Tournament of Champions coming to Nicklaus North 

Sports briefs: New participation record for Whistler Valley Trail Run

click to enlarge PHOTO COURTESY OF PGA OF BC - Looking for a win Jason Giesbrecht, left, and Kevin Carrigan of Royal Colwood Golf Club, who won the Tournament of Champions in 2014, are returning for the 2017 event.
  • Photo courtesy of PGA of BC
  • Looking for a win Jason Giesbrecht, left, and Kevin Carrigan of Royal Colwood Golf Club, who won the Tournament of Champions in 2014, are returning for the 2017 event.

Sixty-four of the province's top golfers will descend on Nicklaus North Golf Course on Monday.

The PGA of BC's Tournament of Champions is set to run on May 29 with plenty of local representation.

The tournament format pairs a club's professional with its top amateur as they chase their share of a $6,000 purse.

Host Nicklaus North's Andrew Smart will team up with Nick Papoutsis, while Fairmont Chateau Whistler's Padraic O'Rourke and Nick Harris will also compete. Two other Sea to Sky teams, Woody Bishop and Lance Lundy of Big Sky and Alan Kristmanson and Cairn Rae of Whistler Golf Club, are also signed up.

"We're excited to have the event back," said Smart, noting Nicklaus North had played host about 15 years ago. "The course is in great shape. We had a huge winter. There was a lot of snow on the golf course but the greens are in exceptional condition and we're really happy with the way it's all come around."

While Smart is looking forward to hosting the event, he acknowledged that being so early in the season, playing at home might not be overly favourable with some rust yet to be worked off.

"It's always nice to talk about home-course advantage, but I can say that after six-and-a-half months off, there isn't much advantage," Smart said.

The tournament format is an 18-hole best-ball event, which Smart, who has played in the event numerous times, said is a staple.

"It's traditionally the same event, a team event with the head golf professional and the club champion from each course, so it's a neat event," he said.

The shotgun start is at 9 a.m.

More information is available at www.pgabc.org.

New record for Whistler Valley Trail Run

A move to the May Long weekend has boded well for the Whistler Valley Trail Run.

In the 27th running of the race, a record 88 participants took to the course.

Mads Groeholdt, 16, won the men's 10-kilometre event, besting Jason Fluckinger by four minutes and 26 seconds (4:26) and Ben Dillon by 6:29.

On the women's side, Karen Norton bested Kate Entwistle by 2:03 and Erica Prestidge by 2:13.

In the five-km race, Dominic Jacobsen got past Reegan Piper by 1:31 and Tim Donkin by 2:24 in the men's open race, while Alison Burnett bested Allison Schneider by 1:43 and Peta Gascoigne by 2:19 on the women's side. In the 15-and-under events, Kane Gascoigne came in 17 seconds ahead of Sami Teitzel and 2:22 ahead of Ryan Clark to take the men's win, while Olivia Rodig crossed the line 3:35 ahead of Megan Moretto and 5:53 ahead of Florian Rodig to earn the women's championship.

Complete results are available online at www.webscorer.com.

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