Summerland Pair Earns Way To Scotland

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2010 International Pairs Presented By WestJet Sees Summerland Pair Earn Comeback Win

Courtenay, B.C. - The third annual Western Final At Crown Isle Sees Record Number Of Competing Pairs From Across Western Canada.

Under sunny skies on October 4th, 56 teams hailing from Manitoba to B.C. tee'd it up to compete for the opportunity to represent their country in a World Final.

All teams had earned their way to Crown Isle Resort on Vancouver Island by winning a club level tournament which qualified them for the all-expense paid trip.

One team, in particular, came to Crown Isle on a mission... the pair of Dan Beggs and Jamie Low representing the Summerland G&CC.

The Okanagan based duo had also competed in the 2009 Western Final placing third after an updated handicap index took away a title that they thought they had won.

"I came to Crown Isle this year feeling that I had something to prove," said Low who practised every day for the three weeks leading up to the event.

And 'prove it' they did.

"We really 'ham and egged' it, confirmed Beggs after the round. "It seemed that every time I got into trouble Jamie played well and vice versa."

A review of their scorecard backs that up. On 11 of the 18 holes, only one of the two recorded a score for the hole in the best ball format event.

"We made a couple of putts of around 25 feet but it was on the second hole where we really lucked out," said Low.

On the 330-yard, par 4, Lowe hit an errant drive that flared right and was thought to be lost. His partner then hit his tee shot into a water hazard. 

Low followed that up with a provisional ball then ended up in a bunker and the team was looking at a disaster hole.

Low recalled with smile, "After looking for the ball for a few minutes, I was heading back to play my provisional ball when the rules official noticed a ball 30 yards past the hole in a bunker backing the fifth green. It was mine and the scuff mark meant that it had hit a cart path. If he (the official) had not noticed it, we would have likely been looking at a double bogey."

With the modified Stableford scoring system used, that would have meant 0 points. As it was Low was able to scramble his way to a par and 2 points.

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And that par would provide just enough of a margin to capture the 2010 title and earn the opportunity to travel to Scotland in 2011. There they will represent Canada in the World Finals competing against teams from more than a dozen other countries.

When the round had ended, Low and Beggs had compiled 45 points with a round that included ten net birdies and only one net bogey.

The team of Mike Sharp and Richard Birnie Browne from Whitecourt G&CC in Alberta ended up only one point behind carding two net eagles and five net birdies while three teams (Colin Stefanyk/ Brett Kelly from Innisfail, Bill Persley/Mathew Moore from  Lac La Biche GC, and Jay Yule/Doug Skinner from Myrtle Point GC) all tied for third at 43 points.

The Summerland pair competed under the Past Champions category where pairs can come back to compete in subsequent years after winning at their club.

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From Left To Right: Dan Beggs, IP's Jeff Sutherland, WestJet Representative Hanif Manji and Jamie Low
Image Credit Jim Paterson

Event organizer and Western Canadian International Pairs Licensee, Jeff Sutherland explains the Past Champions concept, "As the International Pairs is a true handicap tournament at all levels, we have found that some competitors may have only previously played in club level events. It can be a little intimidating coming to Crown Isle representing their club, playing under tournament conditions with rules officials and so on. Many players said that they would like to come back and compete again with a year of experience under their belt. "

2010 marks the third year that the International Pairs Presented By WestJet Western Final has been contested over Crown Isle's fairways and every year has seen the tournament get bigger and bigger.

Comments Sutherland, "This was our third year as the Western Canada Licensee and we are very gratified to have had many of the competitors calling it one of the better experiences of their golf careers. The concept of starting in a club level tournament, then competing at a Regional Final and, ultimately, representing Canada at the World Championships held in Scotland carrying our country's flag seems to have captured the imaginations of golfers across Western Canada."

One of the major reasons for the International Pairs success both in Canada as well as worldwide is its simplicity and flexibility at the club level. 

The tournament can be run on its own or overlaid on any existing event from a member-guest to a men’s night. As it includes handicaps, events and even individual teams may include both men, women or even juniors. Even the scoring format chosen at the club level is entirely up to the facility... match play, net medal, stableford, it does not matter.

In Western Canada, whatever format a course decides on, one thing is assured, one two-person team will earn an all expense paid trip (airfare, accommodations and meals included) to represent their club in the Canadian Finals presented by WestJet to be held at Crown Isle Golf Resort on Vancouver Island. 

Win there and they travel to Scotland to represent Canada in The World Finals.

Another reason for its success is the venue.

Sutherland continues, "Crown Isle is a dream as a host facility. Graham Cooke's design offers great challenge while at the same time being fair to all handicap levels. The accommodations are of the highest quality, the clubhouse is certainly among the finest in Western Canada and the staff and rules officials were simply outstanding. There are always key people without whom an event like this would not be possible. In our case, aside from Crown Isle, it's the people at WestJet. It's their support of this event that allows the golfers from across Western Canada to compete."

With partners of this quality it is not surprising that the International Pairs is becoming a must-play on the Fixture list for many clubs across the West. With the opportunity and value for clubs and golfers, it's easy to see why.

For more information about participating in this event, please visit www.internationalpairs.ca or call 800-764-7637
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