SEPTEMBER 21, 2020
WHISTLER, BC (PGA of British Columbia) –- The top of the leaderboard is full of familiar faces at the halfway point of the Srixon/Cleveland Golf/XXIO PGA of BC Club Professional Championship presented by Oakcreek Golf & Turf LP at Nicklaus North Golf Course.
Philip Jonas (Philip Jonas Golf Academy) carded a bogey-free, 6-under 65 Monday and will take a one-stroke lead into Tuesday’s final round. The 2017 winner will be joined in the final group by Brad Clapp (Cultus Lake Golf Club) and Dave Zibrik (Point Grey Golf & Country Club), who shot rounds of 66 and 68, respectively, to sit second and third.
All three players finished within two shots of winner Mark Kitts (Shadow Ridge Golf Club) at the 2019 tournament and are once again poised for a strong finish in the event.
The Club Professional Championship is a 36-hole, individual stroke-play championship open to all Head, Executive and Head Teaching Professionals within the PGA of BC membership. Whoever emerges as the winner in Tuesday’s final round will collect $2,700 from a purse of nearly $15,000.
Jonas made five birdies over the first seven holes Monday and added one more at the par-5 11th to take the overnight lead.
“It was a dream start,” said the 58-year-old. “I hit it pretty close on those seven holes and didn’t have to make any long putts, so that felt pretty good.”
In a busy year throughout the industry that has made it difficult for Golf Professionals to find time to play and compete, Jonas said Monday’s 65 was “by far” his best round of the season.
“When you play, you’re not really sure what to expect these days,” he said. “I haven’t shot any good scores even in the odd round I’ve played with my buddies. I left quite a few out there at the end; I could have made some more but am really happy about it.”
Jonas is tied for second all-time with seven PGA of BC titles overall, including the 2003 PGA of BC Championship, two Assistants’ Championships and three Seniors’ Championships. This will be his last chance to add an eighth title, as his academy will soon relocate to Saskatchewan, where he and wife Patty will pursue a new opportunity at Saskatoon Golf & Country Club.
Despite that, Jonas said there isn’t any extra motivation for him to go out on a win.
“If that happened, that would be good, but I’ve been playing too long and I’m too old to count my chickens before they hatch,” said Jonas. “I’m happy with everything I’ve won and I’d liked to have won some more, but just playing and seeing the guys is great, and I hope I’ll keep seeing them from time to time.”
While most players who went low Monday did the majority of their damage on the front nine before the wind picked up in the afternoon, Clapp and Zibrik were the exceptions. Playing together in the final group of the day, Clapp made three birdies and an eagle on the home half to bounce back from what he described as a “shaky start.” Zibrik played his final 10 holes at 3-under, kicking off a stretch of four birdies in five holes on the par-4 ninth.
Clapp was runner-up at last month’s PGA of BC Championship and has two Association titles to his name, but said it would be significant to have his name etched into the Dick Munn Memorial Trophy for a first time with another solid round Tuesday.
“It’s a big thing in the Association to be able to play and compete for these trophies, whether it’s the Assistants’, the (PGA of BC) Championship or the Club Pro,” said Clapp. “It’s a huge accomplishment.”
Zibrik, who set the tournament scoring record in 2016 at 9-under-par when capturing his Club Professional title at Quilchena Golf & Country Club, added that the event is meaningful for all competitors amidst a hectic year.
“A couple of days away from the club and you can freewheel it a little bit,” he said. “I always take pride in the fact that there are a lot of good players in the Association, and between balancing a whole bunch of different things in life and the season that we’ve had, to be able to still go out and play means a lot to me.”
Defending champ Kitts, Mark Strong (Richmond Country Club) and 2018 Head Professional Champion of Canada Brian McDonald (Fairview Mountain Golf Club) will all be in Tuesday’s penultimate group after each shot 2-under 69s to sit in a tie for fourth. Dean Jackson (Revelstoke Golf Club) sits seventh at 1-under, while Miles Palahniuk (Tower Ranch Golf Club), Kyle German (Bald Eagle Golf Club) and Craig Barr (Meadow Gardens Golf Club) are tied for eighth at even-par.
CLICK HERE to view first-round scoring and Round 2 tee times.
About Srixon/Cleveland Golf/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, Nasa Hataoka, Minjee Lee, 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. Visit Srixon, Cleveland Golf & XXIO online to learn more.
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 www.oakcreekgolf.com.
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