Talk about making the most of an unfortunate circumstance.
Red Deer native Chase Teron was surprisingly left off of the five-man University of Victoria Vikes golf team for the Canadian last week in Whitby, Ont.
While he didn’t agree with the decision, Teron didn’t get down on himself, and in fact entered a qualifying round for a Canadian Professional Golf Tour event in Victoria.
The fourth-year U of Vic student and business major, toting a hot putter, carded a nifty 68 in the May 30 qualifier and teed it up in his first-ever pro tournament — the Times Colonist Island Savings Open at Uplands Golf Club — last Thursday and Friday.
While Teron failed to make the 36-hole cut after posting scores of 77-79, he walked away with a greater appreciation for the pro game.
“The experience was great, the golf not so much,” he said Sunday. “Overall, it was pretty cool. It was the first professional tournament I ever tried to qualify for and I got in.”
The experience also helped him get over the disappointment of being snubbed for the university/college nationals.
“I played in every tournament during the year and placed among the top three within our team,” said Teron.
“I was probably ranked No. 2 on our team, and then going into Canadians . . . at the last minute I was told that he (Vikes coach Byran Carbery) had to make a switch because we didn’t have the best results in the spring semester, and that I was the switch out.”
Teron, who is currently working full time as a UVic student intern at Odlum Brown — an investment firm in Victoria — naturally felt slighted.
“It was kind of a kick in the face a bit. His (Carbery’s) excuse was that I was working from eight to four every day and he said I wouldn’t be able to get enough practice in.
“I respected his decision or whatever, but I just wanted to show him that he made the wrong choice.
“I ended up practising every day after work and then signed up for the (Canadian Tour event) qualifier and then I got in.”
Competing with the pros was a definite eye-opener for the former Alberta high school and two-time McLennan Ross Sun Junior Tour champion.
“First of all the atmosphere is totally different because there are so many spectators,” he said.
“There are people galore, everywhere you go people are saying ‘hi’ to you. It’s really good, I had so much support from everyone at Upland. It was great.”
To a point, that is.
“I almost felt that I had to live up to an expectation. I felt a lot of pressure although I told myself not to,” said Teron.
“I’m so competitive, I really wanted to play well and I know I can play with those boys.
“I expected a lot more of myself and I don’t remember the last time that I shot that much over par. Usually I’m par or better every time, so to shoot that high was kind of a shock.”
At the same time, the Uplands course played more difficult for the pro event than is the case through the rest of the year.
“The rough was really long and then they tightened the fairways and the greens were really firm and fast,” said Teron. “The tournament conditions at the pro level are just that much harder.”
That being said, the whole experience didn’t sour Teron on the notion of one day pursuing a professional golf career.
“I’d really like to try professional golf because seeing all the players there makes for a really cool atmosphere. There’s nothing like it,” he said.
“It’s a lot of fun, and if I do get the chance to practise year round and put my full efforts into golf, then I can think I can go somewhere with it.
“I’m also extremely obsessed with business. I want to be a business owner at some point.
“I’ll have my schooling, which is a very good thing to fall back on, but I really do want to try pro golf.”
But first things first.
Teron will study from August to January at the University of Economics in Prague, Czech Republic.
“I’m really excited, I leave for Prague on Aug. 27. It’s another experience I’m going to have under my belt,” he said.