Kelowna lands PGA Tour Canada event – GolfBC title sponsor of new event at Gallagher’s Canyon – By Brad Ziemer, Vancouver Sun February 4, 2016
Summerland native Greg Machtaler, who now lives in Kelowna, will get the first sponsor’s exemption to the newly announced GolfBC Championship.
Photograph by: ian lindsay , Vancouver Sun
VANCOUVER — Long an integral part of British Columbia’s rich golfing landscape, the Okanagan Valley now has its own professional tournament.
The Mackenzie Tour-PGA Tour Canada announced a deal today with GolfBC, this province’s largest golf course operator, to bring an event to Kelowna in June.
The inaugural GolfBC Championship will be held June 9-12 at Gallagher’s Canyon, a highly regarded GolfBC facility that is no stranger to tournament golf.
Vancouver’s Doug Roxburgh won the last of his four Canadian Amateur championships at Gallagher’s way back in 1988.
The GolfBC Championship, which will offer a purse of $175,000, gives British Columbia three of the 12 events on the 2016 Mackenzie Tour-PGA Tour Canada schedule.
The season tees off May 26-29 with the Freedom 55 Financial Open at Point Grey Golf & Country Club in Vancouver before heading to Victoria for the Bayview Place Island Savings Open at Uplands Golf Club. The new Kelowna event will complete the B.C. portion of the schedule.
PGA Tour Canada president Jeff Monday said the tour has been looking to put an event in the Kelowna area for the past couple of years.
“When we first launched PGA Tour Canada in 2013 and in talking with players I kept hearing, it would be great to get a tournament in Kelowna,” Monday said.
After considerable discussions with civic and business leaders, the tour struck a deal with GolfBC last month and made it official with today’s announcement at a snow-covered Gallagher’s Canyon.
GolfBC is stepping up in a big way, becoming title sponsor and also supplying the course for the event.
“Hosting an event like this has always been an ambition of GolfBC and working with the PGA Tour, it seemed a perfect fit for this area,” said Andy Hedley, GolfBC’s vice-president of operations.
Gallagher’s Canyon is one of three Kelowna courses owned by GolfBC. It also owns the 36-hole Okanagan Golf Club. Its other B.C, properties include Mayfair Lakes in Richmond, Furry Creek near Britannia Beach, Nicklaus North in Whistler, Olympic View in Victoria and Arbutus Ridge in Cobble Hill on Vancouver Island. The company also owns the three Wailea courses on the Hawaiian island of Maui.
Summerland native Greg Machtaler, who now resides in Kelowna, was given the first sponsor’s exemption into the new Kelowna event.
“For me, living and working in the Okanagan, it’s a bit of a dream come true, to see a high-level event come to my adopted hometown,” said Machtaler, who won a PGA Tour Canada event in 2014. “It’s a great opportunity and I am really looking forward to it.”
The B.C. Cancer Foundation will be the tournament’s charitable beneficiary.
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