Canada’s Bear Mountain Resort Named As Host of 2016 Pacific Links Championship

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British Columbia venue set to host PGA TOUR Champions stars in September.

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“Bear Mountain Golf Resort is an incredible property, offering not only great golf, but an impressive variety of activities and accommodations,” said Mr. Du, Owner & Chairman of Pacific Links International.

PGA TOUR Champions and Pacific Links International announced today that the 2016 Pacific Links Championship, originally set to be contested in Tianjin, China, has moved to Bear Mountain Resort in Victoria, British Columbia. The tournament dates will remain September 19-25, with the field increasing from 60 players to 81 players, and the purse remaining $2.5 million.

“Bear Mountain Golf Resort is an incredible property, offering not only great golf, but an impressive variety of activities and accommodations,” said Mr. Du, Owner & Chairman of Pacific Links International. “Western Canada is a prime travel destination with attractions that include the internationally prized wine region of the Okanagan Valley, the cosmopolitan coastal city of Vancouver, Vancouver Island and to the east Jasper and Banff National Parks in the Canadian Rockies. We are proud to showcase Bear Mountain and the entire travel destination of spectacular British Columbia by bringing this special event to Victoria.”

Tournament play at the Pacific Links Championship will be held on the Mountain Course at Bear Mountain Resort, which opened for play in 2003.

The Jack & Steve Nicklaus co-design sits just minutes from Victoria’s downtown harbor, and is one of two Nicklaus Design courses at the resort. The Mountain Course sits at the base of Mount Finlayson, and features panoramic city, ocean and mountain views throughout.

“We are delighted that PGA TOUR Champions and Pacific Links have chosen Bear Mountain to host this event, and at such an important time of the year in the Tour’s schedule,” said World Golf Hall of Fame member Jack Nicklaus. “Players and fans will find that this is an incredible backdrop for golf, with gorgeous mountains framing the resort and spectacular vistas from many holes. It also made for a terrific canvas on which Steve and I could create a challenging but memorable resort golf experience. I hope the competitors will enjoy the experience as much as Steve and I did designing it.”

“Bear Mountain is honored to be a part of Pacific Links’ PGA TOUR Champions event,” said Dan Matthews, President and CEO, Ecoasis Developments LLP. “Hosting The Pacific Links Championship at Bear Mountain will enable us to showcase Canada’s only 36 holes of Nicklaus Design golf and go a long way in supporting our goal to demonstrate why we are fast becoming the finest golf resort community in Canada.”

The tournament will give PGA TOUR Champions two events in golf-rich Canada during a four-week stretch, pairing with the Shaw Charity Classic on September 2-4 to provide an exciting late-season run up to the inaugural Charles Schwab Cup Playoffs this fall.

In addition to the Pacific Links Championship, Victoria serves as host of the Bayview Place Island Savings Open presented by Times Colonist, a Mackenzie Tour - PGA TOUR Canada event operated by the Island Open Golf Society for 33 years. The event's past champions include Steve Stricker (1990), who is set to make his PGA TOUR Champions debut in early 2017, and current PGA TOUR Champions member Mike Grob (2006). Victoria native and Tour member Jim Rutledge has served as the event's Honorary Chairman since 2014.

“Pacific Links International has been a wonderful partner for PGA TOUR Champions, and we are confident that Bear Mountain Resort will provide a championship-caliber setting for one of our premier events,” said PGA TOUR Champions President Greg McLaughlin. “The passion for golf is strong in British Columbia, and should make for a wonderful tournament week atmosphere for our fans and players.”

From 2012-14, PGA TOUR Champions held the Pacific Links Hawai’i Championship at Kapolei Golf Club on Oahu. Following the 2014 tournament, Pacific Links announced it was moving the 2015 tournament to Tianjin, China, to be played at the company’s flagship course in Asia, The 27 Club. Tragically, in August, a factory explosion in the port area of Tianjin forced the cancellation of the event, with officials making the decision just weeks prior to tournament week out of respect for the hundreds of victims of the tragedy.

Pacific Links and the PGA TOUR remain committed to holding a PGA TOUR Champions tournament in Tianjin, but due to ongoing challenges in the city associated with the explosion, the joint decision was made to move the 2016 event to British Columbia.

Tournament week in Victoria will begin with pro-ams on Wednesday and Thursday, followed by 54 holes of tournament play from Friday through Sunday, with no cut. All three rounds will be broadcast on Golf Channel.

For more information on the Pacific Links Championship or PGA TOUR Champions, please visit http://www.PGATOUR.com/Champions.

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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. http://www.pacificlinks.com

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 70 playing at 6,900 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. http://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.

CONTACTS:     
Stewart Moore, Director of Communications, 904-540-2765, StewartMoore(at)pgatourhq(dot)com
Richelle Nemeth, V.P. Sales and Marketing, 647-271-7198, rnemeth(at)pacificlinks(dot)com

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Amber Liptai
BIG YAM, The Parsons Agency
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