Riley Wheeldon wins first pro golf tour event

Comox golfer comes on strong on back nine to win Kandy Waters Classic

WEARING GREEN ON St. Patrick's Day may have been a lucky charm for Riley Wheeldon

Riley Wheeldon of Comox earned his first NGA Pro Golf Tour victory Sunday by a single stroke over Brian Richey and Patton Kizzire in the Kandy Waters Memorial Classic at Mount Vintage Plantation Golf Club in North Augusta, South Carolina.

Like the previous three events of the season, the outcome of the 14th annual Kandy Waters wasn’t decided until the back nine in the final round. Wheeldon used a couple of late birdies to card a 2-under 70 on Sunday and finished with a 4-under 284 total.

“It was a difficult week and a grind all week,” said Wheeldon, who earned $30,500. “It feels great to win here with the history of this event. This is my first pro victory, so that feels good. Winning in Augusta feels special. Obviously, it’s not the one that I ultimately want, but it feels great and I’m happy I came out on top.”

While the event wasn’t played at Augusta National, the scores certainly had a major feel to them, with only six players finishing under par for the week. Early in the final round, the Highland Secondary grad looked to be one of the golfers that would fail to get into red numbers at the conclusion of the four-round event.

The University of Louisville standout, who started the day at T4 at 2-under par, found himself going the wrong direction to start play on Sunday, shooting 2-over par through the first seven holes.

“I tried to stay patient,” said Wheeldon. “I had a tendency in the past to get off my game and get mad. I’ve been working on hanging in there, and luckily this week it worked out.”

Wheeldon bounced back with a birdie on No. 9 and added another on No. 10 to get back to even par for the day. And birdies at Nos. 13 and 15 pushed the Canadian golfer atop the leaderboard for good.

After pars on Nos. 16 and 17, Wheeldon calmly rolled in a four-foot putt on No. 18 to join PGA Tour winners Camilo Villegas, Scott Piercy, Zach Johnson and Vaughn Taylor as a podium finisher in the prestigious event.

With the large payday, Wheeldon may have a shot at teeing up with the former KWMC standouts on the PGA Tour in 2013. Wheeldon currently leads the Race for the Web.com Tour’s BMW Charity Pro-Am event exemption and trails only Lower in the season money standings. The money leader at the halfway point of the season will earn an event exemption in the PGA TOUR’s Reno-Tahoe Open.

“It was one of my goals coming into this event to put myself in position to win the BMW and Reno exemptions,” said Wheeldon, who finished with rounds of 74, 70, 70 and 70. “It’s great that the NGA Tour gets these exemptions. It provides extra motivation, and I’m glad I got off to a good start.”

 

– www.wheeldongolf.ca

 

 

Just Posted

Comox Legion celebrates Robbie Burns day

The Comox Valley Pipe Band Society is celebrating Robbie Burns on Jan.… Continue reading

VIDEO: École Puntledge Park Elementary celebrates winter solstice

The event was a part of the school’s Indigenous education curriculum

Valley company reaching out to women near and far

Three Comox Valley business women know firsthand what good menstrual products can… Continue reading

B.C. storm totals $37M in insured damages

The December storm wreaked havoc on B.C.’s south coast

Miniature horses visit Glacier View residents

Glacier View Lodge residents had a couple of special visitors on Wednesday… Continue reading

Fashion Fridays: Inspirational gym outfits

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

BC Hydro scammers bilked customers out of nearly $45,000 in 2018

Nearly 2,000 people reported scams to the utility, as they continue to be more common

Overworked and understaffed: More than 300 vacancies in Vancouver Island nursing

Tentative deal with province includes ‘working short premium’ to encourage hiring

Olympian snowboarder Max Parrot diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Each year in Canada, approximately 900 people are diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma

‘Prince of Pot’ Marc Emery accused of sexual assault, harassment

Emery denied the allegations, but a Toronto woman says she is not the only one speaking out

Vancouver Island photographer makes National Geographic’s 2018 elite

Rare double honour for Marston from the 36 best Your Shots out of nearly 19,000 photos

Ex-Liberal candidate in Burnaby, B.C., says volunteer wrote controversial post

Karen Wang dropped out following online post singling out NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh’s ethnicity

Asteroids are smacking Earth twice as often as before

The team counted 29 craters that were no older than 290 million years

Canada’s arrest of Huawei exec an act of ‘backstabbing,’ Chinese ambassador says

China has called Canada’s arrest of Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou ‘politically motivated’

Most Read