Canadians Stephen Ames, Rod Spittle and Jim Rutledge Commit to 2016 Pacific Links Bear Mountain Championship
Canadians Stephen Ames, Rod Spittle and Jim Rutledge committed to play the 2016 Pacific Links Bear Mountain Championship, to be contested on Bear Mountain Golf Resort’s Mountain Course in Victoria, British Columbia the week of September 19-25, 2016. The event will feature a US$2.5 million purse, with 81 players competing for a winner’s share of $440,000.
Ames, who was born in Trinidad and Tobago but owns dual citizenship in Canada as well, starred on the PGA TOUR through the mid-2000s, earning four titles – including a breakthrough win at THE PLAYERS Championship in 2006, when he dominated the world-class field to the tune of a six-shot victory.
The 52-year-old made his PGA TOUR Champions debut in 2014, and has made 34 additional starts since, racking up nine top-10 finishes and career-best, T4 efforts at the 2015 Mitsubishi Electric Classic and 2016 Tucson Conquistadores Classic.
Ames, who resides in Vancouver, British Columbia, turned professional in 1987 before winning on the Web.com Tour in 1991, and later adding European Tour victories in 1994 and 1996 before earning his PGA TOUR card at Q-School in 1997.
Spittle, a native of St. Catharines, Ontario, took the road less traveled to PGA TOUR Champions. After playing college golf at famed Ohio State alongside the likes of fellow Tour players Joey Sindelar and John Cook, the two-time Canadian Amateur champion took a job in the insurance industry, where he worked for 25 years in his adopted home state of Ohio.
In 2004, Spittle turned professional in advance of his 50th birthday, then earned status on PGA TOUR Champions via a T3 finish at the annual Qualifying Tournament in 2006. Since that point, the 61-year-old has made 151 career starts, collecting 19 top-10 finishes, including a playoff win at the 2010 AT&T Championship. The three-time Ohio Mid-Amateur champion has earned over $3.3 million on the golf course since leaving the insurance industry 11 years ago.
Rutledge will be making a hometown appearance at the Pacific Links Bear Mountain Championship after growing up in Victoria.
The 56-year-old won six times on PGA TOUR Canada, including three victories in the British Columbia Open. Rutledge’s professional career, which began in 1978, took him through the Web.com Tour, the European Tour and the Asian Tour before settling on PGA TOUR Champions – where he has competed since the 2010 season.
Over the past seven years, Rutledge has recorded nine top-10 finishes on PGA TOUR Champions and over $1.3 million in earnings.
“Canada is a golf-rich country that has consistently cheered for its own through the years at PGA TOUR-sanctioned events,” said Tournament Director David Skitt. “The addition of these three players not only adds to the strength of our field, but also to the excitement heading into tournament week, as Canadian golf fans will have genuine passion in supporting Stephen Ames, Rod Spittle and Jim Rutledge.”
The announcement is the latest in a string of player commitments for the event, including World Golf Hall of Fame members Bernhard Langer, Colin Montgomerie, Sandy Lyle and Tom Kite, as well as PGA TOUR Champions winners Rocco Mediate, Lee Janzen and Jesper Parnevik.
Tournament week in Victoria will begin with Pro-Ams on Wednesday and Thursday, followed by 54 holes of championship play from Friday through Sunday, with no cut. All three competitive rounds will be broadcast live by Golf Channel to more than 200 million homes in 84 countries and 11 languages around the world.
Tickets are also on-sale for this premier event and can be purchased at www.selectyourtickets.com. Fans can choose from the daily ticket options or combine tickets with additional golf rounds while in Victoria with Golf Vancouver Island’s PGA TOUR Champions Weekend Package.
