Zach Bauchou of Forest, Virginia won his second consecutive Canadian Men’s Amateur Championship at Duncan Meadows on Thursday. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

Zach Bauchou of Forest, Virginia won his second consecutive Canadian Men’s Amateur Championship at Duncan Meadows on Thursday. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

Bauchou wins second Canadian Men’s Amateur Championship at Duncan Meadows

Mill Bay’s Tristan Mandur is top Island golfer

The defending champion held off a strong challenger over the last two days of the Canadian Men’s Amateur Championship to win once again.

Zach Bauchou of Forest, Virginia managed to fend off Philip Knowles of Jacksonville, Florida to become the first back-to-back winner since Mackenzie Hughes in 2011 and 2012. Bauchou led the tournament from day one, finishing at 18-under to beat Knowles by three shots.

The tournament was hosted at Duncan Meadows in the Cowichan Valley, with the first two rounds being split between Duncan Meadows and Pheasant Glen in Qualicum Beach.

“This was a really special week for me,” Bauchou said. “Any time you can hit the ball as well as I did and putt as well as I did is a special moment.”

Bauchou laughed with relief when asked how concerned he was when Knowles started to threaten his lead over the last two rounds.

“We were more than close,” he said. “I think we were tied for a little bit. Coming down to the last hole, I had a one shot lead. I knew that whoever played the best last five holes would win it, and I shot two birdies over the last five holes. He played awesome. Lots of other people played good, too.”

Knowles had narrowed the gap between himself and Bauchou by shooting 64 on Wednesday, tying the course record set on Tuesday by Australian Justin Warren.

Garrett Rank of Elmira, Ont. was the top Canadian, in third place, five shots back of Bauchou. Warren finished seven shots back in fourth, and Sam Stevens of Wichita, Kansas was eight shots back in fifth place.

The top B.C. golfer was Henry Lee of Coquitlam, who tied for ninth, 12 shots behind Bauchou. Mill Bay’s Tristan Mandur was the top Vancouver Island golfer, tying for 28th, 17 shots back.

Other Island golfers to make the cut included Jake Lane of Qualicum Beach and Todd Bissenden of Chemainus, who tied for 41st, and Josh Miller and Lawren Rowe, both of Victoria, who tied for 48th.