Gallagher’s Canyon Golf & Country Club. “It was so funny.”
Macdonald did not see the ball go into the hole.
“The pin was at the back and my ball landed right on the flat of the middle tier and I think it rolled right in. It rolled like 20 feet. I did not see it go in, I just heard the reaction.”
It was his third ace in competition.
Carly, a former collegiate volleyball player and coach, joked that she was going to take all the credit for pulling the right club.
“But I’m not a golfer, so I don’t think anyone would believe that,” she said.
Macdonald, who just lost his status on the Korn Ferry Tour, finished tied for 18th at 14-under par. He now heads to the first stage of Korn Ferry Tour qualifying school next week in Texas.
EAGLE HAS LANDED: Kimberley’s Jared du Toit closed with a three-under 68 that included an eagle on the par 4 second hole.
“I had 130 yards and hit a nice little gap wedge a little right of it,” he said. “I didn’t see it go in, but there were a couple of people by the green and they raised their arms so I figured it was probably in.”
Du Toit finished the tournament tied for 18th at 14-under par and likes the direction his game is heading.
“A lot of good, although I am a little disappointed today. I was hoping to shoot a lower one and climb the board. It looks like a pretty tight leaderboard and a couple of shots coming in can really go a long way.
“But I was really solid all week and could have got even more out of it. I like where my game is at and hopefully I can keep that going into the Tour Championship and the fall.”
ALL ALONE: With an odd number of 67 players qualifying to play the weekend at the GolfBC Championship, one player had to go solo in each of the final two rounds.
On Sunday, that honour went to Jackson Suber of Tampa., Fla., who had lots to play for. Suber started the week No. 62 on the PGA Tour Canada Fortinet Cup points list and needed to move inside the top 60 to qualify for the season-ending Fortinent Cup Championship later this month in Kitchener, Ont. and guarantee his exempt status for 2023.
Unfortunately, his story did not have a happy ending. Suber shot a four-under 67 in a round that took just a touch over three hours to play. That wasn’t enough to move him into the top 60 and he ended his season at No. 65.
Suber, who had a standout collegiate career at the University of Mississippi, said playing solo in a pro tournament was a new experience for him.
“In the beginning I was going so fast because I didn’t have to wait for anyone,” he said. “With all the hills out here it’s kind of a tough walk so you need to take a breath and relax. I had to make myself slow down.”
Suber knew he’d have to go low Sunday to have any chance of cracking the top 60.
“My back was against the wall a little bit, but you don’t really have anything to lose,” he said. “You just go out there and play a good round of golf and see where it puts me. I definitely left a couple of shots out there but it was better than yesterday.”
STILL STANDING: Two of the eight players who Monday qualified into the event at Okanagan Golf Club’s Bear Course survived to play on the weekend. Oregon’s Cole Madey tied for 18th at 14-under par and Max Sekulic of Rycroft, Alta., tied for 54th at seven-under.