“I have a day job and two young kids, so I don’t get to play much anymore, but when I do, I just go out to enjoy it,” he explained with a smile.
That easygoing mentality paid huge dividends for the 40-year-old Maple Ridge resident, who works as an RCMP officer in Burnaby. After bogeying his first two holes of the round to fall five back of Andrew Robb of Vancouver, he mustered a dramatic rally to win by a single stroke.
Yardley ignited his comeback by birdying four of the next eight holes, and he took the lead for good by hitting his tee shot on the par-three 17th to within eight feet of the cup and rolling in a birdie putt. He finished at even-par for the round and at two-over for the tournament.
“It feels great – this is my first BCGA golf event win,” enthused Yardley, who finished atop both the mid-amateur (age 25-39) and masters 40 (age 40-plus) divisions.
“I got off to a pretty poor start, but I just told myself not to give up, and ended up making a birdie and started hitting the ball a little bit better.
“It was fun, it was exciting – it’s what we play for, right?”
Robb (+3), Colin Gilliam of Vancouver (+4), Coquitlam’s Kevin Hogg (+6), Ledgeview’s own Brian Bates (+7) and Norm Bradley of Kelowna (+7) rounded out the top five overall finishers.
The provincial championship drew 106 golfers from across B.C. to Ledgeview, and event co-chair Val Haslam said the level of volunteer involvement was excellent and feedback from participants was positive.
“I think they take a look at the yardage and go, ‘Hmm,'” she said with a chuckle, alluding to Ledgeview’s shorter-than-average length of 6,131 yards from the blue tees. “Then they come back at the end of the round and say, ‘I shot this high?’ It doesn’t need to be a really long, long course to get their attention.”