AUGUST 4, 2021
RICHMOND, BC (PGA of British Columbia) – The PGA of BC Tournament of Champions presented by Tee-On Golf Systems Inc. & PING Canada makes a long-awaited return to the schedule next week with 32 teams teeing it up at Mayfair Lakes Golf & Country Club.
The 18-hole, best-ball competition, which features PGA of BC Club Professionals (Head, Executive or Head Teaching Professional) partnering with a club champion or other designated amateur from their facility, was not contested in 2020 due to pandemic concerns and was moved to August this year to accommodate for the province’s COVID-19 restart plans.
The tournament now returns with more than 30 teams in the field but no defending champions and few past winners, making Monday’s event as wide-open as ever. Separate prizing will be offered for Professionals and amateurs alike, with PGA of BC members competing for a cash purse of nearly $5,800 and amateurs eligible for a prize pool valued at more than $6,000.
Mayfair Lakes will be welcoming the TOC for the first time and hosting its first Association championship in six years, last holding the PGA of BC Women’s Championship in 2015.
“It’s always an honour for us to host an event of this calibre, where we’re inviting other Professionals and their amateurs to see our facility, so we’re very excited,” said host Head Professional Brian Coe.
“Our superintendent (Greg Bond) is doing an absolutely amazing job with the conditions we’ve had, so it’ll be a good showcase of how well the course plays.”
The past two editions of the Tournament of Champions saw The Tour LAB @ Northview earn back-to-back titles, with Matthew Palsenbarg winning in 2018 at Tobiano Golf Course alongside Jake Scarrow – who’s since become an Apprentice Professional at Chilliwack Golf Club – and two years ago on the Ridge Course with Jackson Jacob in a playoff at Northview Golf & Country Club.
Palsenbarg has since joined Point Grey Golf & Country Club as a Teaching Professional and is no longer eligible to try for a three-peat, but the two Professionals in the field who have Tournament of Champions titles to their names are among the Association’s most accomplished competitors in team competitions: Brian McDonald (Fairview Mountain Golf Club) and Rob Anderson (Kelowna Golf & Country Club).
McDonald earned a TOC victory in 2010 with partner Pieter Martin and was also a runner-up with Lance Johnston in 2017. Since those results, he’s added two Pro-Assistant Championship titles. McDonald and 2021 partner Thierry Martine – once a PGA of BC Professional who has since regained his amateur status – finished seventh at the last edition of the Tournament of Champions in 2019 and will be a team to watch.
Anderson, meanwhile, is coming off a victory in last month’s PGA of BC Seniors’ Championship but has a great pedigree in the Association’s team events as well. A 2004 TOC winner with Matt Hooper while representing The Harvest Golf Club, he’s also been a runner-up in the event twice and has a Pro-Assistant title to his name, too. Anderson will be teaming with Mike Byland, a former standout for the Seton Hall University Pirates and a past winner of the Kelowna Men’s Open who’s claimed back-to-back club championships.
Among amateurs, Kevin Carrigan (Royal Colwood Golf Club) is the only past winner of the TOC participating, having captured a victory in 2014 with Jason Giesbrecht at University Golf Club. The 35-year-old is a two-time Canadian Mid-Amateur Champion and will partner with Head Professional Rich Chlopan for the second time as the duo looks to improve upon its T10 finish from 2019.
One notable Professional-amateur combo making its TOC debut will be reigning PGA of BC Club Professional Champion Brad Clapp and 2020 BC Women’s Senior Championship runner-up Diane McFarlane representing Ledgeview Golf Club. McFarlane is one of two female amateurs set to compete, joined by Northview Golf & Country Club’s Coco Pei, who made the cut at last week’s Canadian Women’s Amateur Championship in Edmonton and will partner with Professional Greg Pool.
Other PGA of BC titleholders like Clapp seeking a maiden TOC victory will include two-time Women’s Champion Ashley Zibrik (Shaughnessy Golf & Country Club, partnered with Tyson Burch), past Pro-Assistant winners James Legault (Seymour Creek Golf Centre, with Stephen Jungaro) and Alec Hubert (Kamloops Golf & Country Club, with Shawn Vanderwal), plus 2016 Club Professional Champion Dave Zibrik (Point Grey Golf & Country Club, with Kenner Astles).
