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Pinette uses hometown advantage to win B.C. golf championship in Williams Lake

The former Williams Lake man finished one under par with a three-day total score of 212

Andrew Pinette of Surrey was the winner of the 2023 BC Provincial Seniors Men’s Golf Championship held in his former hometown of Williams Lake July 25 through 27.

Pinette, who grew up in the lakecity, finished one under par with a three-day total score of 212. He won by four strokes over the second place finisher.

“The stars aligned for me,” said Pinette of competing in the 156-player, 55 and over championship. “This was my first year of eligibility and it happened to be on the golf course I played on growing up.”

Pinette said as a kid in the summer he would catch a ride to the golf course every day at 7 a.m. with his father, Conrad Pinette, who was headed to work. His dad would give him $5 for lunch and pick him up on his way home at 6 p.m.

“We’d play 36 holes every day,” Pinette said, adding “it’s pretty hard not to get good at something when you do it that much.”

Knowing the course was definitely an advantage during the championships, he said, particularly when some of his competitors struggled to play the crown greens; a unique and challenging feature of the Williams Lake course.

“It was a natural for me to play those shots.”

Pinette said he didn’t play much golf in his 20s and 30s, but jumped back in once his children were older and COVID hit.

He also attributes his success at the championship to the fact that he plays regularly at the Shaughnessy Golf & Country Club, which is a very difficult course.

“It makes you a stronger golfer,” he said.

During the championship, Pinette said he lead the competition the first day, tied the second day and lead again the third day after overcoming a tough front nine.

“I really had to dig deep,” he said. “The 12th (hole) was the hardest by a country mile … but that was the turning point for me.”

In the end, Pinette said it felt great to win in Williams Lake and be able to hoist the impressive championship trophy.

Besides winning the tournament, Pinette also got reacquainted with retired local Dr. Noel Donnelly, who just happened to deliver him as a baby at the local hospital.

When the Tribune asked Donnelly how that made him feel, he laughed and said “old.”

In the end, Williams Lake also came out a winner at the tournament.

Hosted by the Williams Lake Golf & Tennis Club, restaurants and hotels benefited greatly from the event while the warm local welcome had golfers from across the province wanting to come back for more, said tournament chair Grant Martin. He added golfers had nothing but good things to say about the course and Williams Lake.

“It’s been unreal. They say we have a gem here. A lot of them have never been here and they’re so impressed with the beauty of the course, just the great shape it’s in and the challenge that it presents to them.”

Martin also thanked the more than 40 volunteers who made the tournament possible.

BC Golf tournament director Jerome Goddard said the Williams Lake golf course was a great layout for the competitors.

“It’s not too long but it represents a lot of challenges especially around the greens which these players really like.”

Goddard noted that communities in the north have really embraced competitive golf and BC Golf is already in talks to have Williams Lake host another championship in the next three-to-five years.

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Angie Mindus

About the Author: Angie Mindus

A desire to travel led me to a full-time photographer position at the Williams Lake Tribune in B.C.’s interior.
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