By Brad Ziemer
KELOWNA — The GolfBC Championship is the final full-field event of the PGA Tour Canada season and the last opportunity for players to lock up spots in the season-ending Fortinet Cup Championship.
That event, scheduled for Sept. 15-18 at Deer Ridge Golf Club in Kitchener, Ont., is limited to the top 60 players on the Fortinet Cup points list after the GolfBC Championship.
Two British Columbians, Chris Crisologo of Richmond and Kimberley’s Jared du Toit, punched their tickets to the Tour Championship by making the cut this week at Gallagher’s Canyon Golf & Country Club.
Crisologo entered the GolfBC Championship 49th on the points list, while du Toit was 52nd. Through three rounds of the GolfBC Championship du Toit is tied for 18th at 11-under and projected at No. 44 on the points list. Crisologo is tied for 36th at eight-under and projected at No. 47.
No matter what happens in Sunday’s final round, both players will remain in the top 60.
INSURANCE POLICY: There’s another substantial perk for finishing inside the top 60. It makes players fully exempt for the 2023 PGA Tour Canada season. Of course, many players will be attending the Korn Ferry Tour qualifying school in the hope of moving up the professional golf ladder, but it’s nice to have that PGA Tour Canada status in your back pocket in case you need it.
“Heading to Q school it’s nice to know you have a place to play next year,” said Crisologo, who will play the first stage of the Korn Ferry Tour Q school in late September. “But we have to try and make the most of the opportunity once Q school comes around.”
Du Toit is trying something different this fall. He has decided to play the DK World Tour (formerly European Tour) Q school. He will competing at a first-stage site on the northwest coast of France in early October.
Du Toit acknowledged that cost is a factor. The Korn Ferry Tour Q school costs $6,500 US, while the DK World Tour is 2,000 British pounds (or about $3,000 Cdn).
TEACHER’S HELP: Vancouver Open champion Ilirian Zalli has his old high school social studies teacher on his bag this week at the GolfBC Championship.
Kirk Bausback also helped coach the golf team at David Thompson Secondary in Vancouver that Zalli and his older brother Christian both played on.
“He and his brother are smart, hard-working kids,” Bausback said. “They’re funny and they both helped their golf team considerably. We won the city championships one year and had a good run at the provincials another year with Tiffany Kong (now at Princeton University) on our team. We were blessed to have a lot of good golfers on our team.”
Bausback, whose daughter Emily was the 2020 national figure skating champion, said he tries to keep things light when he caddies for Zalli.
“I have a good relationship with him so I try to keep it fun and calm,” he said. “We joke around a lot.”
The 20-year-old Zalli didn’t have a great day in Saturday’s third round. He shot an even-par round of 71 and is tied for 61st at four-under heading into Sunday’s final round.
“I think it was my best day off the tee,” Zalli said. “But my putter wasn’t great today.”
The highlight of Zalli’s round came on the par 5 sixth hole, when his five-iron approach shot from 196 yards left him with a two-foot putt for eagle. “It’s good that it was two feet because I don’t know if I would have made it if it was any longer,” Zalli said with a smile.