Top golfers from across the province compete in PGA of BC Tournament of Champions in Kelowna 118 days ago

Eighty of British Columbia’s top golfers were in Kelowna on Monday, competing in the PGA of BC Tournament of Champions at Gallagher’s Canyon Golf Club.

This tournament pairs a golf pro with a current club champion or designated amateur and play best-ball format.

“We’ve got some representatives from the Island, from further in the Kootenays, so a lot of them have done some travelling to get here,” explained PGA of BC executive director, Mark Strong.

“They get to play together with someone from their club — competitive groups but not a competitive format — nothing too serious, they get to go out and have a good time and toss out the worst score on each hole so it’s kind of low pressure.”

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This is the second time the tournament has been hosted at Gallagher’s Canyon, and the first time since 2004. Grounds crews have been hard at work to ensure the course was in perfect condition, not just for the tournament, but for the 2023 golf season.

“They did such a fantastic job here at Gallaghers Canyon, and we couldn’t be more appreciative,” said Strong.

“Launching the season with an event like this gets everyone off to a great start so we’re thrilled to be here both in Kelowna and at Gallagher’s.”

Jeff Dagg and Dave Zibrik, members at Point Grey Golf and Country Club in Vancouver, have won this tournament in back-to-back years. First, at Mayfair Lakes Golf & Country Club in 2021, followed by Nanaimo Golf Club last year.

Despite the impressive feat, the pair say they feel no pressure, and are just happy to be in the Okanagan as they look to make it three-straight.

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“It’s nice to come up to the Okanagan, play some good golf and the weather has been great as well — some relaxed competition,” said Point Grey Golf Club amateur, Jeff Dagg.

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“It’s fun to think about it, and you always want to come out and win, but we can only control what we can control so have some fun, play some decent golf and see where the chips fall,” said Point Grey Golf Club director of golf, Dave Zibrik.

Meanwhile, for a couple of local golfers who call Gallagher’s Canyon their home course, they hope their past playing experience here may just give them the upper hand against the reigning champs.

“We’re super honoured to be hosting this to be honest. For us, having home-course advantage has been great — pins are tough, greens are fast, but I do think we’re doing alright so far,” said Gallagher’s Canyon head professional, Lee Alarie.

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“Any day you’re not in the office and playing golf is a good day, and then at the end of the day we’re trying to make as many birdies as possible and see if we can bring home the trophy,” said 2022 Gallagher’s Canyon club champion, Jeff Reybarkun.

In the end, the dynasty of Dagg and Zibrik continued, capturing their third-straight title in this event. The duo from Vancouver shot a 9-under par score of 63 in the best-ball tournament, beating Shadow Ridge Golf Club’s Mark Kitts and Justin Faasse by a single stroke.

“For us to partner up three years in a row and be able to win it in different conditions, different golf courses — seems like we have a really strong pair,” said Zibrik.