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Jeff Wiggins hits five over for 15th at B.C. championship

A strong performance at the B.C. championships is opening doors for Mountain View Golf Club pro Jeff Wiggins.

A strong performance at the B.C. championships is opening doors for Mountain View Golf Club pro Jeff Wiggins.

Wiggins shot five over to tie for 15th out of 43 of the province’s best in the 2014 Titleist/FootJoy PGA of B.C. Championship at Point Grey Golf and Country Club in Vancouver on Tuesday.

“I had no expectations. I haven’t been playing good this year,” said Wiggins. “But it’s funny. When I get out of here and go play competitions it’s interesting, I get into a different mindset, I focus a little bit more and I’m always a grinder. So I was happy with the performance.

“I didn’t play the greatest, but considering how I’ve been playing this year, I did really good.”

By placing T15, Wiggins moves up from 177th to 136th in the PGA of Canada rankings. By breaking into the top 150, the 36-year-old automatically qualifies for the Canadian PGA Club Professional Championships this fall in Phoenix, Arizona.

“I didn’t have to wave my Yukon exemption flag like I have the last couple years,” said Wiggins. “I earned my spot.

“I still have to confirm this, but it looks like I will be the alternate for Team B.C. at the championship as well. So some good things have happened.”

One stroke higher and Wiggins would have tied for 21st, missed reaching the top 150 in the country, and wouldn’t have earned a berth at the club pro championships outright.

He shot a “ho-hum” 76 Monday and a one-over-73 Tuesday for a combined 149 on the par 72, 6,600-yard course.

Wiggins shot 33 on the front nine on Tuesday, shaving his score to one over par, and made a cameo on the leader board.

“All the leaders behind were going, ‘What’s Wiggins doing up there?’ And then I just couldn’t close it,” he said.

The competitive season is only getting rolling for Wiggins. At the end of the month he will play in the PGA of B.C. Club Pro Championship, in which he took third last year. A similar performance could land Wiggins in Canada’s top 100, opening even more doors to major tournaments, he said.

Wiggins shot his way to his second top-30 finish in three years at the 2013 Canadian PGA Club Professional Championships last November in Florida. He placed 27th last year and tied for 20th in 2011.

“My wrist is still sore from last fall, but I still can’t tell you what I did to it. It’s been plaguing me and the cold temperatures up here didn’t help. When I got down (to Vancouver) it was extremely hot ... so the body felt really good. It’s amazing what the heat does.”

Wiggins, who is originally from Saskatoon, was named Golf Professional of the Year by the Professional Golfers’ Association of British Columbia in 2012.

Contact Tom Patrick