Island golfers share lead at B.C. amateur tourney

It poured Wednesday at Pemberton, but not on the future prospects of the rising class of Island golfers.

Jackson Rothwell of Victoria and Tristan Mandur of Mill Bay were tied for first, along with Isaac DH Lee of Pitt Meadows, at the halfway point of the four-round 117th B.C. amateur men’s championship on the Big Sky course.

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The trio was at five-under 139 after two rounds. Tyler Saunders of Sturgeon Country, Alta., was also at five-under after 13 holes in the much-delayed second round.

Nolan Thoroughgood of Royal Colwood, who became the youngest B.C. amateur champion three years ago at age 15, was tied for eighth. The Pac-12 Oregon State Beavers freshman was at one-under 143.

“It poured on the back nine and you had to adapt,” said Mandur, out of Arbutus Ridge. “But it was pretty much the same for everyone.”

Mandur graduated from Shawnigan Lake School and plays in the Pac-12 for the University of Utah Utes among a pack of Island golfers in the NCAA, especially the Pac-12.

“It’s a great group of young golfers out of the Island,” he said.

“We grew up on really good courses and were lucky that we could play all year long.”

Among that emerging class is Rothwell, who has been on quite a tear the last two weeks.

The Victoria Club member captured third place, in a playoff against Jackson Jacob of Langley, in the B.C. junior boys’ championship tournament last week at Fairwinds in Nanoose Bay.

Rothwell, a 2019 St. Michaels University School graduate headed to NCAA golf at Babson College in Wellesley, Massachusetts, will join provincial champion Brycen Ko and runner-up Michael Crisologo, both of Richmond, on the B.C. team to the Canadian junior championship Aug. 12-15 in Hartland, N.B.

The 18-year-old Rothwell has followed up well this week in Pemberton.

Alisha Lau of Richmond and Phoebe Yue of West Vancouver led the B.C. women’s amateur championship after two rounds with even-par 144s at Nanaimo Golf Club.

Meanwhile, Stelly’s Secondary student Cindy Koira, who plays out of Victoria Club and Gorge Vale, placed second last week, four strokes behind winner Angela Zhang of Richmond in the B.C. junior girls’ championship held at Fairwinds.

The B.C. team to the Canadian girls’ junior championship July 29 to Aug. 2 in Lethbridge will consist of Zhang, Koira and third-place Erin Lee of Langley.

Koira placed 19th individually last year at the junior nationals but is targeting a big climb this year.

“Overall, I’ve improved over the last year,” said the 16-year-old, who won the Junior Vikes Tour last year.

Koira was sixth two years ago in the 13-14 age-class Euro juniors in Scotland and played in the world juniors in Pinehurst, North Carolina.

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