Two self-described “dads” from Langley won the 75th anniversary edition of the 2020 Grupo Bimbo B.C. Match Play Championship of golf at the Richmond Country Club on Sunday, Oct. 18.
Ken Cormack from Walnut Grove and Craig Brown from Murrayville won the “Net” category that is open to amateur and junior golfers with a registered Golf Canada handicap of 18 or under.
Cormack said the two long-time friends of more than 30 years switched to golf from playing competitive soccer a few years ago.
“We were just doing it [golf] to have fun and have a laugh,” Cormack told the Langley Advance Times.
Brown said he’s been playing golf since he was about 10, but didn’t get a handicap until “about two-and-a-half years ago.”
It was their second time playing in the prestigious event, after making it to the quarter-finals last year.
This time out, Cormack and Brown put in a strong performance, maintaining a lead almost continuously leading up to the final, with the exception of falling behind once, by one hole, in their first match.
“We seemed to get better as it [the tournament] went on,” Cormack.
Many of the matches were against younger opponents.
The pair’s second outing attracted considerable attention on social media, with around 250 fans following the two and commenting on their progress online.
“We turned off our phones [during play] because they started to blow up,” Cormack laughed.
With the win, the two have an automatic berth in the event next year, where, as returning champions, they will be ranked first.
“We were both feeling pretty proud of ourselves,” Brown commented.
He said the pair had a low-key celebration consisting of a few beers at a friend’s place.
“Sunday night, we had to work [the next day],” Brown observed.
Cormack called it “an amazing run and experience that these two dads will never forget. We both say it took ten years off our life due to the mental stress.”
Brown agreed, describing their experience as “nerve racking at times, but we had a blast playing in it”
Another Langley golfer won the “open” division of the championship for professionals and amateurs (or juniors) with a registered handicap of five or less.
James Allenby of Langley Golf Centre and Kevin Stinson of Cheam Mountain Golf Course beat the Ledgeview Golf Club duo of Luke Bogdan and Brett Webster.
It was a second trip to the podium for Allenby, who was a Match play winner in 2017.
This year, the event had a total purse of $12,500 with the winning team’s share equaling $3,000 in the Open tournament and $1,500 in the Net Tournament.
The event started back in 1946 when legendary golfer Stan Leonard of the Marine Drive Golf Club and some local pros created the first BC Match Play competition.
An online history says that before the age of television and PGA Tour golf, fans would come in the thousands to watch some of the top local amateurs take on some of the top PGA Pros on some of BC’s most exclusive private clubs.
At its peak in 1953, upwards of 25,000 fans followed the event from the qualifying rounds to the finals, second only to the Canadian Open.