Since the 2019 champs effectively took the title on their home course, the hosts will try to continue that trend come Monday. Coe and amateur partner Kelin Ainsworth – a top-10 finisher in this year’s Zone 4 Mid-Amateur Championship – will have a significant edge in course knowledge that they’ll hope will come in handy. It’s Ainsworth’s first appearance in the event but Coe has claimed a piece of the Professional purse in two of the last four Tournaments of Champions.
“Playing at your home facility always has its advantages and knowing the track inside and out is definitely a benefit. But we’ve still got to play well and get the ball in the hole,” said Coe.
“I think we can be in the mix as long as we make some putts and can ham-and-egg it together, but there are a lot of good Professionals and good players who will be out there.”
Click here to view the tournament page to access all event details and list of confirmed entries.
Click here to visit the Tournament of Champions history page to look back on past editions of the event.
TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS FAST FACTS
- A number of players who later went on to win PGA of BC titles as Professionals first appeared in the Tournament of Champions as an amateur, including current PGA of BC Champion Keith Martin (Tower Ranch Golf Club), 2013 PGA of BC Champion and Assistants’ Champion Greg Machtaler, and 2019 Assistants’ Champion Andrew Rasmussen (Delta Golf Centre). Like Machtaler, Riley Wheeldon and Adam Cornelson played in the TOC as amateurs and later went on to become winners on the Mackenzie Tour-PGA Tour Canada.
- Several other notable amateur champions have also teed it up in previous editions of the tournament. Among them are Canadian Golf Hall of Fame member Doug Roxburgh, BC Golf Hall of Famer Sandy Harper, 2020 BC Men’s Amateur Champion Tristan Mandur and past BC Men’s Senior Champions Norm Bradley and John Gallacher.
- Victoria Golf Club’s three titles are the most by any one facility. That includes two titles each for Head Professional Lindsay Bernakevitch and two-time BC Mid-Amateur champ Craig Doell, who lost in a playoff in 2019 while seeking their third victories individually and second together as a team.
- Palsenbarg and Jacob (plus Bernakevitch and Doell) set both the gross and relative-to-par scoring records in 2019 with their 11-under 61s.
About Tee-On Golf Systems Inc.
London, Ontario-based Tee-On Golf Systems Inc. provides a complete suite of premier golf-management software that allows facility operators to take greater control over their business, significantly increase their club’s efficiency and dramatically improve customer service. Tee-On offers a full suite of integrated software solutions for golf facilities and their patrons, including online booking for golfers, tee-sheet management and point-of-sale systems for use in pro shops, food and beverage software with an iPad option, integrated online food ordering, an online store and more. Tee-On technology is employed by golf courses in all 10 provinces, including nearly 25 PGA of BC facilities. Its customizable tee-sheet system provides seamless and efficient bookings for facilities and golfers alike, allowing 24/7, real-time online reservation capability. More than 50 million rounds of golf have been booked through Tee-On since 2001. Learn more at www.tee-on.com.
About PING Canada
PING is a family-owned company, founded in 1959 in the garage of the late Karsten Solheim, a mechanical engineer with an extensive background in the aerospace and computer industries. Solheim and his company are credited with numerous innovations that became industry standards, including perimeter weighting, custom fitting and the use of investment casting in the manufacturing of golf clubs. As a brand, PING is synonymous with innovation, quality and service in the world of golf and supports over 100 tour players worldwide including Bubba Watson, Lee Westwood, Tyrell Hatton, Tony Finau, Louis Oosthuizen and Canadians Brooke Henderson, Mackenzie Hughes and Corey Conners. PING Canada is located in Oakville, Ontario and is owned by PING USA in Phoenix, Arizona. PING Canada has operated in Canada since 1996 and is responsible for sales, marketing, distribution and service of all PING equipment in Canada. Visit ca.ping.com to learn more
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Communications & Marketing Manager, PGA of BC