JULY 7, 2017
RICHMOND, BC (PGA of British Columbia) -- The G&G Golf Company & Callaway Golf PGA of BC Pro-Assistant Championship is just days away from returning to Fairview Mountain Golf Club, where dozens of teams will hope to beat the heat, and the field, over two days of competition.
The Pro-Assistant Championship will see 37 Head, Executive and Head Teaching Professionals partner with an Assistant Professional from their facility to vie for the title over 36 holes Monday and Tuesday at the Oliver course.
Monday’s opening round will use a best-ball format, while the closing round Tuesday will feature scramble play for the two-man teams participating.
Although temperatures in the South Okanagan have been steadily above 30 C for the past several days – a trend that is forecasted to continue into Monday and Tuesday – host Executive Professional Brian McDonald said the course has held up beautifully and competitors will find it in great shape.
McDonald added that Fairview Mountain is an ideal setting for the Pro-Assistant Championship, which has been held at his course previously in 2011 and 2004.
“Our venue is one of those places where you can let the driver loose,” McDonald said of Fairview Mountain, a three-time winner of the PGA of BC’s Golf Facility of the Year award. “The greens are the challenge here, so in the type of format that it is – best ball and scramble – I think the guys will really enjoy the layout of our course for that.”
One player who’s been enjoying the layout there recently: McDonald himself. He recently locked up a victory in the Fairview Mountain Ladies Pro-Am, an Interior PGA Tour event, by carding an 8-under 64. That result came after he’d posted a 66 there in tournament play earlier in the season.
What’s more, McDonald has been great in team play this year, notching a runner-up finish at the PGA of BC Tournament of Champions presented by Thunderbolt Sign & VIP Golf at Nicklaus North Golf Course in May.
Knowing that, McDonald and playing partner Rob Tadey will enter the Pro-Assistant Championship among the favourites to win. The Pro-Assistant has been won by a host team only twice, most recently in 2014 by Black Mountain Golf Club’s Russ Latimer and Tyrel Griffith.
“I would say the way I’ve been playing, especially at home here, I’m optimistic that we’ve got a chance,” said McDonald, who's in his 24th year working at Fairview Mountain. “I’ve finished second in this tournament about four or five times but never won it, so I’m hoping that this is the year.”
McDonald said he’s got his eye on a few other squads that should contend over Monday and Tuesday, including both teams from Two Eagles Golf Course & Academy. Dean Claggett and Ethan Danish will make up one Two Eagles duo; Casey Johnson and Curtis Pannell the other.
He’s also anticipating a strong showing from the twosome he and Tadey are grouped with for Round 1 on Monday – Point Grey Golf & Country Club’s Dave Zibrik and Drew Scollon.
With defending champions Matt Palsenbarg and John Shin (Northview Golf Academy) and 2016 runners-up Kevin Oates and Darren Griff (Morningstar Golf Club) not competing , Zibrik and Scollon are the highest finishers from last year’s event in the field for 2017. The Point Grey duo rode a 61 in scramble play at Talking Rock Golf Course last year to a third-place finish, one stroke out of a playoff.
“We’re pretty comfortable together and we got a little lucky, too,” Scollon recalled of he and Zibrik’s performance last year. “In the scramble, sometimes it was one guy doing the whole hole by himself, but it just worked out perfectly that if one guy was off, the other was on.
“I’m looking forward to (playing Fairview), it’s a great track and I enjoy being up there playing.”
The host club is one of a few that will have multiple teams in the mix Monday and Tuesday, as Fairview Mountain will field another duo with Charlie Martin and Kris Paul-Clark. McDonald said that there will be an extra layer of fun competition there with bragging rights on the line.
“I think if winning is priority No. 1, beating those guys is 1A, for sure,” he laughed. “There’s a lot of trash talking. Charlie is a very confident young man and Rob and I have a chance to show him who’s boss around here.”
On-course competition aside, the Pro-Assistant is a popular event among PGA of BC members because of its more relaxed format and the camaraderie among Professionals.
“It’s a really cool atmosphere … and kind of an escape during the golf season, too,” said Scollon. “We got busy fast this year with the crappy winter we had – once we got going, it’s been going non-stop.
“So it’s nice to leave the golf course for a couple of days and play some competitive but also casual golf.”
McDonald said it’s an honour for his club to be welcoming dozens of PGA of BC members back for the event.
“We’re really excited to host the guys,” he said. “We love the opportunity to showcase our facility amongst PGA of BC pros, because we feel that’s the best avenue for marketing your course.”
Pro-Assistant Championship fast facts:
-Fairview Mountain Golf Club will become the first facility to host the PGA of BC Pro-Assistant Championship three times.
-Although scoring totals are not available for every Pro-Assistant Championship since the tournament’s 1993 debut, the lowest score relative to par on record was established in 2010 by Rob Anderson and Ryan Matiushyk, who finished at 21-under while capturing the title for Kelowna Golf & Country Club.
-The PGA of BC facility with the most wins in the event is Point Grey, with three. All of those titles came courtesy of Jeff Buder and Trevor Hay (2006, 2007, 2011), who also share the mark for most individual Pro-Assistant victories with Daryl Stubbs and David Bolton.
-Past champions in the field this year include two-time winner James Legault (Seymour Creek Golf Centre), Clay Stothers (Okanagan Golf Club) and Randy Smith (Vancouver Golf Club).
-History suggests the winning team on Tuesday will emerge by a narrow margin of victory. Just one of the past 10 editions of the Pro-Assistant Championship have been decided by more than a single stroke: Latimer and Griffith’s 2014 triumph came by two shots. Over that 10-year span, three events needed a playoff to determine a winner, while a tie was declared one year as well.
For more information, please contact:
Communications & Marketing Manager, PGA of BC