Brad Ziemer, Special to the Langley Advance Times
You want to know what keeps James Allenby going, why he hasn’t given up chasing his professional golf dream? Well, for starters, rounds like the one he shot at Kings Links Golf Course in Delta earlier this month.
The 34-year-old from Langley fired a seven-under 65 to top the 43-man field.
Rounds like that one stoke the inner belief that fuels Allenby’s desire to make it as a professional golfer, despite the many setbacks he has endured over the last decade.
“Part of it is I kind of burned my bridges in college,” Allenby said after his round. “I didn’t graduate or anything so I don’t really have anything to fall back on. Another reason is this is all I know, this is all I want to do, even if it sucks that I am in the same spot year after year trying to get ahead, trying to get sponsors or trying to get starts in big events. Eventually, it is going to happen. I know my game, I know my level.
“That (inner belief) is absolutely why I keep going. If I didn’t have any kind of belief in myself I’d be done. I don’t know what I’d be doing, shovelling something.”
Allenby played a flawless round Monday. His round was bogey-free and all but one of his seven birdies came from inside 15 feet. “It was one of those rounds where if you were to just sit down and map it out, it was pretty much it. Just birdie all the easy holes and par the tough ones. It was very stress-free.”
Ten players played their way into the final qualifier for the RBC Canadian Open on June 3 at Heron Point Golf Links in Alberton, Ont. It took a score of even-par or better to finish among the top six and ties who moved on to the final qualifier.
Allenby is looking for a place to play. He has had past status on the Mackenzie Tour-PGA TOUR Canada circuit and the PGA Latino America Tour but hasn’t played well enough to keep his card. He has twice made it to the second stage of the European Tour qualifying school and this past fall failed to get through the first stage of the Web.com Tour Q-School. He also came up short at the Asian Tour Q-School in December.
Allenby does have an exemption into the Mackenzie Tour’s season-opening event, the Canada Life Open at Point Grey Golf & Country Club in Vancouver, later this month. Allenby, who has played well the past couple of years on the Vancouver Golf Tour, hopes to take another run at qualifying for the Asian Tour later this year. “I hadn’t really been playing too well lately, part of it is just the timing in my golf swing,” he said. “It has been a little bit off, but today obviously it was there, it was back.”
Allenby was one of five British Columbians to advance to the final qualifier for the RBC Canadian Open. Tsawwassen’s Austin Hughes finished alone in second place after shooting a four-under 68. Amateur Mitchell Thiessen of Chilliwack tied for fourth with a one-under 71, while fellow amateur Thierry Martine of Victoria, Noah Lee of Langley and Mewail Kidane of Vancouver were part of a five-way tie for sixth spot at even-par.
The Canadian Open goes June 6-9 at Hamilton Golf & Country Club. The 10 players who advanced in qualifying on Monday at Kings Links will undoubtedly be dreaming about being a part of the big show.
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