JULY 5, 2018
RICHMOND, BC (PGA of British Columbia) -- The return of the G&G Golf Company & Callaway Golf PGA of BC Pro-Assistant Championship to Black Mountain Golf Club should bring back great memories for the host team of Russ Latimer and Tyrel Griffith.
That’s because the last time the 36-hole team event was held at the Kelowna course in 2014, Latimer and Griffith defended home turf and captured the title with an 18-under-par total that was set in motion with eagles on the first two holes of their tournament.
“That was something I’ll never forget,” recalled Latimer, Black Mountain’s Head Professional. “I drained a wedge from 86 yards (on No. 1), and on the next hole playing about 600 yards, Tyrel hit 4-iron to three feet and drained that.
“It was pretty incredible and after getting off to such a crazy start, we figured the tournament was ours to win.”
Latimer and Griffith will be one of 44 two-person teams entered in this year’s Pro-Assistant Championship, an annual favourite among PGA of BC Professionals that runs Monday and Tuesday. Each duo features a Club Professional paired with an assistant from the same facility, competing in best-ball format in Round 1 and scramble for Round 2.
The team format, coupled with a more relaxed atmosphere allowing PGA of BC members from across the province to reconnect over some friendly competition, is what makes the tournament a highlight every season.
“This is the golf tournament Black Mountain is all about – fun and having a good time together,” said Latimer. “It’s a perfect fit for us, and as soon as we had an opportunity to bring the event back, there wasn’t even a discussion.”
Although the vibe of the event might be a little less stressful than one of the PGA of BC’s individual stroke-play championships, the calibre of play at the Pro-Assistant is always high. Take, for example, last year’s tournament at Fairview Mountain Golf Club, when the host team of Brian McDonald and Rob Tadey posted back-to-back 61s to win, setting the event’s all-time scoring record at 22-under-par in the process.
McDonald and Tadey will defend their title next week, but aren’t expecting an easy return to the winner’s circle.
“There are going to be a lot of birdies out there,” said McDonald. “If the weather cooperates and it’s not too windy, I think that scoring record could be in jeopardy at Black Mountain.”
McDonald said home-course advantage played a role in Fairview Mountain’s 2017 win, so he expects Latimer and Griffith will benefit from that factor and remain among the contenders this year. But there are other teams he’ll be keeping an eye on as well, including the Point Grey Golf & Country Club squad of Dave Zibrik and Clark MacPherson.
“Zibrik and Clark will be coming into this thing having already won the title for ‘Team with the Best Hair,’” McDonald laughed. “But they’ll be favourites there, too, because they can bomb it and that sets up a lot of opportunities for birdies there.
“It’s going to be fun but you’ll have to go low.”
Another team impossible to overlook is the Northview Golf Academy crew of Matthew Palsenbarg and John Shin, winners of this event in 2016. Palsenbarg has already captured this year’s Tournament of Champions, the PGA of BC’s other annual team event, while Shin is the reigning PGA of BC Champion and is coming off an impressive showing at last week’s PGA Championship of Canada.
Last year’s runners-up, Dean Claggett and Ethan Danish of Two Eagles Golf Course & Academy, are back in the field and are usually in the mix for the title. Osoyoos Golf Club’s Colin Snair and Todd Tweedy impressed with a third-place finish at Fairview Mountain in their Pro-Assistant debut and will return to the event next week.
Lastly, watch out for the Fairmont Chateau Whistler Golf Club team of Padraic O’Rourke and Jordan Rourke. They combined for an outrageous 14-under 57 in scramble play at Black Mountain four years ago to place second, and also posted the low scramble round in 2017 by carding a 60.
No matter who’s atop the leaderboard come Tuesday afternoon, they’ll have been treated to a couple of memorable rounds on the Wayne Carleton layout.
“The golf course is absolutely mint right now,” said Latimer. “For this event, it should be in perfect shape.”
As per tradition, Black Mountain and Fairview Mountain’s teams will play together off the first tee Monday as hosts and defending champs, but all other hole assignments for Round 1 will be randomly drawn by the teams themselves upon arrival. Check out all other event information on our Pro-Assistant Championship tournament page. The Round 1 shotgun will be at 1:30 p.m.; Round 2 will begin at 8 a.m. Tuesday.
PRO-ASSISTANT CHAMPIONSHIP FAST FACTS
- The BC Interior has been home to this event for several years running, with every edition of the tournament since 2010 taking place in the region. Of the eight tournaments taking place in that span, five have been won by Interior-based teams.
- Beyond the Latimer-Griffith, McDonald-Tadey and Palsenbarg-Shin pairings, other past champions in the field next week include Randy Smith (Vancouver Golf Club, 2007 co-winner), Clay Stothers (The Okanagan Golf Club, 2015 winner), Rob Anderson (Kelowna Golf & Country Club, 2010 winner) and James Legault (Seymour Creek Golf Centre, 2008 & 2009 winner).
- 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.
- The entries from Black Mountain and Fairview Mountain aren’t the only teams who have managed to capture the event at their own facility. The 2000 Pro-Assistant Championship saw the host duo of Glenn Bayne and Chad Belbin claim the title at Golden Golf Club.
ABOUT G&G GOLF COMPANY
Since 1991, G&G Golf Company has provided custom logo accessories to golf facilities as a large part of its product mix. G&G Golf has an international sales force with representation covering over 1,500 accounts across North America. Backing up the sales team is a staff of 17 full-time employees based out of its Langley headquarters. Their products and services include a wide array of soft goods, hard goods, accessories and licensed merchandise, to name a few. For more information, visit www.gandg.ca.
ABOUT CALLAWAY GOLF
Through an unwavering commitment to innovation, Callaway Golf Company (NYSE:ELY) creates products designed to make every golfer a better golfer. Callaway Golf Company manufactures and sells golf clubs and golf balls, and sells bags, accessories and apparel in the golf and lifestyle categories, under the Callaway Golf®, Odyssey® and OGIO® brands worldwide. For more information please visit www.callawaygolf.ca and www.OGIO.com.
For media inquiries and more information, please contact:
Communications & Marketing Manager, PGA of BC