JULY 23, 2018
VANCOUVER, BC (PGA of British Columbia) – The team from Nanaimo Golf Club led by Professional Chris Martens captured the Jack McLaughlin Memorial PGA of BC Pro-Junior Championship presented by COBRA PUMA Golf on Monday, outlasting 31 other teams in two-net best-ball play at Shaughnessy Golf & Country Club.
Martens and the three junior members of his team -- 16-year-olds Eli Greene and Sasha Farenholtz, and 15-year-old Kirit Lalh -– combined for a 22-under-par total of 124 to claim the victory, which marked the first-ever title for Nanaimo Golf Club in the event’s 27-year history.
“It’s fantastic for us,” said Martens. “We’ve been trying to grow our junior program the last few years. We were at the Pro-Junior a couple of years ago at Olympic View and didn’t do as well, obviously, as we did today. But I think this will be a big step forward in growing our program and pushing junior golf on Vancouver Island.”
The Pro-Junior Championship is a unique event in which PGA of BC members team up with three juniors from their facility to compete against other squads from across the province. The net scoring format allows players of all ages and skill levels to contribute to their team’s success, making it an event that’s welcoming to all juniors, whether they’re experienced competitors or first-time tournament players.
The Meadow Gardens Golf Club team of Professional Michael Caan and juniors Emily Li, J.P. Kahlert and Jayden August were the runners-up at 20-under. One of the three host teams in the tournament –- Shaughnessy’s Tim Wilson and juniors Victoria Liu, Elaine Liu and Forrest Van Alstine –- placed third with a 17-under total.
Martens said Lalh was the star of the team for Nanaimo Golf Club on Monday, as the team’s youngest member recorded four net eagles on the day.
“Getting it in close and draining those five or six clutch putts that you need,” Lalh said of what was key for him in helping the team to victory. “Driving the ball was a dream today.”
Jack McLaughlin was the longtime Head Professional at Shaughnessy, and the Pro-Junior Championship was named in his honour in 1992 following his untimely passing the year prior. It had been 25 years since this tournament was last held at the prestigious Vancouver club and Nanaimo team members said it was a memorable experience for them to play a course that has hosted the Canadian Open on four occasions.
“Shaughnessy is a really special place,” said Farenholtz. “It’s really well maintained; it’s beautiful.”
The winning team’s juniors each took home a COBRA King F8+ driver as the tournament’s top prize. Greene said he’s excited to have it in his bag.
"It can't hurt," said Greene. "It'll be great."
Every participating junior earned a piece of a prize table valued at more than $10,000 and a backpack filled with gifts courtesy of PUMA Golf. Professionals split a $4,000 cash purse divided up for each individual birdie and eagle made during their rounds.
About COBRA PUMA Golf
COBRA PUMA GOLF is a corporate division of PUMA and combines two strong brands that provide a full range of offerings to the golf industry. COBRA PUMA GOLF is an inclusive company for golfers of all abilities, attitudes and styles who enjoy the game. The portfolio includes COBRA Golf’s high performance drivers, fairways, hybrids and irons, as well as PUMA Golf’s SportLifestyle and SportLux footwear, apparel and accessories to help golfers Look Better. Feel Better. Play Better. Fusing performance and style, COBRA PUMA GOLF brings a focus on innovation, technology, compelling design and superior performance with an edge to the global golf marketplace. COBRA PUMA GOLF is a part of PUMA SE, one of the world’s leading lifestyle companies that designs and develops footwear, apparel and accessories. For more information, visit cobragolf.ca and cobragolf.ca/pumagolf.
About the PGA of BC
The Professional Golfers' Association of British Columbia is an association comprised of nearly 700 golf professionals who work at and operate golf courses, driving ranges and other facilities across the province. Its mandate is to promote and advance the game of golf, serving the needs of both its membership and the golf public through professional and junior golf development programs and high-calibre competitive events. The Zone office is located in Richmond, BC.
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