Bailey Bjornson at Meadow Gardens Golf Club in Pitt Meadows in March. A Surrey resident, Bjornson excelled on the SFU men’s golf team this season. (Photo: Wilson Wong/SFU Athletics)

Bailey Bjornson at Meadow Gardens Golf Club in Pitt Meadows in March. A Surrey resident, Bjornson excelled on the SFU men’s golf team this season. (Photo: Wilson Wong/SFU Athletics)

GOLF

Surrey golfer Bjornson, 18, scores university Freshman of the Year award playing on SFU team

‘It’s been such a great experience to travel with everyone and put up some solid numbers,’ says the well-travelled Pacific Academy grad

Bailey Bjornson doesn’t turn 19 until July, but the game of golf has already taken him to courses across North America.

“I think I’ve played in pretty much every U.S. state now,” detailed the Surrey teen, who recently finished his award-winning freshmen season with the Simon Fraser University men’s golf team.

“To be honest I haven’t been outside North America to play golf, not yet,” he added, “but with SFU it looks like we’ll get to go play St. Andrews in Scotland, which will be amazing.”

A Cloverdale-area resident and graduate of Pacific Academy in Fraser Heights, Bjornson was recognized for his outstanding debut season of university golf by winning the Great Northwest Athletic Conference (GNAC) Freshman of the Year award.

He had four top-10 finishes and three GNAC Player of the Week awards, and his stroke average hovered near the top of the field. Bjornson earned a spot on GNAC’s All-Conference First Team, joined by teammate Ryan Hodgins, of Medicine Hat, Alta.

“I had my best scoring average this year, and it’s been such a great experience to travel with everyone and put up some solid numbers,” Bjornson raved.

“It’s a great team around me, a great year for us,” he added. “Having people push you to be better and having others rely on you to play well, as a team, it’s a different feeling on a team than as an individual out there. It’s a pretty unique experience you get in college golf. I’ve enjoyed it.”

Six years ago Bjornson and his family moved to Surrey from the Winnipeg area, to a home near Northview golf course. He and his younger brother, Justin, excelled on the Maple Leaf Junior tour and also in the high school ranks, dating back to 2016.

“It was nice to get out of the winter and move here,” Bjornson said with a laugh. “It’s been a good move, for sure.”

Among his other golf-related highlights in Surrey, Bjornson got to caddy for Canucks then-rookie Quinn Hughes at Northview in 2019, during the NHL team’s annual Jake Milford Charity Invitational. Photos of that day are posted to surreynowleader.com.

Looking ahead, Justin, now 16, is looking to join Bailey on the SFU golf team in little more than a year, after he graduates in 2023, according to his older brother.

Bailey’s bio on the SFU Athletics website notes that he’s “a strong competitor who knows how to close out tournaments and win. He has an excellent training foundation and is a very coachable athlete.”

On May 7 in Pueblo, Colo., the SFU men’s golf team finished 19th at the West/South Central Super Regional tournament, which capped their season.

Bjornson was the highest-placing SFU golfer at the tourney, tying for 50th at 3-over 216 (72-71-73). His final-round 2-over 73 included an eagle on the par-5 14th hole, and three birdies.

“We didn’t play too well at regionals and didn’t make it to nationals, but it was a fun year,” concluded the well-spoken Bjornson. “It was a great experience for a really young team, a great learning experience. We had a lot of freshmen starting and a lot of potential, so we will build on that next year.”

For Bjornson, golfing and training continues through the spring and summer months, followed by a return to SFU team competition later this year.

“I’ve got a pretty full summer schedule, with qualifiers in July for the US Amateur (championship), pretty much the biggest event for amateurs, and the B.C. AM, the Canadian AM, which is in Vancouver this year, a couple of invitationals, hopefully. With golf it doesn’t really stop, you just keep going.”



tom.zillich@surreynowleader.com

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