Gallagher’s Canyon Golf and Country Club was the scene for local golf pros and the birdies were flying all over the course this week as Gallagher’s hosted the 2013 PGA of B.C.’s Pro-Assistant Championships.
And when the dust settled it was Tyrel Babkirk and Greg Machtaler of the Summerland Golf and Country Club who were raising the trophy after posting a minus 20 total over two days to win the event.
Babkirk and Machtaler’s 124 score beat last year’s champions, Kevin Maxwell and Matt Matheson of Olympic View in Victoria by a stroke. Third place went to Seymour Creek’s James Legault and Bryn Parrywhile tied for fourth were Gorge Vale’s Edd Boudreau and Jim Cook and Fairview Mountain’s Brian McDonald and Danny Long
“This feels so good, getting my first professional (win),” said Babkirk. “Greg and I are great friends and he played so well.”
The winning margin came on the Summerland duo’s final hole, as Machtaler hammered a drive, Babkirk wedged it to 10 feet and Machtaler sank the putt for the duo’s fourth birdie in the last five holes.
“It was my best putt of the day,” said Machtaler, who is no stranger to winning, having won the PGA of BC Assistants Championship at Chilliwack last month with a closing round 65.
The Summerland duo cashed a winning cheque for $2,250 and supplemented it with a $680 skin for their eagle on the 12th hole on Monday.
Machtaler said the turning point for his team was a sloppy par on the par 5 12th hole, where eagle and birdie were the norm in the team event.
“We’re 210 yards out after our drive and we make five and that really got us steamed,” said Machtaler. “We parred the next but then we made three birdies in a row.”
After a par at the 17th, Babkirk told his partner that a birdie on the last might be important.
“To get it to 20-under would be a great number to get to,” said Babkirk.
And with both partners contributing to the cause, that ended up being the final margin of victory.
The final round, played under a scramble format, saw some impressive performances from many teams, including many players driving the green on the 15th and almost driving the 17th green.
A slew of local teams were tied for sixth place at the event with a minus-16 total, four shots off the pace. Rob Anderson and Jamie Stevens as well as Jonathan Kadin and Jason Jurimae of Gallagher’s were tied with Dean Claggett and Ethan Danish (Two Eagles), Dan Matheson and Miles Palahniuk (Okanagan Golf Club) and Bruce Vermee and Mike Loewen (Sunset Ranch).
Russ Latimer and Taylor Fahey of Black Mountain were 11th while Chad Scott and Justin Fram of the Harvest and Peter Hopley and Connor Stephen of Gallagher’s were T14.