The 2019 MacKenzie Tour GolfBC Championship teed off with its opening ceremonies in Kelowna Wednesday.
The MacKenzie Tour stop, part of the PGA Canada Tour, is taking place at Gallagher’s Canyon Golf Club until June 16.
It is the fourth year the event has been held in Kelowna.
“We’re very, very happy to have this championship in our city,” said city Coun. Maxine DeHart, who represented Mayor Colin Basran at the opening ceremony. “We are a golf capital. Gallagher’s is known worldwide, but this tour has brought prestige to Kelowna.”
The first day saw a long-drive competition take place, with the longest distance clocked in at 387 yards by Keenan Hall.
“When it left the club face I had a feeling it could be good,” said Hall, a 28-year-old former pro golfer from Kelowna. “Everyone at the country club knew I was a long driver, so they said, ‘You’ve got to go do this.’
“So I figured I’d do it, and here I am.”
For winning, he received a free trip for two anywhere WestJet flies. He said he has yet to decide where to go.
Since the inaugural event in 2016, $450,000 has been donated through the GolfBC Championship to the BC Cancer Foundation and the Red Cross Kelowna.
This year’s event is free as a result of a donation by event sponsor Husky Energy to cover the admission fee for the entire event.