Best in B.C. tee off at Crown Isle

The top golf professionals in the province are challenging for the PGA of BC Championship at Crown Isle.

Jason Andrew tees off at the PGA of BC Championship.

Jason Andrew tees off at the PGA of BC Championship.

The top golf professionals in the province are challenging for the PGA of BC Championship, a 54-hole event that kicked off Monday and wraps up Wednesday at Crown Isle.

The tournament features defending champion Lindsay Bernakevitch of Shaughnessy Golf & Country Club in Vancouver. He was the top B.C. professional at the PGA Championship of Canada, a match play event in Calgary.

Former tournament winners playing this week include 2000 and 2008 champion Bryn Parry from Seymour Creek Golf Centre, who is second in the PGA of Canada rankings, and two-time champion Doug Morgan (2009 and 2010), who is making his PGA of BC debut after returning from non-golf related surgery in May.

Gorge Vale Golf Club’s Edd Boudreau (2006) and Capilano Golf & Country Club’s Mike Haraguchi (2005) are also trying to again have their name etched on the William Thompson trophy. Boudreau defeated Canada’s top-ranked professional at this year’s PGA Championship of Canada, eventually losing to Bernakevitch and finishing third.

The field also includes many players hoping to capture their first PGA of BC title, most notably the talented Brad Clapp of Chilliwack Golf & Country Club, who fired an opening round of 65 for a one-shot lead over Steven MacPherson of Qualicum Beach Memorial Golf Club. MacPherson, a former PGA of BC Assistants’ champion, eagled the par 5 15th on Monday.

Matt Palsenbarg of Northview Golf & Country Club and Kevin Black of Seven Hills Golf & Country Club both fired opening rounds of four-under par 68. Bernakevitch was five shots back after opening with a two-under par 70.

Clapp is fresh off an uncontested win at the Assistants’ Championship at Vernon Golf & Country Club, where he shot a record-setting 17-under par. He followed with a fourth-place finish at the PGA Championship of Canada.

Olympic View Golf Club’s Kevin Maxwell, another former assistants’ champion and half the winning team at the PGA of BC Pro-Assistant Championship, returns to the home club where he built up an impressive resume as a junior golfer.

Host professional Jason Andrew makes a rare event debut, joining fellow local professionals Bill Kelly and Paul Dashkewytch of Glacier Greens Golf Club.

The winner’s share of the $25,500 purse is $5,000. Results and updates are posted at www.pgabc.org and twitter.com/pgaofbc.

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