On moving day, Cole Shaw went in the wrong direction and couldn't find his way back up the leaderboard.
The 25-year-old Prince George product finished in a tie for 63rd place at last week's B.C. Amateur Golf Championship, held at Swan-e-set Bay Resort Club in Pitt Meadows. Shaw opened the tournament with back-to-back 75s and, at six-over-par, was in a tie for 29th place. Entering the third round, his goal was to shoot a low number and close the gap on the leaders.
It didn't happen.
On the unforgiving Swan-e-set layout, Shaw struggled to a nine-over-par round of 81. Then, in Friday's fourth and final round, he carded an 83.
From a psychological point of view, Shaw said he was a little beaten up after the disappointing third round.
"I wanted to really make a move and try and move up the leaderboard," he said. "The third round is usually moving day and whenever you go backwards it's hard to recover from that. You feel like you're out of the tournament but I told myself, 'Just go out there and try and play the best you can,' and I came into Round 4 and did the best I could. I battled as hard as I could mentally but it was one of those days where nothing goes your way."
In the big picture, putting difficulties and a couple of errant drives knocked Shaw out of contention for a top finish. He never really did have his flat stick working, even on the first two days. Then, on the 18th hole of Round 3, he pulled his tee shot to the left, lost the ball, and took a triple bogey. Shaw recorded another triple on his 11th hole of the fourth round, again because of a lost ball off the tee.
"I made some mistakes and couldn't make any birdie putts to recover from those mistakes," he said. "You needed to make birdies because there were doubles and stuff easily waiting. If you just missed a fairway by a little bit, you were in some high grass and some hazards.
"My putter let me down and a couple tough holes got me, and that's what they're there to do in B.C. Ams and big tournaments," he added. "You've got to be as consistent as you can off the tee."
Shaw finished at 26-over-par. The winner, Riley Fleming of Airdrie, Alta., was eight-under, three strokes clear of runner-up Brian Jung of Coquitlam. Fleming is part of the Team Canada Development Squad and was playing in the B.C. Amateur on a special exemption.
Prince George's Blair Anderson was also entered in the tournament but missed the cut for the final two rounds. The cut-line was set at 12-over-par and Anderson finished at 14-over.
Shaw is a graduate of the University of Victoria, where he was a member of the Vikes golf team. He was competing in the B.C. Amateur for the sixth time. And, while disappointed in his result, he's keeping a positive attitude about his game.
"Unfortunately I wasn't able to get the finish I wanted but I feel like I'm progressing in the right direction," he said.
Shaw's father, Terry, often caddies for him at the B.C. Amateur championship and filled that role again this year. Shaw said he's thankful for the continuing support of his dad, family members and friends.
As for the future, Shaw hasn't ruled out turning pro at some point but knows there's much work to be done.
"I really feel like I want to accomplish more things as an amateur," he said. "You have to prove yourself. You've got to contend in some B.C. Ams and maybe win a B.C. Am and I feel like my game's not there yet and I don't know if it's going to get there. I'm just trying to get better, and we'll see."
Shaw, who works and practices at Victoria's Royal Colwood Golf Club, won't be home for the Simon Fraser Open, Saturday through Monday at the Prince George Golf and Curling Club. Instead, he'll be teeing up in the Gorge Vale Open, a two-round pro-am event in Victoria.
"With being off work for the Amateur, it's hard to get off again to make the trek back to Prince George," said Shaw, the Simon Fraser champion in 2010. "I would love to play the Simon, it's obviously my favourite tournament."