IGA | VANCOUVER GOLF TOUR
For Immediate Release: Vancouver, BC (April 21ST, 2015)
2015 VGT MAJOR SERIES
“BATTLE AT THE BEAR”
Presented by MIURA GOLF
Bear Mountain Golf Resort & Spa (Victoria, BC)
April 27th – 1pm Tee-time start | April 28th – 8am Tee-time start
For the first time in 9 years VGT is expanding its Tour schedule outside the Lower Mainland thanks to some great partnerships from Title Sponsor IGA and a world class host in BEAR MOUNTAIN RESORT. The first of six VGT MAJORS is set to launch in Victoria next Monday and Tuesday at the impressive Bear Mountain Golf Resort & Spa. “Thanks to Bear Mountain Management and ownership group and event title sponsor Miura Golf, VGT will stage a first class Championship over the 36-hole layout for some of Canada’s top Pros and Amateurs to compete” stated VGT Commissioner Fraser Mulholland. “Next week’s event is as strong a field as VGT has seen since it hosted last year’s VANCOUVER OPEN where Adam Cornelson claimed the title. Notables in the field include Island Pros Cory Renfrew, Riley Wheeldon and Stuart Anderson and Lower Mainland’s Top prospects Ryan Williams, Adam Cornelson, Brad Clapp, Bryn Parry, Seann Harlingten and Kevin Spooner.
One of the hottest Vancouver Island Pros to watch, Cory Renfrew has had a very steady winter campaign, recording four top 5’s on the E-Golf Gateway Tour, including a win at the Sundance Golf Club on Mar.4-6th. And let us not forget back in February, when Renfrew excited local BC Golf fans when he qualified for the PGA TOUR’s Waste Management Open (for his 2nd time in 3 years), where made it to the weekend and thrilled the fans on the 16th hole with a chip-in birdie en route to a final round 66 and a t59 finish.
Last fall Renfrew narrowly missed a spot in final stage of WEB.COM Q-SCHOOL, and will be determined to nail down one of the top 5 spots on PGA TOUR Canada this year to gain status on WEB.COM in 2016. The Bear Mountain event will be a welcome home for the Arbutus Ridge Professional where he can stay in the comforts of home and get some home cooking. But more importantly, as it is for the remainder of the players in the field, the event will serve as a nice tune-up for the PGA TOUR Canada season which launches in just over a month at Point Grey Golf & Country Club.
“VGT’s first Major is a great opportunity for Canada’s top Professionals and Amateurs to test their skills on two Jack Nicklaus signature designs” stated VGT President and Commissioner Fraser Mulholland. “The players in the field will be privy to some of the best golf courses and premier conditions in the region. Bear Mountain’s Head Superintendent Darren Burns and his team have gone the extra mile to prep the course in PGA-Tour like conditions for BC’s top prospects, which is an important step in their development path towards the PGA TOUR and other major tours they are playing on”.
“We are thrilled to be hosting an even such at this, that showcases some of the best young Canadian Golf Professionals” stated Bear Mountain Director of Golf Jordan Ray. “These type of developmental events aligns with our commitment to not only help grow the game, but support our talented young Canadian golfers so they are able to compete on the world stage”.
“We are extremely fortunate to have the support of such a great facility (in Bear Mountain Golf Resort) to host a 36-hole Championship for both local Canadian talent and some international golfers who are preparing for the PGA TOUR Canada Qualifying School” stated Mulholland. “It will be exciting to see so many talented young golfers in the field next Monday/Tuesday and we anticipate there will be some exceptional scoring from our top players. The only question that remains is who will step up their game next week and use the VGT as a platform to build their confidence and learn how to win, much like alumni Adam Hadwin and Nick Taylor have done”.
“Every day is exciting for our VGT Team” stated Mulholland. “ We know there are many more young talented Canadian Professionals on the cusp of making their way onto the WEB.COM and PGA TOUR and join Adam Hadwin and Nick Taylor out there! Next week’s event will be a great opportunity for fans in the Victoria region to come and witness these players up close and in person on their way to the WEB.COM or PGA TOUR.
MORE FEATURE PROS TO WATCH:
Riley Wheeldon of Comox, BC is also back home to the island after a successful campaign on the Swing Thoughts Winter Tour Series, where he had two wins and two runner-up finishes to capture the money title. He too will be looking to earn status on the WEB.COM thru a top 5 finish on PGA TOUR Canada this year.
WEB.COM Tour’s Ryan Williams, playing out of Point Grey Golf & CC, is in town and will be one to watch next week. After winning PGA TOUR Canada’s final event in 2014 and earning conditional status on WEB.COM at final stage of qualifying school, Williams will be sure to assert himself at next week’s event as one of the top players in the field. With conditional status on WEB.COM, he has needed to Monday Qualify for several spring events. He’s been close, but yet to get a start on the PGA TOUR’s secondary tour. So no doubt he will be looking for a win locally to kick start his year like he did in 2014 where he won the VGT Majors Series Order of Merit Title.