- Weekly Pass – Wednesday through Sunday: $99 (includes parking / Official Program)
- Daily Pass – Friday, Saturday or Sunday: $40
- Pro-Am Daily Pass – Wednesday or Thursday: $25
- Champions Club VIP Pass – Friday through Sunday: $200
About The Pacific Links Championship
The Pacific Links Championship is an official event on PGA Champions TOUR featuring the world’s premier golfers aged 50 and older competing for a US$ 2.5 million purse. Tournament play at the Pacific Links Championship will be held on the Jack and Steve Nicklaus Co-Design Mountain Course at Bear Mountain Golf Resort, Victoria, British Columbia, from September 19-25, 2016. All three competitive rounds will be broadcast live by Golf Channel to more than 200 million homes in 84 countries and 11 languages around the world. For more information on the Pacific Links Championship or PGA TOUR Champions, please visit www.PGATOUR.com/Champions
About Pacific Links International
Pacific Links was founded in 2009 to provide members with a premium golf experience through an innovative international membership structure focused on the Chinese golfer. Pacific Links offers them access to the finest collection of high quality golf clubs in the world. Since 2012, the Pacific Links Network of Affiliated and Reciprocal clubs now stands at over 500 properties located in 20+ countries around the world. With a strong membership base continuing to grow in China, the planned expansion into other parts of Asia and the aggregated population of members from all the participating clubs, Pacific Links is now expanding the brand platform to encompass more than just golf. We are positioning Pacific Links International to be the preeminent Lifestyle portal for China’s HNW customer providing high demand travel itineraries inspired by golf but encompassing concierge services, flights, accommodations, local tourism experience and travel butler assistance. The main feature of a Pacific Links membership is reciprocal access. In the next 10-15 years, PLI will further expand its international affiliate network to over 1,000 clubs in North America, Europe, Australia, Japan and the entire Southeast Asia.
About Bear Mountain Golf Resort
Located on southern Vancouver Island – a region known for its year round golf climate, stellar fishing opportunities and strong local food movement – Bear Mountain Golf Resort and Spa offers two outstanding courses that combined represent the only 36-hole Nicklaus Design golf experience in Canada. The Mountain Course, a Jack and Steve Nicklaus Co-Design, features impressive landscape and dramatic terrain that lead to breathtaking 180 degree views of nearby Victoria, the Pacific Ocean and the Olympic Mountains of Washington State. The course, a par 71 playing at 6,925 yards, sets atop a 1,100-foot mountain and has been assigned a slope rating of 142 from the back tees. The 18-hole, par 71 Nicklaus Design Valley Course, a spectacular golf setting that is nestled in a pristine natural 102 acres of mature forests, measures just under 7,000 yards. Surrounded by 3,000 acres of parks and hiking trails, Bear Mountain is one of the few golf courses in North America that offers an authentic natural setting so close to a capital city. More than a resort and an incredible community, Bear Mountain is also home to Golf Canada’s National Development team, the high performance training centre of Canada’s National Mountain Bike team, and construction recently commenced on Canada’s largest indoor/outdoor clay court tennis facility supported by Tennis Canada and Tennis BC. The Westin Bear Mountain Golf Resort and Spa rounds out the amenities offering guests a luxurious getaway with outstanding fine dining options, the award-winning Sante Spa, and the Bear Mountain Golf Academy. www.bearmountain.ca
About PGA TOUR Champions
PGA TOUR Champions is a membership organization of golfers age 50 and older, with the most recognizable and accomplished players in the game – including 34 members of the World Golf Hall of Fame, which compete regularly in its events. PGA TOUR Champions is where Legends play, and is home to The Ultimate Clubhouse. Conceived in 1980 as the Senior PGA Tour, it started with just four events and purses totaling $475,000. The primary purpose of PGA TOUR Champions is to provide financial opportunities for its players, entertain and inspire its fans, deliver substantial value to its partners, create outlets for volunteers to give back, protect the integrity of the game and generate significant charitable and economic impact in communities in which it plays. In 2016, the newly-introduced Charles Schwab Cup Playoffs will identify and recognize the Tour’s leading player via a season-long race for the Charles Schwab Cup. The Commissioner of the PGA TOUR is Tim Finchem. Greg McLaughlin is President of PGA TOUR Champions. The PGA TOUR’s website is pgatour.com, the No. 1 site in golf, and the organization is headquartered in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. Follow PGA TOUR Champions at facebook.com/PGATOURChampions and on Twitter @ChampionsTour.