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Parksville golf course to host 2023 BC Amateur Championship

Morningstar Golf Club expects field of over 150 golfers
Morningstar Golf Club general manager Barrie McWha talks about the club hosting the BC Amateur Championship in 2023. (Michael Briones photo)

Morningstar Golf Club has landed the prestigious BC Amateur Golf Championships which it will host not just once, but twice.

The announcement was made by BC Golf CEO Kris Jonasson on Aug. 17 at Morningstar in small a ceremony attended by Parksville Mayor Ed Mayne, golf course owner representative Lee Riggs, and Morningstar membership committee representative Chris Beach, who all welcomed the news.

“This golf course was envisioned to be a championship golf course,” said Jonasson. “It’s nice to see that the golf course has been brought back into that type of situation. I am delightful to be here this morning to announce that British Columbia Golf will be bringing the British Columbia Amateur Championships to Morningstar Golf Course in July of 2023 and then again in July of 2030.”

Morningstar, which opened in 1991, has dramatically bounced back from being in receivership in 2018 to again become one of the premier golf courses on Vancouver Island. Last year, it hosted the BC Junior Golf Championships and it was a huge success that Jonasson said convinced BC Golf to award it the amateur championship.

READ MORE: Former ownership group buys back Morningstar Golf Club in Parksville

“The club not only has the facility, they have the engaged membership that we require in order to provide a volunteer base,” said Jonasson. “And the golf course was just in superb shape. The support from the community was outstanding. And it truly is a championship golf course that we want everyone in British Columbia to know and understand that championship golf course is alive and well in this area of the province.”

The last time Morningstar held the BC Amateur Golf Championship was in 2007 with Mitch Gillis of William Lake winning the title with impressive scores of 68-68-67-69 for an 16-under total. That year Kevin Carrigan from Colwood set a new course record of 61.

Morningstar general manager Barrie McWha expects Carrigan to be one of the many top calibre amateur golfers that will compete in next year’s championships. More than 150 golfers are expected to vie for top honours over four days of competition. The top four will qualify for the Willingdon Cup, a provincial team competition at the 2023 Canadian Amateur Championships.

Mayne was pleased Morningstar will stage the prestigious provincial event twice. He thanked BC Golf for choosing Morningstar to host the championship.

“One-hundred and fifty-odd families coming to our area that will be visiting our town, creating an atmosphere of golf that we really do like,” said Mayne. “We want people when they think golf, ‘let’s go to Parksville, let’s go to Oceanside and we can play a number of courses around’. This year is exciting. We’ve had a number of tournaments over the years and it always brings people around town and we love it.”

Morningstar is now owned by Realcor Golf Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of the International Union of Operating Engineers Pension Fund. Lee Riggs, of Operating Engineers said it’s an honour to be asked to host the BC Amateur Championships.

“We want people to know from all over B.C. and Canada that this is a place they can come to and to golf to a truly championship golf course,” said Riggs. “And then gloat and tell their friends who can tell their friends.”

The Les Furber designed course has in the past hosted the Qualifying School of the Canadian Tour; the Morningstar Classic, an event on the Canadian Tour; and a number of Golf Canada national championships.

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Michael Briones

About the Author: Michael Briones

I rejoined the PQB News team in April 2017 from the Comox Valley Echo, having previously covered sports for The NEWS in 1997.
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