SEPTEMBER 18, 2018
RICHMOND, BC (PGA of British Columbia) – The Srixon / Cleveland Golf / XXIO PGA of BC Club Professional Championship presented by Oakcreek Golf & Turf provided a late-season exclamation point for winner Philip Jonas last year. Dozens of PGA of BC Professionals will be hoping this year’s tournament can do the same for them next week in Vancouver.
The 36-hole championship heads to University Golf Club on Monday and Tuesday, featuring 40 Club Professionals (Head, Executive and Head Teaching Professionals) from across the province vying for the title and a share of the $14,500 purse.
Jonas (Philip Jonas Golf Academy) took home the title and claimed the Dick Munn Memorial Trophy with a two-shot victory at Victoria Golf Club last year in his tournament debut, a triumph that helped him cement the 2017 PGA of BC Player of the Year Award.
“I was 55 then, and when you’re my age you don’t know how it’s all going to turn out,” said Jonas. “I’ve won four Player of the Year Awards now but last year was by far the most special one, given my age. Winning that tournament really put me over the top, so it was special.”
Although Jonas hasn’t had quite as successful a season in 2018, he’s had a solid year nonetheless, qualifying for the US Senior Open for a second consecutive year and racking up a number of solid results locally to sit sixth on the PGA of BC Order of Merit.
“I’ve been pretty hit-and-miss this year,” he said. “But it hasn’t felt like it’s been far away. I feel like I’m playing better now than I had been, so I feel somewhat optimistic.”
Jonas will be up against a strong field that includes the two Club Professional Champions that preceded him – 2016 winner Dave Zibrik (Point Grey Golf & Country Club), 2015 champ Lindsay Bernakevitch (Victoria Golf Club) – as well as Matthew Palsenbarg (Northview Golf Academy), who has been runner-up each of the past two years.
With the winners of several other PGA of BC events among the talented group of competitors as well, host Head Professional Steve Liddicoat is anticipating some impressive performances over the two days of play at his club.
“I would guess there are going to be a few low scores out there,” said Liddicoat. “The course itself isn’t long so if you’re hitting it well and if you’re driving well and putting well, there’s an opportunity to score out here.”
It’s believed that next week’s tournament will mark the first time a PGA of BC individual stroke-play championship has been held at University Golf Club, and Liddicoat is eager to showcase his facility to colleagues.
“It always surprises me how many Professionals say they live and work around Vancouver but they’ve never played here or haven’t for years,” he said. “Everyone knows we’re busy, so I don’t think a lot of pros, when they’re in Vancouver, think to get out and play University Golf Club.
“We’re excited to have the event here.”
A summer that’s been mostly sunny and warm in the Lower Mainland has left the A.V. Macan-designed course in excellent condition, and Liddicoat deemed early autumn as his favourite time of year to play the track.
“This event is one that I’ve always seen as a great fit for University Golf Club,” he said. “We never punch our greens until after Thanksgiving, so the course is usually in really great shape into late September.”
Jonas, meanwhile, likes the course as well. He’s carded a 63 on the par-72 layout in the past, and said he’s expecting it to be a good venue for him and his peers next week. He also sees this tournament as a great way for leaders in the Association to get back to their love of playing the game toward the end of a busy season.
“I think we should all be striving to be better players and I think it’s important in my teaching,” said Jonas, who also enjoys the camaraderie that comes along with playing in PGA of BC tournaments.
“Most of the people in the Association are good people and fun to play with. It’s more than just playing in a tournament. I certainly enjoy it and I’m looking forward to it.”
CLICK HERE to view the tournament page, which includes full event details and a list of confirmed competitors.
CLUB PROFESSIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP FAST FACTS:
-Beyond Jonas, Zibrik and Bernakevitch, Rob Anderson (Kelowna Golf & Country Club, 2007 winner) and Bill Kelly (Glacier Greens Golf Course, 2006) are other past champions who will be competing in this year’s event.
-Since the tournament was introduced in its current form in 2006, just two Professionals have won the event multiple times. Dean Claggett (Two Eagles Golf Course & Academy) won the event in 2008 and 2012, while Dan Swanson’s wins in 2010 and 2011 makes him the tournament’s lone back-to-back champion.
-The gross tournament scoring record is shared by the event’s past two champions, as Jonas and Zibrik each posted two-round totals of 137 to earn their victories. Zibrik also owns the scoring record relative to par, after finishing at 9-under in the 2016 event at Quilchena Golf & Country Club, while his five-stroke triumph that year is also the tournament’s largest margin of victory.
About Cleveland® Golf, Srixon® and XXIO®
Based in Huntington Beach, Calif., Cleveland® Golf, Srixon®, and XXIO® are all part of the SUMITOMO RUBBER INDUSTRIES, LTD. Family and each brand enjoys a strong presence on competitive tours worldwide. Their professional staffs include players such as Graeme McDowell, Keegan Bradley, Hideki Matsuyama, Inbee Park, as well as many others. Cleveland® Golf, founded in 1979, is a leading equipment manufacturer specializing in short game technologies and solutions that benefit all golfers. Srixon®, with more than 80 years of golf ball manufacturing experience, is committed to producing the highest quality, technically innovative golf balls which offer maximum performance to golfers of all levels of ability. XXIO®, with its longstanding tradition of premium golf clubs in Japan, brings the No. 1 golf brand in Japan to America. Cleveland® Golf, Srixon®, and XXIO® remain steadfastly committed to providing “Tour proven, premium golf equipment to passionate golfers seeking to improve their performance while enhancing their experience playing the game of golf.” Please visit Srixon, Cleveland Golf and XXIO online.
About Oakcreek Golf & Turf LP
Oakcreek Golf & Turf LP is Western Canada’s full-service distributor of Toro Commercial Turf Care Equipment, Toro Golf Irrigation Equipment and Yamaha Golf Cars, plus all additional related products. It proudly offers the very best quality products and professional service and support to golf courses, municipal parks, independent landscapers and private clients. Oakcreek Golf & Turf LP has been in business since 1969 and currently employs approximately 100 people throughout the year at its six locations throughout Western Canada. For more information, visit oakcreekgolf.com.
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Communications & Marketing Manager, PGA of BC