Bryn Parry reached down on the fourth green, repaired opponent Mike Belbin’s ball mark just eight inches outside the hole and stated: “Almost in the hole, buddy.”
“The way you’re going, I’m going to have to make those,” Belbin replied of his approach shot, which almost went in on the fly and ended up three feet away.
It was that type of day as the two went toe-to-toe for the first 10 holes before Parry, of Point Grey in Vancouver, eventually defeated Belbin, of Royal Mayfair in Edmonton, 4 & 2 in the quarter-finals of the Mr. Lube PGA Championship of Canada.
It was an impressive battle on a gloriously sunny afternoon at Victoria Golf Club, after an early-morning downpour created a delay to start the earlier opening round of match play.
The two had made three birdies each over the first four holes, including Belbin’s three-footer on No. 4.
“Bryn putts really well. Right off the bat, he makes that near 20-footer to tie on the first hole when I was already in and then he birdies the next two,” said Belbin, who had to fight off Parry’s hot putter for the first few holes.
“There were a lot of birdies early for both of us, but as soon as he made that one on No. 1, I was like, ‘This is what Bryn does.’ He’s a good putter and I knew we were in for a dogfight. There were a ton of birdies early, but my tee ball let me down on 11 and 12 and put me behind the 8-ball.”
The match got away from Belbin when he pushed tee shots right on the 11th and 12th holes. The 12th was pivotal as he was stymied by trees on the par-5 and forced to lay-up. Parry made birdie after a chip to within two feet, which Belbin conceded. That gave Parry a 2-up lead which he never surrendered.
“That was fun. Mike is a pleasure to play with. We’ve known each other right out of junior golf, I think that’s when we first met. We have a long history,” said Parry, who was thrilled with his putting, not only in the afternoon, but in his morning extra hole win over Brian McCann.
“Yeah, I made some, but Mike gave it right back,” Parry said of Belbin. “It was intense.”
Parry now meets Billy Walsh in a morning semifinal while Marc-Etienne Bussieres faces wily veteran Phil Jonas. Bussieres dumped Kevin Black 4 & 2 in the afternoon quarter-finals, while Jonas defeated James Harper 5 & 4. Walsh downed Dustin Risdon 5 & 3.
Parry knows what he’s up against in Walsh, whom he defeated for the 2013 championship at Magna.
“Billy is tenacious. We’re down to really strong players and the guys are going to come out swinging,” Parry said of the morning matches that go at 7:30 and 7:45 a.m. The championship final will follow at 1:15 p.m. with third place on the line at 1 p.m.
Both local products, veteran Jim Rutledge and Olympic View’s Gordy Scutt, were eliminated in the opening round of match play Wednesday morning. Rutledge lost 3 & 2 to Black and Scutt lost 2 & 1 to Risdon.
Scutt recorded a hole-in-one on the par-3 8th, draining a pitching wedge from 110 yards.
“You can’t see it from the tee, but I think it just took the slope and came back in,” said Scutt.
It was his eighth ace of his career, with his seventh coming on Masters weekend at Olympic View. He also had one when he was 18 at the B.C. Junior; one on the Canadian Tour; and another at the B.C. Assistants event three years ago.
CHIP SHOTS: Veteran Jackie Little of Port Alberni has the lead after two rounds of the B.C. Senior Women’s Championship at Kelowna Golf and Country Club. Little recorded a 1-over 73 in Round 2 on Wednesday to sit at 6-over 150, one shot better than Holly Horwood of Shaughnessy. First-round leader Penny Baziuk of Ardmore shot 79 to sit three back of Little heading into today’s final round.