As a Times Colonist report that GNN linked to indicated on Thursday, PGA Tour Champions and Pacific Links International have announced that the 2016 Pacific Links Championship, originally set to be played in Tianjin, China, has moved to Bear Mountain Resort in Victoria.
The tournament dates will remain Sept. 19-25, with the field increasing from 60 players to 81 players, and the purse remaining at $2.5-million.
“Bear Mountain Golf Resort is an incredible property, offering not only great golf, but an impressive variety of activities and accommodations,” said Mr. Du, owner and chairman of Pacific Links International.
“We are proud to showcase Bear Mountain and the entire travel destination of spectacular British Columbia by bringing this special event to Victoria.”
Tournament play at the Pacific Links Championship will be held on the Mountain Course at Bear Mountain Resort, which opened for play in 2003.
“We are delighted that PGA Tour Champions and Pacific Links have chosen Bear Mountain to host this event, and at such an important time of the year in the Tour’s schedule,” said Jack Nicklaus, who co-designed the Mountain Course on which the event will be played.
“Players and fans will find that this is an incredible backdrop for golf, with gorgeous mountains framing the resort and spectacular vistas from many holes,” he said.
“It also made for a terrific canvas on which Steve (Nicklaus) and I could create a challenging but memorable resort golf experience. I hope the competitors will enjoy the experience as much as Steve and I did designing it,” said Nicklaus.
“Bear Mountain is honored to be a part of Pacific Links’ PGA TOUR Champions event,” added Dan Matthews, president and CEO of Ecoasis Developments LLP.
“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.
From 2012-14, PGA Tour Champions held the Pacific Links Hawai’i Championship at Kapolei Golf Club on Oahu.
Following the 2014 tournament, Pacific Links announced it was moving the 2015 tournament to Tianjin, China, to be played at the company’s flagship course in Asia, The 27 Club.
In August, however, a factory explosion in the port area of Tianjin forced the cancellation of the event, with officials making the decision just weeks prior to tournament week out of respect for the hundreds of victims of the tragedy.
Pacific Links and the PGA Tour remain committed to holding a PGA Tour Champions tournament in Tianjin, but due to ongoing challenges in the city associated with the explosion, the joint decision was made to move the 2016 event to British Columbia.
“Pacific Links International has been a wonderful partner for PGA Tour Champions and we are confident that Bear Mountain Resort will provide a championship-calibre setting for one of our premier events,” said PGA Tour Champions president Greg McLaughlin.
“The passion for golf is strong in British Columbia and should make for a wonderful tournament week atmosphere for our fans and players,” he added.