SEPTEMBER 24, 2018
VANCOUVER, BC (PGA of British Columbia) – Victoria Golf Club Head Professional Lindsay Bernakevitch has opened up a sizeable lead at the midway point of the Srixon / Cleveland Golf / XXIO PGA of BC Club Professional Championship presented by Oakcreek Golf & Turf at University Golf Club.
Bernakevitch posted a 6-under 66 in Monday’s first round, which left him four strokes clear of the field with 18 holes left to play. Bill Kelly (Glacier Greens Golf Course) sits alone in second place at 2-under, while defending champion Philip Jonas (Philip Jonas Golf Academy) will join them in Tuesday’s final group at 1-under.
Bernakevitch’s card featured seven birdies, including four in a row between the seventh and 10th holes, and a single bogey that came on the par-4 18th.
“I just got some momentum going and didn’t want to give it up,” the 38-year-old said of his run of birdies around the turn. “I just kept hitting it in good spots. Tee to green, I didn’t do anything flashier than the guys I was playing with, but I kept leaving myself putts that I liked the line on and the speed was easy. I just got a lot out of it.”
The Club Professional Championship is an annual 36-hole event open to all Head, Executive and Head Teaching Professionals who are members of the PGA of BC.
Though it had been several years since he’d last visited University Golf Club, Bernakevitch said his familiarity with the course helped, as it was a spot he frequented during his days as a member of the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds men’s golf team. The Club Professional Championship, he added, is a tournament where it’s easy to find his comfort level.
“Every year, the CPC is kind of like the end of the season since we’re so busy at the club through the summer,” he said. “Coming here, it’s a nice break … It’s good social time but it’s also a breath of fresh air that you need at the end of a long season. It’s nice to play relaxed.”
Bernakevitch, who claimed victory in this event in 2015 at Richmond Country Club, will try to become just the third two-time winner of the Club Professional Championship.
“I did look at my name on the trophy on the first tee just to remind myself of the good vibes,” he said with a laugh.
Kelly has also hoisted the Dick Munn Memorial Trophy in the past, winning his Club Professional Championship title back in 2006. His round of 70 on Monday was highlighted by a hole-out for eagle on the par-4 fifth hole and
“It was a nice boost early in the round,” said Kelly, who found the cup from 120 yards out. “Just a tiny little draw off the right, one bounce and in.”
He added birdies at the final two holes, leaving himself within reach of the lead despite struggling with his tee balls for much of the opening round.
“Today was a grind off the tee, so I hope to drive the ball a little better tomorrow,” said Kelly. “I played the par-5s even today which was not good out there, so driving the ball better tomorrow I think will be the key to closing the gap on Lindsay.
“Lindsay’s a good buddy and it’ll be nice to try to chase him down,” added the 44-year-old. “He played great out there today, so it’ll be a fun day tomorrow, for sure.”
Jonas posted a 71 that included three birdies and a bogey-free back nine that he played in 2-under-par. He’ll look to follow up on his triumph from last year at Victoria Golf Club with another victory, which would make him just the second player to win back-to-back Club Professional Championships.
Five more players sit at even-par, including past champions Dave Zibrik (Point Grey Golf & Country Club) and Rob Anderson (Kelowna Golf & Country Club). Others who finished with a 72 on Monday included 2016 and 2017 runner-up Matthew Palsenbarg (Northview Golf Academy), as well as Padraic O’Rourke (The Fairmont Chateau Whistler Golf Club) and Russ Latimer (Black Mountain Golf Club).
CLICK HERE to view full first-round scoring.
Despite a rainy stretch in Vancouver leading up to the tournament, University Golf Club seemed to dry out as the first round went on Monday, and that should continue Tuesday with sunny skies and a high of 18 C in the forecast.
“The fairways were good and greens were very good,” Kelly said of Monday’s conditions. “For the amount of rain we’ve had around here, the course held up really well.”
CLICK HERE to view Tuesday's Round 2 draw.
About Cleveland® Golf, Srixon® and XXIO®
Based in Huntington Beach, Calif., Cleveland® Golf, Srixon®, and XXIO® are all part of the SUMITOMO RUBBER INDUSTRIES, LTD. Family and each brand enjoys a strong presence on competitive tours worldwide. Their professional staffs include players such as Graeme McDowell, Keegan Bradley, Hideki Matsuyama, Inbee Park, as well as many others. Cleveland® Golf, founded in 1979, is a leading equipment manufacturer specializing in short game technologies and solutions that benefit all golfers. Srixon®, with more than 80 years of golf ball manufacturing experience, is committed to producing the highest quality, technically innovative golf balls which offer maximum performance to golfers of all levels of ability. XXIO®, with its longstanding tradition of premium golf clubs in Japan, brings the No. 1 golf brand in Japan to America. Cleveland® Golf, Srixon®, and XXIO® remain steadfastly committed to providing “Tour proven, premium golf equipment to passionate golfers seeking to improve their performance while enhancing their experience playing the game of golf.” Please visit Srixon, Cleveland Golf and XXIO online.
About Oakcreek Golf & Turf LP
Oakcreek Golf & Turf LP is Western Canada’s full-service distributor of Toro Commercial Turf Care Equipment, Toro Golf Irrigation Equipment and Yamaha Golf Cars, plus all additional related products. It proudly offers the very best quality products and professional service and support to golf courses, municipal parks, independent landscapers and private clients. Oakcreek Golf & Turf LP has been in business since 1969 and currently employs approximately 100 people throughout the year at its six locations throughout Western Canada. For more information, visit oakcreekgolf.com.
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