Ben Gresley-Jones of the Rossland-Trail Country Club, placed 19th out of 156 of BC’s best golfers at this years BC Amateur Championship, held at The Dunes in Kamloops. Like a true competitor, Gresley-Jones had mixed feelings about the finish – “You always want to do better, but it was my best placing at a BC Amateur event, so, in that sense, I’m pretty happy about it.”
Considering the circumstances, Gresley-Jones did remarkably well to place top 20. His work commitment sees him travelling to Alberta for two weeks on and two weeks off, giving him short stints during which he could prepare for the championship. Additionally, The Dunes is not a course he is familiar with; the practice round each golfer is allotted was Gresley-Jones’ first and only spin around the 18 holes. Fortunately, this year’s course played to his strengths; “It’s a wide open course, very forgiving,” Gresley-Jones says, “My strengths are my recovery shots and my short game. I didn’t hit the fairway very often, but I could always get into good position, and my putting pulled through for me.”
The budding golfer attributes local courses in Castlegar and Rossland to his ingenuity on the course. The sloping fairways of Redstone, and the prevalence of trees at Birchbank have forced some creative shots over the years, and a good deal of fore-thought.
Gresley-Jones began playing golf at 11 years of age, joining the junior tournament circuit right from the beginning. “My dad played a lot of golf,” he recalls, “And when you’re that age, you want to do what your dad is doing.” Ben claims he was not an elite golfer in his youth, that his game really began to develop in the last four or five years.
His success at this year’s BC Amateur has earned Gresley-Jones a spot in the upcoming Canadiam Amateur tournament to be held in Winnipeg on August 8. He is looking forward to it, but is also somewhat nervous, “I went to the Can Am in 2009, and found it hard to focus… you’re just awe-struck by the players around you. It’s something I’m going to have to get used to and learn to play through it.”
The tournament will likely be the last serious golfing event of the season for Gresley-Jones, who finds himself uncertain about his future in the sport. “If you want to pursue golf seriously, it takes a lot of time and money,” he states, “I’m lucky to have a job where I’m earning good money and have some time off to practice, but I still need to figure out if it’s something I want to continue to do.”
We wish Ben the best of luck at the imminent Canadian Amateur championships. If you would like to follow his progress, tournament updates will be available at the Golf Canada website: www.golfcanada.ca