JULY 9, 2018
KELOWNA, BC (PGA of British Columbia) -- The Northview Golf Academy team of Matthew Palsenbarg and John Shin have their sights set on another victory in the G&G Golf Company & Callaway Golf PGA of BC Pro-Assistant Championship, as they’ll take a two-shot lead into Tuesday’s final round at Black Mountain Golf Club.
Palsenbarg and Shin, Pro-Assistant winners in 2016, put together a 9-under-par 62 in best-ball play Monday to top the leaderboard at the tournament’s halfway mark.
The Pro-Assistant Championship sees PGA of BC Club Professionals pair with an assistant from their facility to compete against their counterparts over 36 holes of team play.
Four teams – Dave Zibrik and Clark MacPherson (Point Grey Golf & Country Club), James Presnail and Mark Kitts (Shadow Ridge Golf Club), Rob Anderson and Jamie Stevens (Kelowna Golf & Country Club), and Mike Loewen and Cody Bell (Sunset Ranch Golf & Country Club) – are sitting tied for second place at 7-under.
Six more teams are within four shots of the lead, including defending champions Brian McDonald and Rob Tadey of Fairview Mountain Golf Club, with 18 holes of scramble play still to come.
Palsenbarg and Shin made seven birdies and an eagle in their bogey-free round.
“John essentially had six birdies and an eagle today, which I thought was pretty good,” said Palsenbarg. “Our last hole we had to make a five-footer for par, and that was the worst played hole of the day for us.”
Northview Golf Academy setting the pace in the Pro-Assistant should come as no surprise, given the team’s credentials. To name just a couple: Shin is the reigning PGA of BC Champion, while Palsenbarg has already won PGA of BC team event in 2018, having captured the Tournament of Champions in May alongside amateur partner Jake Scarrow.
Shin said he and his partner’s games should complement each other well for the scramble format in Round 2.
“With Matt’s length, that’ll give us an advantage to attack the pins a bit better and I’m looking forward to that,” he said. “It’s always nice to play these types of events. I’ve paired with Matt for a lot of two-man events and I’m comfortable with him at my side.”
Palsenbarg and Shin did not play last year’s tournament, so a triumph Tuesday would represent two victories in two tries for the talented duo.
“A win for us would mean Brian McDonald and Rob Tadey’s win last year didn’t really matter because we weren’t there,” quipped Palsenbarg. “But if they want to call themselves defending champions, that’s fine.”
McDonald and Tadey aren’t the only past champions within striking distance of the lead. Anderson won a Pro-Assistant title for Kelowna Golf & Country Club in 2010 when paired with Ryan Matiushyk. He and Stevens have come close as a duo, too, losing on the third playoff hole of the 2012 tournament.
They feel they’re due to take home the trophy this time around, particularly if they stay aggressive on Black Mountain’s par-71 layout.
“It’s time. We just have to take advantage of some good shots and make some putts,” said Anderson, adding that the two-stroke gap they’ll need to close on Palsenbarg and Shin should be “not a problem.”
Sunset Ranch’s Loewen and Bell, meanwhile, got hot early on in their round, playing their first eight holes at 5-under. Their round of 64 Monday came even though the twosome said they aren’t necessarily a great match as partners for this format.
“We both just kinda bomb it and hope for the best,” laughed Bell.
“If we can keep our putters hot like we did today,” added Loewen, “I think we’ll have a chance.”
The Shadow Ridge duo of Presnail and Kitts are playing the Pro-Assistant together for the first time but didn’t have trouble finding team chemistry.
“James putted great today and I hit some par-5s in two to make some easy two-putts for birdie,” said Kitts. “We ham-and-egged the rest pretty good.”
The final team at 7-under, Zibrik and MacPherson, could add to their club’s storied history in the event with a strong showing over the final 18 holes. Point Grey Golf & Country Club already owns more Pro-Assistant titles than any other PGA of BC facility, having won three, although Zibrik and MacPherson are both looking for their first individual victories in the event.
Click here to view full Round 1 best-ball results, as well as hole assignments for Tuesday's 8 a.m. shotgun start.
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.
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