KELOWNA, British Columbia — SPORTS – For four years, Jake Knapp and Jonathan Garrick practiced together, ate together and lived together. They just never played against each other.
That will change on Saturday.
The best friends and former UCLA teammates enter the third round of the GolfBC Championship tied at 11-under 131, two shots clear of fellow Bruin Lorens Chan. Five others are tied for fourth at 8-under 134.
“It’ll be a nice walk being able to be with one of my best friends,” Knapp said. “It’ll be nice to play 18 holes together. We’re very close friends. We’re going to go to dinner tonight together. We’ll chat nonstop.”
It was Knapp that entered Friday with the advantage, as he ended the opening round one shot clear of the field. But Garrick quickly surged to the forefront with a second-round best 7-under 64 in the morning wave to rise to a three-shot lead.
Garrick carded a bogey-free 30 on the front nine, including a 25-foot birdie at No. 8, then stuck a 5-iron to 15 feet for eagle on the par-5 12th. He would eventually move three clear of the field with a 15-foot birdie at No. 17 before ending with a critical 8-foot par save at the last.
“Obviously I saw (Knapp) was leading yesterday and knew I had to jump out in front of him because he’d probably play well again,” Garrick said. “ … Just to know that we know each other’s game very well, and obviously he won the first event by quite a few and played pretty decent last week on TOUR. It’s a little bit of inspiration for me.”
Not to be outdone, Knapp pulled even midway through his round with eagles at Nos. 6 and 9 and a birdie at No. 8. He briefly fell to 10-under with a bogey on the 15th, but quickly got it back with a birdie at the ensuing hole.
Chan, meanwhile, posted a bogey-free 65 to join his fellow college teammates inside the top three. He posted an eagle at the ninth, then closed with birdies on two of his last four holes to pull within two shots.
All were members of the Bruins golf team from 2012-2015.
“This is like team qualifying maybe, it’s pretty cool,” Chan said. “I played with Jon last week. We live pretty close to each other and practice at the same course. It’s nice to see him play well this week. I’m not surprised by Jake. He’s already got a win, so I don’t expect anything less from him.”
- The cut came at 1-under 141, with 68 players making it to the weekend.
- Sponsor exemption and Kelowna native John Milkotic birdied his final hole of the day to make the cut on the number. His mother died of cancer one year ago today.
- The top three players in the Order of Merit all made the cut: Paul Barjon (5-under, T18), Jake Knapp (11-under, T1) and Doc Redman (6-under, T12). Brian Carlson and James Allenby, Nos. 4 and 5, respectively, missed the cut.
- Jonathan Garrick missed the cut in each of his first two starts this season. He is currently projected to rise 105 spots to No. 3 in the Order of Merit.
- Garrick has fond memories of the GolfBC Championship. In 2016, he carded a top-five finish here while earning his first professional paycheck.
- The Low Canadian is Riley Wheeldon, who sits T12 at 6-under 136. He began Friday’s second round with two birdies and an eagle before finishing with a 68.
- Twin brothers Yannik Paul and Jeremy Paul are both inside the top 25 entering the weekend. Yannik Paul leads the way at 8-under 134, good for a tie for fourth.
- 14-year-old Canadian amateur Cooper Humphreys posted a bogey-free 30 on the back nine, finishing with a 71.
- First-year professional Bennett Wisner carded a hole-in-one at the par-3 eighth hole. He used a 5-iron from 197 yards. He missed the cut at 1-over 143.
“You don’t see every week—no matter what Tour you’re on—three guys at the top of the leaderboard from the same school, and same class, nonetheless. I think we knew even going into college that it was going to be a pretty special class between the three of us and two other guys. It’s nice to see three Bruins on top.” – Jake Knapp
“Tomorrow will be the first time we’ve ever teed it up against each other in a sense. You’re still playing against the golf course. It’s Saturday, you’re not really going to win it or lose it for the most part. Just go out there and play against the golf course as best as you can.” – Jake Knapp
“You never really know if you’re going to shoot 64. I missed the first two cuts but I wasn’t too discouraged about it. I worked on some good stuff during the off week and felt like I was going to play well. I played really well yesterday. The conditions were really tough, so 4-under yesterday was almost as good as 7-under today.” – Jonathan Garrick
“Once I saw the leaderboard I realized that the conditions must have been easier in the morning. I figured if I could beat everybody in my wave then that’s all I can really control. I can’t control the other draw and their weather. I knew today would be a little easier. I wanted to shoot something at least 4- or 5-under.” – Jonathan Garrick
“Jake just bombs it everywhere and they’re both really good players. It was nice. I think it was more of just being comfortable with each other. I’ve been pretty relaxed the last two days with pretty much my brother right there next to me. It was fun.” – Lorens Chan
“I think that’ll probably sneak me into the second-to-last group. It keeps me close to them, which keeps it in the comfort zone. I looked at the leaderboard and saw a bunch of guys at 8. Wanted to hit a good putt and see what happened.” – Lorens Chan on his closing birdie
“Actually my Mom passed away a year to the day ago. June 14th of last year. That kind of put things in perspective for me. I just kept telling myself, there is more to life than golf and not to worry about it. I think that kind of helped me get through the day and not stress too much.” – John Mlikotic on making the cut on the last hole
“This really boosts my confidence. Now I know I can really grind out a round even if I have a really bad front nine, which I did. I know I can come back and play well.” – 14-year-old Cooper Humphreys, who posted a back-nine 30
“I was four-under through three, obviously a dream start. I chipped in on my first, made a good putt on 11 and then I hit it to like four feet for eagle on 12. And I actually burned the edge on the next three holes as well, so it could have been a crazy start. But I kind of got stale, saw some edges and made a couple of bad strokes and I was just kind of holding on there for a while. I got one to drop on the last hole, which is nice.” – Riley Wheeldon
Second-Round Weather: Sunny. High of 29. Wind NNW at 10 kph.