JULY 6, 2020
KELOWNA, BC (PGA of British Columbia) – Brand-new partnerships have been the recipe for success at the G&G Golf Company & Callaway Golf PGA of BC Pro-Assistant Championship each of the past two years. Greg Pool and Quinn Vilneff are hoping that remains true in 2020.
The Northview Golf & Country Club duo leads at the tournament’s midway point, carding a 7-under-par 65 on Monday at The Okanagan Golf Club, where nearly 30 teams played the opening round in best-ball format on the Bear Course. They hold a one-stroke lead over four other teams: 2017 champs Brian McDonald and Rob Tadey (Fairview Mountain Golf Club), Ashley Zibrik and Zach Belitsky (Shaughnessy Golf & Country Club), 2019 runners-up Rob Anderson and Jamie Stevens (Kelowna Golf & Country Club), and Ryan Tofani and Connor O’Dell (Chilliwack Golf Club).
The Pro-Assistant Championship sees PGA of BC Club Professionals (Head, Executive or Head Teaching Professionals) team up with another member from their facility’s Professional staff to compete against their colleagues over 36 holes. The tournament concludes Tuesday with a scramble round on the host club’s Quail Course.
Much like defending champions Alec Hubert and Ian Henson (Kamloops Golf & Country Club) last year and James Presnail and Mark Kitts (Shadow Ridge Golf Club) in their 2018 triumph, Pool and Vilneff are competing together for the first time, with both moving into their roles as Head and Apprentice Professionals, respectively, at Northview earlier this year.
After a sluggish opening that saw them 1-over through six holes, the pair caught fire by making eight birdies on the way home to post the leading score.
“We’re both very competitive guys and after not playing any competitions for probably about a year, we got off to a slow start,” said Pool. “But we got on a roll there for a little bit after we saw some putts going in and it got fun out there.”
Having just joined the PGA of Canada last year, Vilneff might not be a familiar face to a lot of PGA of BC members, but he owns an impressive amateur playing record that includes two runner-up finishes in the Ontario Men’s Match Play Championship.
“Greg has obviously been a part of the PGA for some time and knows all the guys, so it’s been really nice to have him as my mentor to introduce me to these guys and show me the ropes a little bit,” Vilneff, 28, said of playing in his first PGA of BC event. “That’s really contributed a lot to my comfort level out here.”
Pool has been in the mix at many PGA of BC championship tournaments in the past but hasn’t yet etched his name on any Association trophies. He’s excited at the chance to rectify that on Tuesday.
“I told Quinn on the way up here that it’s been a goal of mine since I joined in 2009 to win a PGA of BC championship,” said the 33-year-old. “I’m not one to walk into an event and say, ‘We’ve got to win,’ but it’s something that would mean a lot.”
The Fairview Mountain duo of McDonald and Tadey are perennial contenders at the Pro-Assistant Championship and hold the event’s scoring record relative to par, having reached 22-under in their 2017 triumph. They’ve left themselves in great shape to become only the fourth team to win multiple titles, even though Monday’s 66 could have been even lower.
“We had a great day,” said McDonald. “We hit it well and had a lot of looks, and like every golfer on the planet wished a few more putts went in. But we’re there.”
Tofani and O’Dell are both playing in their first PGA of BC championship event and quickly found chemistry on the course Monday.
“We had a good front nine today but the wind picked up on the back, and the back is a little more difficult, so we hung in there,” said Tofani, new to his role as Head Professional in Chilliwack this season.
“Tomorrow will be fun in a scramble. We’ll go out and take some silly lines I’m sure.”
The Club Professionals on each of the other two teams sitting at 6-under both have an opportunity to make history on Tuesday. Zibrik, a two-time PGA of BC Women’s Champion, is looking to become the first female to win a PGA of BC championship event featuring exclusively Professional competitors. Anderson, meanwhile, will have a shot at being the first player to win the Pro-Assistant Championship with different partners, having won the 2010 tournament alongside Ryan Matiushyk.
Defending champions Hubert and Henson are sitting two shots back after a 67 on Monday, as are Scott Kolb and Gordy Scutt (Victoria Golf Club). Three more teams are tied for eighth place at 4-under.
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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