WHISTLER, BC (PGA of British Columbia) – With a victory Monday in the PGA of BC Tournament of Champions presented by Thunderbolt Sign & VIP Golf, Victoria Golf Club became the event’s most decorated facility by capturing a record third title.
Both previous winners of the Tournament of Champions, Head Professional Lindsay Bernakevitch and Victoria club champion Craig Doell combined to post a 9-under-par round of 62 at Whistler’s Nicklaus North Golf Course and won by a single stroke over the Fairview Mountain Golf Club duo of Brian McDonald and Lance Johnston.
The Tournament of Champions is a unique team event that sees the head professional from a PGA of BC facility team up with their amateur club champion to compete in an 18-hole best-ball event.
Bernakevitch and Doell were powered by eagles on the par-5 third and eighth holes Monday, carding a score of 30 on Nicklaus North’s front side. The Victoria pair didn’t make a bogey all day and birdied their final hole of the day to close out the 62.
“When the putt when in, I gave a pretty big fist pump,” Bernakevitch said of making birdie at their last hole, No. 11 at the Whistler course. “I knew it was close. The conditions were so good out here today that you just knew there were going to be lots of great scores. We were 8-under pretty early, but that 9-under-par score really helped.”
Doell previously captured the Tournament of Champions on his home course in 2007 when partnered with Mike Parker. The 62 he and Bernakevitch recorded Monday matched the tournament record, also held by Doell from 2007. The Victoria duo’s 9-under total also equalled the event’s record for score relative to par, originally set by Royal Colwood’s Jason Geisbrecht and Kevin Carrigan three years ago.
“To win it now with Lindsay is fantastic,” said Doell, a 15-time club champion at Victoria. “You don’t get these opportunities every year, so it’s nice to be able to come out on top and win this event.”
For Bernakevitch, the victory was his second in three years at the Tournament of Champions, having won in 2015 with Erik Swinburnson at Bear Mountain Golf Resort.
“What a fantastic day, a fantastic place to play golf and I think we had a lot of fun out there today,” said Bernakevitch, who also took home a cheque for $1,000.
The runners-up from Fairview Mountain made a late charge to threaten the lead, as McDonald and Johnston closed their round with four consecutive birdies to shoot 29 on Nicklaus North’s back nine, but ultimately fell one stroke short.
The hosts from Nicklaus North, comprised of Head Professional Andrew Smart and club champion Nick Papoutsis, finished third with a 64.
FINAL RESULTS FROM THE 2017 PGA OF BC TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS PRESENTED BY THUNDERBOLT SIGN & VIP GOLF:
1 Victoria Golf Club – Lindsay Bernakevitch & Craig Doell, 62 (-9) $1,000
2 Fairview Mountain Golf Club – Brian McDonald & Lance Johnston, 63 (-8) $850
3 Nicklaus North Golf Course – Andrew Smart & Nick Papoutsis, 64 (-7) $725
4 Big Sky Golf Club – Trevor Marko* & Lance Lundy, 65 (-6) N/A
4 Kelowna Golf & Country Club – Rob Anderson & Norm Bradley, 65 (-6) $625
6 Arbutus Ridge Golf Club – Richard Ingle & Tristan Mandur, 66 (-5) $425
6 Black Mountain Golf Club – Russ Latimer & Ryan Redekopp, 66 (-5) $425
6 Royal Colwood Golf Club – Jason Giesbrecht & Kevin Carrigan, 66 (-5) $425
9 Fairmont Chateau Whistler Golf Club – Padraic O’Rourke & Nick Harriss, 67 (-4) $222.50
9 Glacier Greens Golf Club – Bill Kelly & Doug McArthur, 67 (-4) $222.50
9 Quilchena Golf & Country Club – Victor Vianzon & Donald Miyazaki, 67 (-4) $222.50
9 Kamloops Golf & Country Club – Alec Hubert & Wayne Tresierra, 67 (-4) $222.50
13 Capilano Golf & Country Club – Mark Thirtle & Chris MacDougall, 68 (-3) $180
14 Gallagher’s Canyon Golf & Country Club – Lee Alarie & Dwayne Henry, 69 (-2) $160
14 Squamish Valley Golf & Country Club – Scott Wengi & Scott Sellers, 69 (-2) $160
14 Whistler Golf Club – Alan Kristmanson & Cairn Rae, 69 (-2) $160
Head professional listed first for each team
Results only list players that finished in the prizes; only professionals earn prize money
*Denotes player who played as a last minute fill-in and is not eligible for payout.