Redemption for Dillon at Nick North 

Sotheby's Whistler Open champion edges Secord to top tourney

click to enlarge PHOTO BY DAN FALLOON - DEALIN' DILLON  Vancouver Golf Club's Brendan Dillon speaks at Nicklaus North Golf Course after winning the pro/champ event of the Sotheby's Whistler Open on May 30
  • Photo by Dan Falloon
  • DEALIN' DILLON Vancouver Golf Club's Brendan Dillon speaks at Nicklaus North Golf Course after winning the pro/champ event of the Sotheby's Whistler Open on May 30

A year after letting a midpoint lead slip away at the Sotheby's Whistler Open, Brendan Dillon ensured there was no repeat performance in 2018.

At the 2017 event, the Vancouver Golf Club member held a two-stroke advantage after 18 holes in the Vancouver Golf Tour event, but struggled on the second day to finish a stroke off the pace.

However, at this year's event at Nicklaus North Golf Course on May 29 and 30, Dillon shot 67 both days to finish eight-under-par to best Quilchena's Scott Secord by one stroke and Bear Mountain's Riley Wheeldon by two strokes in the pro/champ category.

"I was in the same seat as I was last year, so this is a big redemption win for me," Dillon said after clinching the triumph with a birdie on 18.

"Being able to put the feather in the cap this year is very good. I knew coming into this one that I wanted it and to be able to shoot the numbers that I did the last two days is a very overwhelming accomplishment.

"There was a lot of anxiety built up for this one."

Dillon explained he learned from his prior mistakes and with extra knowledge of the course, was able to play the course to his advantage en route to the title.

"I drove the ball well today and yesterday. I hit a lot of three-woods to keep it in play. Last year, I hit a couple drivers and that's what maybe cost me the tournament," he said.

"I just stuck to the game plan and was a little more mature about my game this year.

"I doubled (hole) 10 today and that put me back into a tie for the lead. I stuck to it and was able to birdie the next hole."

Dillon said the win will open up a few more opportunities for him this season as he considers challenging some Monday qualifiers on bigger circuits like the Web.com Tour.

"This changes a lot," Dillon said. "I had a schedule just to play the local stuff, but winning changes everything. It makes me dream a little bit bigger."

Dillon withstood a challenge from Secord, who posted a blazing 63, a shot off the course record, for the best single round of the tournament. While he was happy with the Wednesday round, he still wonders what could have been if he hadn't entered the second day five shots off the pace.

"I left a few out there, but I'm still happy with my round," he said.

"Things are moving in the right direction."

Secord said Nicklaus North's greens were the best he's putted on in the province this year, and he took full advantage as he was in the zone after giving his putts less break after some early misses.

"Putting was the biggest difference," he said. "I missed a couple I should have made early on, but I made a couple on-course adjustments.

In the six-player women's event, CBSA Golf Academy's Kasumi Kuniyoshi nicked Nick North's Jamie Oleksiew by one stroke while Washington's Sarah Lawrence was seven off the pace.

Full results are online at www.vancouvergolftour.com.

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