Hopley to play in GolfBC Championship

The third stop on the Mackenzie Tour goes this week at Gallagher’s Canyon

Matt Hopley’s first start in a pro tournament will be in familiar surroundings.

The Gallagher’s Canyon junior golfer has earned an exemption into this week’s Mackenzie Tour event in Kelowna.

The 2017 GolfBC Championship tees off Thursday morning at the Gallagher’s Canyon Golf and Country.

Along with Hopley, fellow junior golfer Wyatt Brook from Rivershore in Kamloops, has also earned an exemption into the tournament.

The GolfBC Championship will feature 156 players, with a prize package of $175,000. Many of the game’s up-and-coming players will pursue the winner’s share of $31,500.

The PGA Tour Canada Mackenzie Tour is a stepping stone to the Web.com and PGA Tours.

The opening ceremonies are set for Wednesday at 3 p.m. at Gallagher’s, with a Long Drive Challenge to follow, featuring World Long Drive champion Jamie Sadlowski. Fans are invited to watch the competition from the number one tee box.

Sadlowski, along with former top-ranked Canadian amateur, Jared du Toit, have both been granted exemptions into the four-day tourney.

Ten players joined the field on Monday after a qualifying tournament at the Okanagan Golf Club, including two Canadians, Toronto’s Andrew Ledger and Edmonton’s Andrew Funk.

The GolfBC Championship is the third of 12 events on the Mackenzie Tour this season, following previous tournament stops in Victoria and Vancouver.

A four-day pass for this week’s tournament is $25 until Thursday and $35 after that. Single day passes are $15 at the gate.

For more information on the week’s events, tickets and parking, visit golfbcchampionship.com.

For more information on the Mackenzie Tour, go to pgatour.com/canada.

Tournament supports flood relief…

The GolfBC Championship announced last week that a significant portion of the proceeds from the tournament will go to Red Cross Kelowna flood relief after heavy rains fell in the Okanagan Valley leading up to the event.

Last year, the event raised $150,000 and will continue to raise money for the B.C. Cancer Foundation.