GOLF: New-to-Surrey siblings score low, aim high in pursuit of pro careers (with video)

Bailey and Justin Bjornson have stormed the B.C. golf scene since moving here from Winnipeg

Bailey (left) and Justin Bjornson on the 18th green of the Ridge course at Northview Golf & Country Club

SURREY — They may be relatively new to Surrey, but the Bjornson brothers sure aren’t new to golf courses.

Bailey, 13, and Justin, 10, have been teeing it up since they were old enough to walk.

They played a lot of courses in their native Winnipeg before the family moved to the Cloverdale area last summer.

Since then, the boys have stormed the B.C. golf scene with an impressive number of wins and top-three finishes at Maple Leaf Junior tournaments.

Bailey has six MJT tourney wins since 2014, and Justin has three on the Mini Tour circuit this year alone, in the Atom Boys division.

SCROLL TO BOTTOM TO SEE VIDEO

Proud parents Tyler and Pam got their boys started when they were each two years old.

“Back in Manitoba there were a lot of parents hanging around the hockey rinks, but I always thought hanging around a golf course was better,” Tyler said.

“So I put clubs in their hands and introduced them to the game, and they just latched on to it. I can’t take those clubs away now,” he added with a laugh.

The brothers, students at Pacific Academy, practice at the LAB golf academy at the Northview course in Surrey.

“They boy have a really strong work ethic and a lot of discipline,” coach Matt Palsenbarg told the Now. “They have their game face and they’re focused. Usually you don’t see those qualities in a player until they’re 18 or 19 (years of age), but they have it. They’re very mature for a young age, and that does them well. They understand the game, too.”

Bailey’s most recent MJT tournament win was at Vancouver’s Musqueam course in July, as a Peewee player. He then turned Bantam age and earned a pair of third-place finishes events held at Northview and Hazelmere.

In late August, Justin torched the par-70 course at Tsawwassen Springs with scores of 68 and 66 – from the gold tees – to win the Atom Boys division of the inaugural MJT Mini Tour National Championship. His two-day tally of 134 topped that of his nearest competitor by six strokes.

Last weekend at The Olympic Club, near San Francisco, Justin nearly scored a ticket to next spring’s Masters tournament in Augusta, Georgia, as a regional winner of the national Drive, Chip and Putt skills contest for young golfers.

“He pulled off a second-place finish,” dad Tyler said Tuesday. “The putt that would have won it for him lipped out, and if it would have dropped, he’d have had it, he would have gone to the Masters.”

The contest involves three drives, three chips and three putts.

“He’s the first alternate, so if the other little guy doesn’t go, Justin is next in line,” Tyler added. “It was a great experience, and he can enter again next year, and even a couple years after that, too.”

Not surprisingly, both Justin and Bailey are aiming to play as pros one day – perhaps alongside their current favourite PGA golfers Rickie Fowler (Bailey’s pick) and Justin Rose (Justin’s fave, naturally).

Right now, Bailey can crank a golf ball close to 290 yards with a driver, while Justin is closer to around 250 with a solid hit.

“It’s a progression through stages,” Tyler said of his sons’ burgeoning careers in golf. “Some golfers are late bloomers, and some make it, some don’t. We know that, and see that sometimes. Of course we hope they make it, because it’s what they want.”

tom.zillich@thenownewspaper.com

 

Just Posted

Seniors plead to Surrey council ahead of public hearing for 1,000-plus unit development

In June, seniors in the buildings said they felt ‘left in the cold’ as plans for redevelopment materialized

Several people in custody following reports of shots fired into a Surrey home

Police say the incident happened in the early hours of Saturday morning

Surrey RCMP asks for public’s help to find missing 15-year-old boy

Prabhjot Singh Gill was last seen Dec. 6 in the area of 140th Street and 66th Avenue

Surrey 37 per cent behind in housing supply projections

Of 18 cities in Metro Vancouver, only City of North Vancouver and Richmond met or exceeded projections

Winning Christmas card art shown at Surrey gallery

Arts Council of Surrey’s annual competition won by Edwin Stephen and Nancy Painter

MAP: Christmas light displays in Surrey and beyond

Send us pictures of your National Lampoon-style lit-up homes, nativity scenes or North Pole playlands

Campbell River mom’s iPhone containing priceless photos stolen from Victoria hospital parkade

The phone contained photos, heartbeat recordings of her late son

Miller nets winner as Canucks edge Sabres 6-5 in OT

Roussel, Leivo tally two apiece for Vancouver

‘Norovirus-like’ outbreak interrupts Bantam hockey showcase in Greater Victoria

Several athletes were sent home, quarantined on the ferry

Strong turnout of volunteers to search for missing senior

Ted Vanderveen disappeared in rural Maple Ridge on Nov. 28

$578: that’s how much your first distracted driving ticket will cost with recent premium hikes

Over 50 per cent of Canadians admitted to using phone while driving last year, according to study

SkyTrain strike to begin Tuesday with ‘full shutdown’, CUPE says

BCRTC president says job action is ‘completely unacceptable’ to use SkyTrain users ‘as leverage’

Kelowna man attempts to steal bait bike from RCMP parking lot

38-year-old Brian Richard Harbison is facing several charges

Owners of hotels on Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside fight $1 expropriation in court

Vancouver City Council voted to expropriate the properties for $1 each in November

Most Read