Williams will have some strong challengers from both sides of the pond, as many of BC’s top prospects are showing progress both thru the VGT and down south this spring.
Thomas Hay and Jeremy Paradis are fresh off a team win at the BC MATCH PLAY this weekend, and playing in top form. Paradis winning the Opening VGT Event, the Brad Garside Open at Beach Grove, while Hay just played lights-out this past weekend in the BC Match Play finals, carding a 63 (-9) in the morning match and ending the match at -13 on his own ball thru 34 holes.
West Vancouver’s Kevin Spooner is feeling pretty good about his game for good reason. He’s coming off his 2nd win on the E-Golf Gateway Tour in his last 10 starts at the April 4-6th event at the Wigwam Resort in Phoenix. He sits 6th on the money list with $34,888.
And you can’t deny Chilliwack’s Brad Clapp, who is current leader on the VGT (CLEVELAND GOLF / SRIXON) Order of Merit with two 2nd place finishes and a 3rd place out of the 3 events. Clapp used last year’s VGT Spring Tour schedule to launch his confidence and nearly win PGA TOUR Canada’s opening event, the PC FINANCIAL OPEN. He would end up sharing 2nd place honors with North Vancouver’s Eugene Wong, who will be missing in action next week as he’ll be tee-ing-it up on the Asian Tour at the CIMB NIAGA Indonesian Masters. Clapp will play a full schedule of VGT’s Spring Majors Series again this year in preparation for the 2015 PGA TOUR CANADA season.
There will be a strong list of challengers in the field, including West Van’s Seann Harlingten, who took an exemption into last year’s PC FINANCIAL OPEN right into full status on PGA TOUR Canada and a top 30 finish on the money title. And how can you not bet on 7-time VGT Order of Merit Champion Bryn Parry? This North Vancouver Professional continues to dominate the local VGT circuit as well as being nationally ranked #3 on PGA of CANADA Order of Merit. All this while he coaches many of the next top Amateur prospects from his Academy.
Players in the field will have some extra incentive to take home the trophy and first place prize money, as the 2015 “Battle at the Bear” event will have official Order of Merit points counting towards an important exemption spot into the PGA TOUR Canada’s PC FINANCIAL OPEN. The top VGT Player not already exempt into the event at the completion of the May 15th Chilliwack Major Series event will earn the invite to play Point Grey at the end of May.
The Inaugural “Battle at the Bear” will feature a number of amateur golfers in the field, some looking to compete head-to-head against some of Canada’s Premier Professionals and the Overall Amateur Title, while some Amateurs will compete for the top Amateur Net trophy and title.
Amateurs and Professionals are welcome to register for the event until Friday, April 24th at 6pm PST or when the event is full with 96 players.
ONLINE REGISTRATION: CLICK HERE
FULL EVENT DETAILS: CLICK HERE
ABOUT VANCOUVER GOLF TOUR
The Vancouver Golf Tour is proud to launch its 2015 Membership Program and 32 event tournament Spring & Summer schedule. For the 9th straight year, the VGT is offering its players some significant membership benefits this year for joining the tour. Not only will players compete on some of BC’s Premier Golf Courses this year, but they will be offered some amazing prizing throughout the year thanks to our Partner Sponsors IGA, CLEVELAND/SRIXON, BUSHNELL, TRAVIS MATHEW & 2UNDR. The Tour Schedule will wrap up with its Tour Championship in the first week of October. Top players in each Amateur Division will be awarded significant Order of Merit prizing worth over $5,000 and our top Professionals will be awarded over $5,000 in Year-End Awards and Bonuses thanks to our Premier Sponsors, including our 8-year Order of Merit Sponsor CLEVELAND GOLF / SRIXON CANADA.
2015 VGT MEMBERSHIP PROGRAM: http://vancouvergolftour.com/membership/
ABOUT BEAR MOUNTAIN RESORT & SPA
Bear Mountain Resort offers Canada’s Only 36 holes of Nicklaus Design Golf. Choose the challenging Mountain Course or for more relaxing round, take on the Valley Course. Both golf courses will provide you with a true west coast golf experience.
The Mountain Course
Discover some of the finest golf Victoria has to offer! Co-designed by Jack Nicklaus and his son Steve, the Mountain Course at Bear Mountain is set in the foothills of Mount Finlayson and strikes the perfect balance between playability and a truly challenging year round golf experience for golfers of all skill levels.
With panoramic mountain, city and ocean views set within rolling fairways and lush forest, rest assured – you will be back for more.
The Valley Course
The Valley Course meanders through forest, borders lakes, and traverses creeks throughout its 18 holes, while offering spectacular views of Vancouver Island’s beautiful landscape. In contrast to the existing Mountain Course, the par 71 Valley Course measures 6807 yards from the Golden Bear tees – around 400 yards shorter than its sibling. Factor in elevated tee boxes, more generous fairway widths, fewer bunkers and larger greens and the Valley course will likely be considered a ‘friendlier’ version of the original.