Two Kelowna Golfers To Tee Up At The GolfBC Championship
- Category: Inside Golf
- Published: 2018-06-13
Matt Hopley From Gallagher's Canyon (BCG/Jurgen Kaminski Of JKam Photos) And Conner Kozak From The Okanagan Golf Club (Instagram/Okanagan Golf Club)
KELOWNA, British Columbia — The GolfBC Championship, the third event on the Mackenzie Tour-PGA TOUR Canada schedule, has finalized its exemptions moving into the start of tournament play at Gallagher's Canyon... and two Kelowna players have made the field!
Gallagher's Canyon's own Matt Hopley was awarded an exemption after finishing as the 2018 Zone 2 Junior Tour Order of Merit Winner, and Finlay Young has been chosen as the representative from the Interior PGA Tour.
Hopley and Young join the already announced Jimmy Jones, Garrett Kucher and Conner Kozak to complete the five (5) sponsor exemptions granted for the 2018 GolfBC Championship. Full player bios are listed below.
- Jimmy Jones, from Lake Cowichan, B.C., recently completed his final year of NCAA eligibility at the University of South Florida. He was the 2017 Tampa Bay Open Champion, the 2015 Florida Men’s Amateur Champion, the 2015 – 2016 Division II NCAA First Team All- American, and in 2017 finished T13 at the Canadian Amateur. Jones hopes to pursue his dream of playing professional golf, following in the footsteps of his mother, Canadian Hall of Fame Member Dawn Coe-Jones, in her home province of British Columbia.
- Garrett Kucher, from Kelowna, B.C., turned pro three years ago and has since played professional golf in Europe, Spain, Arizona and on the Vancouver Golf Tour. In his second season on the Vancouver Golf Tour, Garrett came 2nd on the money list and order of merit and won seven times, setting a number of course records last season. Garrett recently joined Predator Ridge as their Golf Ambassador.
- The 2018 Zone 2 Junior Tour Order of Merit Winner- Matt Hopley. The Zone 2 Junior Tour is comprised of a geographic area reaching from Osoyoos to Kamloops. The tour consists of 13 events throughout this region. It begins in April and culminated at the two-day Tour Championship held at Gallagher’s Canyon Golf Club this past weekend. Juniors compete weekly at these events to accumulate Order of Merit points. Competitors played for double points in the final event, at which time the Order of Merit winner was announced. Congratulations to Gallagher's Canyon's own Matt Hopley who was awarded an exemption to the GolfBC Championship following the two-day Tour Championship. Hopley, age 15, became the youngest player to tee it up in a Mackenzie Tour-PGA Tour Canada event in 2017. This year, Matt received an exemption into the GolfBC Championship by clinching the Zone 2 Junior Tour Order of Merit. In 2017, Matt finished 2nd in Idaho to qualify and compete in the US Junior Amateur Championship played at Flint Hills National in Wichita Kansas. Matt was the 3rd youngest player in the entire field. Hopley finished T3 at the 2017 BC Juvenile Championship. That same year he tied for second at the Provincial High School Championship firing a 68 in the final round leading Immaculata High to the team title. Recently Matt competed in the US Open Local Qualifier in Washington State, finishing T7 and missing sectionals by one shot. Matt spends most of his time practicing and playing as a Junior Member at Gallagher’s Canyon Golf Club where he has grown up and continues to live within the golfing community.
- The Interior PGA Tour: Finlay Young - The Interior PGA Committee, along with the 80+ professionals from BC’s interior region who compete in Interior PGA Tour events, selected one of their top players to represent the strong international field. Congratulations to Finlay Young who was awarded an exemption into the GolfBC Championship. Young, from Edinburgh, Scotland is a CPGA Teaching Professional at the Harvest Golf Club here in Kelowna. Finlay has played professional golf across Europe and North America and has 17 wins to his name and won the Interior PGA Tour's Order of Merit in 2015 and 2016. He played Division 1 college golf at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia.
- Conner Kozak, Assistant Professional at The Okanagan Golf Club (a member of the GolfBC Group). Kozak has competed locally, provincially, and nationally since a young age, Conner played for the UBC men's golf team where he helped lead the Thunderbirds to numerous national championships. Some individual varsity highlights include a Rookie of the Year nomination (2012), 2 first-team All-American Awards (2013, 2014), NAIA Preview Champion (2013), All Regional Champion (2014), and being named to the Canadian FISU World University Championship team (2014). Upon graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology, Conner joined the PGA of Canada. He believes in growing the game at all levels and is driven by providing the opportunity for others to love the game. Ten (10) players were added to the field for the GolfBC Championship after qualifying at the Okanagan Golf Club- Bear Course. Click here for the full story.
The GolfBC Championship tournament week has teed off already at Gallagher's Canyon, with tournament days this Thursday - Sunday. Purchase a pass for all 4 tournament days for only $35, a savings of $25 from the single day prices! Day passes are available for $15 each. Purchase passes here or purchase a day pass at the gate.
Everyone is welcome to our Opening Ceremonies, Long Drive Challenge for Charity and Tee-Off Party, Wednesday at 3:30pm. Long Ball hitters are invited to hit 3 shots for $25, with all proceeds going to the BC Cancer Foundation. Longest Drive Amateur will win a pair of Adidas Tour 360 Golf Shoes. Secure your spot in the Long Drive Challenge for Charity here. All golf fans are invited to watch the Opening Ceremonies, Long Drive Charity Challenge and be a part of our "Tee-Off Party". Everything gets underway at 3:00pm at the Gallagher's Canyon #1 Tee Box.