The GolfBC Championship, the third event on the Mackenzie Tour-PGA TOUR Canada schedule, awarded five exemptions today. The following group of players will be directly entered into the GolfBC Championship, teeing it up June 14–17 at Gallagher’s Canyon in Kelowna, avoiding the Monday Qualifier.
- Jimmy Jones, from Lake Cowichan, B.C., recently completed his final year of NCAA eligibility at the University of South Florida. He was the 2017 Tampa Bay Open Champion, the 2015 Florida Men’s Amateur Champion, the 2015 – 2016 Division II NCAA First Team All- American, and in 2017 finished T13 at the Canadian Amateur. Jones hopes to pursue his dream of playing professional golf, following in the footsteps of his mother, Canadian Hall of Fame Member Dawn Coe-Jones, in her home province of British Columbia.
- Garrett Kucher, from Kelowna, B.C., turned pro three years ago and has since played professional golf in Europe, Spain, Arizona and on the Vancouver Golf Tour. In his second season on the Vancouver Golf Tour, Garrett came 2nd on the money list and order of merit and won seven times, setting a number of course records last season. Garrett recently joined Predator Ridge as their Golf Ambassador.
- The 2018 Zone 2 Junior Tour Order of Merit Winner (TBD). The Zone 2 Junior Tour is comprised of a geographic area reaching from Osoyoos to Kamloops. The tour consists of 13 events throughout this region. It begins in April and culminates at the two-day Tour Championship held at Gallagher’s Canyon Golf Club on June 9-10. Juniors compete weekly at these events to accumulate Order of Merit points. Competitors will be playing for double points in the final event, at which time the Order of Merit winner will be determined.
- The Interior PGA Tour – The Interior PGA Committee, along with the 80+ professionals from BC’s interior region who compete in Interior PGA Tour events, look forward to the opportunity for one of their top players to represent the strong international field. The selection of the representative will be decided in the coming days.
- Conner Kozak, Assistant Professional at The Okanagan Golf Club (a member of the GolfBC Group). Kozak has competed locally, provincially, and nationally since a young age, Conner played for the UBC men’s golf team where he helped lead the Thunderbirds to numerous national championships. Some individual varsity highlights include a Rookie of the Year nomination (2012), 2 first-team All-American Awards (2013, 2014), NAIA Preview Champion (2013), All Regional Champion (2014), and being named to the Canadian FISU World University Championship team (2014). Upon graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology, Conner joined the PGA of Canada. He believes in growing the game at all levels and is driven by providing the opportunity for others to love the game.
UPDATE: June 12, 2018
The GolfBC Championship, the third event on the Mackenzie Tour-PGA TOUR Canada schedule, has finalized its exemptions moving into the start of tournament play this Thursday at Gallagher’s Canyon…. and two Kelowna players have made the field!
Gallagher’s Canyon’s own Matt Hopley was awarded an exemption after finishing as the 2018 Zone 2 Junior Tour Order of Merit Winner, and Finlay Young has been chosen as the representative from the Interior PGA Tour.
Hopley and Young join the already announced Jimmy Jones, Garrett Kucher and Conner Kozak to complete the five (5) sponsor exemptions granted for the 2018 GolfBC Championship.
- The 2018 Zone 2 Junior Tour Order of Merit Winner- Matt Hopley. The Zone 2 Junior Tour is comprised of a geographic area reaching from Osoyoos to Kamloops. The tour consists of 13 events throughout this region. It begins in April and culminated at the two-day Tour Championship held at Gallagher’s Canyon Golf Club this past weekend. Juniors compete weekly at these events to accumulate Order of Merit points. Competitors played for double points in the final event, at which time the Order of Merit winner was announced. Congratulations to Gallagher’s Canyon’s own Matt Hopley who was awarded an exemption to the GolfBC Championship following the two-day Tour Championship. Hopley, age 15, became the youngest player to tee it up in a Mackenzie Tour-PGA Tour Canada event in 2017. This year, Matt received an exemption into the GolfBC Championship by clinching the Zone 2 Junior Tour Order of Merit. In 2017, Matt finished 2nd in Idaho to qualify and compete in the US Junior Amateur Championship played at Flint Hills National in Wichita Kansas. Matt was the 3rd youngest player in the entire field. Hopley finished T3 at the 2017 BC Juvenile Championship. That same year he tied for second at the Provincial High School Championship firing a 68 in the final round leading Immaculata High to the team title. Recently Matt competed in the US Open Local Qualifier in Washington State, finishing T7 and missing sectionals by one shot. Matt spends most of his time practicing and playing as a Junior Member at Gallagher’s Canyon Golf Club where he has grown up and continues to live within the golfing community.
- The Interior PGA Tour: Finlay Young – The Interior PGA Committee, along with the 80+ professionals from BC’s interior region who compete in Interior PGA Tour events, selected one of their top players to represent the strong international field. Congratulations to Finlay Young who was awarded an exemption into the GolfBC Championship. Young, from Edinburgh, Scotland is a CPGA Teaching Professional at the Harvest Golf Club here in Kelowna. Finlay has played professional golf across Europe and North America and has 17 wins to his name and won the Interior PGA Tour’s Order of Merit in 2015 and 2016. He played Division 1 college golf at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia.