Steve Flesch, Jerry Smith Share First Round Lead at Pacific Links Bear Mountain Championship
Canadian Stephen Ames Shoots 5-under 66; Sits Two Strokes Back of the Leaders
VICTORIA, B.C. (September 15, 2017) – American, Steve Flesch, birdied all four par 5s Friday en route to a bogey-free 7-under 64 and a share of the round-one Pacific Links Bear Mountain Championship lead. It was his 11th consecutive round under-par and was his lowest round since he turned 50 on May 23. The Cincinnati, Ohio native has two top-10s in 11 starts this season, with his best being a fifth-place finish at the Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS Championship. Flesch is accompanied by Jerry Smith, who played Nos. 7-13 in 6-under en route to his 7-under 64, matching his lowest round of the season.
Canadian Stephen Ames shot 66 and is tied for seventh. Earlier this year, he won the Mitsubishi Electric Classic and became the third Canadian to win on PGA TOUR Champions.
Fan favourite, John Daly, opened with a bogey on the par-5 first, but made five birdies and an eagle to finish with a 6-under 65, tied for his best first round of the season. It is the fifth time he has shot 65 this season.
After taking the last two weeks off, Charles Schwab Cup leader, Bernhard Langer, opened eagle-birdie-birdie and was 4-under through three holes. He went on to make birdies on Nos. 12 and 13 and finished with a first-round 65. Last year in Victoria, he finished T7 after shooting a season-best 63 in the final round. This season, Langer has four wins and nine top-three finishes, and he has led the Schwab Cup standings 18 of the 20 weeks. He has won five of the last 10 senior majors, including three this year. His 10 major victories is most in PGA TOUR Champions history.
Defending champion Colin Montgomerie hit his third shot into the greenside hazard on No. 18, leading to a double bogey and a disappointing end to his first-round 71. The winner of last week’s JAPAN AIRLINES Championship, Montgomerie has tallied 16 consecutive rounds under-par and is currently No. 8 in the Charles Schwab Cup standings.
Scott McCarron, last year’s runner-up and the No. 2 player in this year’s Charles Schwab Cup standings, opened with an even-par 72 and is tied for 37th.
This season, a first-round leader/co-leader has gone on to win four times. Bernhard Langer has done it three times (Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai, KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship, and The Senior Open Championship presented by Rolex), and Jerry Kelly won the Boeing Classic in this fashion.
Tee off for round two is scheduled for 7:45 a.m. at Bear Mountain Golf Resort in Victoria, British Columbia.
Tickets for the event can be purchased at www.pacificlinkschampionship.com through the BUY TICKETS tab. Fans can choose from the following ticket options:
DAILY PASS – SATURDAY OR SUNDAY: $40
TRAVEL TICKETS – ROUNDTRIP AIRFARE ON PACIFIC COASTAL AIRLINES FROM VANCOUVER, KELOWNA, OR PRINCE GEORGE TO VICTORIA - VALID ON ANY TICKET: Starting at $175
Tickets can also be purchased on-site in the Tournament’s Spectator Village with cash or credit card.
Event Week Schedule
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 16, 2017:
Championship Round #2 (Gates open at 7:00 AM) Play is scheduled to finish at 5:30 PM
Junior Clinic presented by Archie Johnstone (11:00 AM - 5:00 PM)
Executive Women’s Day (8:30 AM - 4:00 PM)
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 17, 2017:
Championship Final Round (Gates open at 7:00 AM)
Complimentary parking will be provided at the following spectator parking lots:
WEDNESDAY-SUNDAY – Western Speedway (Limited space on Saturday and Sunday)
SATURDAY-SUNDAY – Old Belmont High School (Jacklin Road) - Entrance beside Sooke School District 62
SATURDAY- SUNDAY – Camosun College (Interurban Campus)
Complimentary continuous shuttle service will be operating from each of the above parking locations during the following days/ hours:
THURSDAY-SUNDAY - 7:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Additional Tips for Getting to Event
Large bags and/or backpacks will not be allowed; small bags (8” x 8” x 8”) or smaller allowed
Cameras are NOT permitted
No radios, TVs, signs, banners or ladders permitted anytime
No outside coolers, beverages or alcoholic beverages may be brought onto the property. Alcohol may not be taken off the property
Additional Spectator Information
MERCHANDISE – Pacific Links Bear Mountain Championship merchandise provided by Levelwear is available for purchase in the Spectator Village - Merchandise Tent and in the Bear Mountain Pro Shop.
