Eighty-one players, from golf legends to journeyman pros, will tackle the mountain course at the Bear Mountain Golf Resort in late summer for the 2016 Pacific Links Championship on the PGA Tour Champions circuit.
Such veteran golf luminaries as Tom Watson, Bernhard Langer, Jeff Sluman and John Daly are expected to be among the professionals making their way to the region for the tournament, set for Sept. 19 to 25.
Langford Mayor Stew Young said this could be one of the most prestigious events ever to come to the city.
“(This) shows all the hard work and promotion of Langford is now starting to pay off,” he said. “Five, 10, 20 years ago, you would never have thought you could hold a world-class event like that. It’s fantastic; there’s not a better event that brings tourist dollars and builds our economy … What a great opportunity.”
Young said if all goes well, there may be opportunity for future similar golf events.
“Langford is getting recognized beyond the borders of our community. Without bureaucracy we don’t spend three years figuring out if we want it,” he said. “When it came up, I said ‘absolutely, bring that here.’ Really, that will be the biggest event in Langford’s history and TV cameras will showcase Langford and Victoria and it will put us on the map again and bring more events.”
Dan Matthews, president and CEO of Ecoasis Developments LLP, which owns and operates Bear Mountain, said the company is “honoured to be a part of Pacific Links’ PGA Tour Champions event.”
“Hosting the Pacific Links Championship at Bear Mountain will enable us to showcase Canada’s only 36 holes of Nicklaus Design golf and go a long way in supporting our goal to demonstrate why we are fast becoming the finest golf resort community in Canada,” he said.
Originally scheduled for Tianjin, China, the event moves to the West Shore’s Jack and Steve Nicklaus co-designed course due to ongoing challenges in the city following a massive chemical warehouse explosion that killed more than 100 people in August of 2015.
The tournament will see the full field play 54 holes, with no cuts. All three rounds will be broadcast on the Golf Channel. The Pro-Am rounds take place Sept. 21 and 22.