Special to The Record
Courtenay’s Abigail Rigsby shot a course record (-6) 65 at Spallumcheen Golf & Country Club in Vernon on Aug. 20 to win the BC Juvenile Girls Championship by three strokes over Surrey’s Hannah Lee.
Rigsby had a spotless card, with six birdies, including a downhill 20-footer on her last hole that saw her better the previous course record, a (-4) 67 shot by Mary-Ann Hayward at the 2013 Canadian Senior Women’s Championship.
“I just found out at the scoring tent that I had set the new course record,” said Rigsby, who was playing her final tournament of the season and final BC Juvenile.
“It’s pretty surreal,” said Rigsby as she was doused with a champion’s water shower by friends Megan Ratcliffe and Mary Parsons. “I’ve played some really good golf ever since the Canadians, where I broke par there for a round. I came back to my home course (Crown Isle) and shot a 69 and I’ve just played really well.”
Trailing by four strokes heading into the final round, Rigsby reeled off three straight birdies and overhauled Lee by the fifth tee box en route to her first BC Golf championship.
“I couldn’t believe all those putts dropped,” said Rigsby. “I can’t really explain it, but it felt good to get ahead.”
Rigsby, who started her round on the 10th hole, had several other birdie opportunities on her opening nine. After hitting a huge drive up the right side of the par-4 14th, she had a 15-foot birdie putt that just stayed out.
At the 15th, she had another makeable 12-foot birdie putt which wouldn’t fall. She capitalized on the par-3 17th and finished her first nine in a solid (-4) 31.
Victory In Sight
After another birdie on the 5th, Rigsby could see victory in sight, even as she nervously played the par-5 8th. “I hit a really bad second there, but I still made par,” said Rigsby. “And I hit a couple nice shots on 9 and I was pretty happy to make that birdie.”
Lee couldn’t get anything going as she played the back nine with Rigsby and Alisha Lau. As Rigsby was making birdies to reel the Surrey native in, Lee made a bogey on the 12th hole and her four-shot cushion was gone.
On the 13th, Lee was lucky to find her drive in bounds on the left side and after hitting her approach short, she couldn’t get up-and-down for par and the tournament had a new leader. Lee made her lone birdie for her front nine on the par-5 18th.
Lee made two bogeys on the front nine before back-to-back birdies on #5 and #6 got her to within two strokes of Rigsby. But that was the end of the birdies for Lee, who said she couldn’t be happier for the winner.
“Abi played well and I tried to close the gap, but she just didn’t make any mistakes,” said Lee. “I’m so happy for her because it’s her last BC Juvenile and she played the best out of all of us out here.”
Rigsby couldn’t wait to get her new Titleist golf bag with 2015 Champion embroidered on it. “I needed a new golf bag,” said Rigsby. “It’s a great way to finish off my season.”
In the best ball competition, the team of AJ Ewart and Khan Lee won the title after shooting a (-9) round of 62 to finish at (-22) 191, two strokes better than the second place team of Keaton Gudz and Tristan Mandur. The all-girl team of Ratcliffe and Rigsby finished third at (-19) 194.
Alfie Lau is the senior reporter at Inside Golf.