Whitehorse’s Jeff Wiggins shot his way to his second top-30 finish in three years at the 2013 Canadian PGA Club Professional National Championship on Wednesday.
The Mountain View club pro hit four over in three rounds to place 27th out of 85 pros at the championship held at PGA Golf Club’s Ryder Course in Port St. Lucie, Florida.
“I had a great start to the event with the opening round 70. However, my body hasn’t felt 100 per cent this fall so I knew it would be a grind to maintain that momentum or even better that score,” said Wiggins in an email to the News. “I’m certainly not saying that I knew it was going to get worse … I just knew that I didn’t have my ‘A’ game.”
Following his 70 on Monday, Wiggins carded 75s in Rounds 2 and 3.
He dedicated his opening round to the Team Yukon golfers he coached at the Canada Summer Games in Sherbrooke, Que., in August.
“My inspiration and motivation this week is being drawn from the week I spent at Canada Games with our junior athletes,” he said on Monday. “I had to literally do everything I coached them to do in order to mentally prepare for this event. I remember how nervous they were out in Sherbrooke and how I tried so hard to calm them down and put their minds at ease. So before today’s event when the nerves started to kick in, I reflected back on what I taught them and it really put me at ease before the dreaded first tee shot. So today’s round was for them.”
With his 27th-place finish, Wiggins moves up to 148th in the Canadian PGA rankings.
He qualified for the nationals with a third-place finish at the 2013 PGA of B.C. Club Pro Championship last month in Vancouver.
At the 2011 national championships, while becoming the first club pro to represent the Yukon at the event, Wiggins tied for 20th.
Last year he finished tied for 62nd.
Wiggins had hoped to crack the top-10 this year, he said, following the B.C. championship.
“We do have at least 40 of the country’s top 100 Canadian PGA players in the field … so I knew coming down that I had to play good to achieve my earlier mentioned goals.”
Wiggins, who is originally from Saskatoon, has been with Mountain View for six seasons. He was named the 2012 Golf Professional of the Year by the Professional Golfers’ Association of British Columbia last November.
“I do want to spend more time on fitness this off-season. I spent some time talking with a good friend of mine who is a physician back home over the last few weeks and there were a few things that he mentioned that really hit home with me. I have a very demanding job up in the Yukon and as much as I love it, I have to do a better job of creating balance in my life.
“The last six years have taken a toll on my body and I need to make sure that I take care of myself better in order to maintain success at work and in my personal life. So this winter I have been afforded a little time off in January-March and I really want to use that time to refocus, relax and be healthier.”
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