Rossland golfer rolls to BC title

Rossland's Xander Bankes is presented with BC Golf’s BC championship trophy after winning the tournament at the Bowen Island Golf Club.

Xander Bankes won the Novice division title at BC Golf's Bantam and Novice championship on Aug. 24.

Xander Bankes won the Novice division title at BC Golf's Bantam and Novice championship on Aug. 24.

Playing at the Kids World Golf Championship in North Carolina earlier this month was undoubtedly a highlight in Xander Bankes’ young career, but winning the 2016 BC Novice Championship at the Bowen Island Golf Club on Wednesday is likely a close second.

The 11-year-old Rossland golfer jumped out to an early lead in round 1 of the event, then held on for an 85-84 victory over Nic Wrixon of North Vancouver on Wednesday to claim the provincial championship.

Using the Stableford Scoring system, where a golfer gets 1 point for a bogie, 2 points for par, 3 for birdie, and 4 for double-eagle, Bankes netted 45 points in his opening round to lead Wrixon by six points. Incredibly, the Redstone member carded three eagles, including a handicapped hole-in-one on the 139-yard par-3 island course, in addition to six birdies, six pars, and three bogies.

Bankes was more tentative in Round 2, but settled down on the back nine sinking four birdies and a bogie to finish the day with 40 points, while his counterpart’s 45 left him one point short.

Bankes will look to add another accomplishment to his bag, when he tees off today at the Tsawassen Springs Golf Club for the final round of the inaugural Maple Leaf Junior Golf Mini Tour (12 and under) National championship.

Top finishers will qualify for international exemptions-paid entries into the 10th Annual FCG National Championship Dec. 28-30 in San Diego, Calif.