YOUTH POLICY – Juniors 17 years of age and under are permitted access to the grounds FREE of charge when accompanied by a ticketed adult. Junior admission does not permit access to the Hospitality Areas, or other restricted areas.
CONCESSIONS – There are several locations to buy food and beverages at concession stands located on-site. These will be present throughout the golf course as well as in the Spectator Village.
About Pacific Links Bear Mountain Championship
The Pacific Links Bear Mountain Championship is an official event on PGA TOUR Champions featuring the world's premier golfers aged 50 and older competing for a US $1.8 million purse. Tournament play at the Pacific Links Bear Mountain Championship will be held on the Jack and Steve Nicklaus Co-Design Mountain Course at Bear Mountain Golf Resort in Victoria, British Columbia, from September 11-17, 2017.
About Help Fill a Dream (Official Charity Partner)
Help Fill a Dream inspires hope, healing and happiness in children with life-threatening conditions. Help Fill A Dream makes dreams come true, improves the quality of life of sick children and assists families with care and financial support. Since 1986, Help Fill A Dream has touched the lives of 2,245 Vancouver Island and Gulf Islands’ children and their families.
About Pacific Links International
Pacific Links was founded in 2009 to provide members with a premium golf experience through an innovative international membership structure focused on the Chinese golfer. Pacific Links offers them access to the finest collection of high quality golf clubs in the world. Since 2012, the Pacific Links Network of Affiliated and Reciprocal clubs now stands at over 600 properties located in 27 countries around the world. With a strong membership base continuing to grow in China, the planned expansion into other parts of Asia and the aggregated population of members from all the participating clubs, Pacific Links is now expanding the brand platform to encompass more than just golf. We are positioning Pacific Links International to be the preeminent Lifestyle portal for China’s HNW customer providing high demand travel itineraries inspired by golf but encompassing concierge services, flights, accommodations, local tourism experience and travel butler assistance. The main feature of a Pacific Links membership is reciprocal access. In the next 10-15 years, PLI will further expand its international affiliate network to over 1,000 clubs in North America, Europe, Australia, Japan and the entire Southeast Asia. www.pacificlinks.com
About Bear Mountain Golf Resort
Located on southern Vancouver Island a region known for its year round golf climate, stellar fishing opportunities and strong local food movement - Bear Mountain Resort offers two outstanding golf courses that combined represent the only 36-hole Nicklaus Design golf experience in Canada. The Mountain Course, a Jack and Steve Nicklaus Co-Design, features impressive landscape and dramatic terrain that lead to breathtaking 180 degree views of nearby Victoria, the Pacific Ocean and the Olympic Mountains of Washington State. The course, a par 70 playing at 6,900 yards, sets atop a 1,100-foot mountain and has been assigned a slope rating of 142 from the back tees. The 18-hole, par 71 Nicklaus Design Valley Course, a spectacular golf setting that is nestled in a pristine natural 102 acres of mature forests, measures just under 7,000 yards. Surrounded by 3,000 acres of parks and natural setting so close to a capital city. More than a resort and an incredible community, Bear Mountain is also home to Golf Canada's National Development team, the high performance training centre of Canada’s National Mountain Bike team, and the construction of western Canada’s largest indoor/outdoor clay court tennis facility supported by Tennis Canada and Tennis BC is underway. The newly renovated Westin Bear Mountain Golf Resort and Spa rounds out the amenities offering guests a luxurious getaway with outstanding fine dining options, the award-winning Sante Spa, and the Bear Mountain Golf Academy. www.bearmountain.ca
About PGA TOUR Champions
PGA TOUR Champions is a membership organization of golf’s most recognizable and accomplished players, age 50 and older, including 32 members of the World Golf Hall of Fame. The Tour’s mission is to provide financial opportunities for its players, entertain and inspire its fans, deliver substantial value to its partners, create outlets for volunteers to give back and generate significant charitable and economic impact in tournament communities. In 2017, the PGA TOUR Champions schedule includes 26 tournaments in 18 states, Japan, Wales and Canada, with purses totaling more than $55 million. The Charles Schwab Cup, which includes the Regular Season and the Charles Schwab Cup Playoffs, is used to determine the season-long champion. Internationally, telecasts air live, tape-delayed or in a highlights-package format in excess of 190 countries and territories, reaching more than 330 million potential households. The PGA TOUR's web site is PGATOUR.COM, the No. 1 site in golf, and the organization is headquartered in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. Follow PGA TOUR Champions at facebook.com/PGATOURChampions, on Twitter @ChampionsTour and on Instagram @pgatourchampions.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Public Relations Manager
Pacific Links Bear Mountain Championship
P: (647) 381-1463