Kelowna golfer John Mlikotic ready to compete with the best at the Mackenzie Tour’s stop at Gallagher’s Canyon Golf Club starting Thursday. (Contributed)

Kelowna golfer continues pro push with secured spot at local tour

John Mlikotic joins the Mackenzie Tour at Gallager’s Canyon Golf Club

With the Mackenzie Golf Tour coming to Kelowna, local golfer John Mlikotic may have a leg-up on the competition.

The upcoming tour tees off Thursday at Gallagher’s Canyon Golf Club, a course that Mlikotic has been working and playing at for over seven years.

“I’d like to think I have a small advantage, it’s my home course, I’ve played it a thousand times and I’m hoping to put together a good performance,” Mlikotic said.

The Mackenzie Tour is part of the PGA Tour Canada and invites professional players from all over the world to compete against the world’s best and work towards a path to the PGA Tour.

Mlikotic has been at this tour before in 2016, but the former Simon Fraser University golfer knows his experience has come along way and it’s time to show it on the course.

“I’m extremely excited and grateful for the opportunity, it’s my home course, and it’s a great place to start this year,” he said.

“I’ll know when to be aggressive and when to lay back, and I’m going to use that to my advantage.”

In his third year as pro, qualifying for the big tours and playing with the longer-term pros has been a challenge, but Mlikotic takes no time off to improve his game.

Attending qualifier schools, working while playing at Kelowna golf courses, playing in tournaments throughout the Okanagan and Vancouver and spending the winters in the U.S. working on his game.

Though it’s hard work, it’s all been worth it.

“It’s a lot of travel and putting in hours to make sure I’m balanced with playing full-time.”

“I feel ready, I want to get out there and prove I can play and that my game is ready,” Mlikotic said.

With a solid performance at the upcoming tour, he can play his way into the second season of the Mackenzie Tour.

With upcoming stops in Lethbridge and Ontario, the tour gives Mlikotic all the chances he needs to continue perfecting his skills as a professional golfer.

Nerves won’t be a factor for the Immaculata High School graduate—he’s playing with home-court advantage.

“The comfort of playing at (this) course will help.”

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