KELOWNA, British Columbia — Jake Knapp is back. And so, too, is PGA TOUR Canada.
Knapp, who won the CRMC Championship presented by Gertens last week, headlines the field at the GolfBC Championship at Gallagher’s Canyon Golf Club. He won the tournament in 2019 and began his professional career at the event as a Monday qualifier, in 2016.
“I’ve always liked coming here. The city itself, everything about it is fun to come to,” said Knapp, who did note it’s a tough, walking course. “A lot of it is hilly, and there are a lot of ups and downs. But I just think it’s a beautiful spot. It’s really fun to come to.”
Knapp has fond memories of his first tournament as a pro. The tournament ran out of caddies five years ago, so he enlisted his father into duty. Knapp played well enough to have his name on the leaderboard after an opening-round 65, but officials created no name plates for Monday qualifiers. A fellow golfer joked that Knapp needed to make a name tag for himself.
“It was a really fun week that first year,” Knapp said. “It gave me a little taste of the professional golf life.” Knapp eventually went on to tie for 45th it was one of two cuts he made in seven starts during that rookie campaign.
PGA TOUR Canada has since housed Knapp’s three professional championships. The first two came in 2019, while the other came last week in Minnesota. The latter marked the first time PGA TOUR Canada has played an official event in the United States. This week’s return to Canada is the final full-field tournament of 2022, featuring 156 players. An off week follows, with the Fortinet Cup Championship set for September 15-18 in Kitchener, Ontario.
With this last tournament remaining, there’s an added sense of urgency in a tightly contested battle for the season-long points title and for those hoping to keep their 2023 PGA TOUR Canada playing privileges. Only the top-60 will keep their cards, the same number who qualify for the Fortinet Cup Championship. After this week, the season ends for those finishing 61st and higher.
After eight tournaments played, Knapp is second in the Cup standings. He trails Wil Bateman by a narrow 17-point margin. A large contingent of players are still in contention, and they will look to move up, especially with 500 points available this week to the winner.
Sitting high on the standings as the season winds down is nothing new to Knapp. In 2019, when PGA TOUR Canada still used money earnings to tabulate its Order of Merit, Knapp finished third after making nine cuts, recording those two wins and adding an additional three top-10s. His third-place finish was how he originally earned his Korn Ferry Tour card.
“It’s been in my mind all year, obviously. And, then after last week it’s definitely right there,” Knapp said about the points chase and his big move into the second spot after his victory. The former UCLA Bruin previously played on the Korn Ferry Tour in 2020-21, making 16 cuts in 36 starts. He posted one top-10 and eventually finished 118th on that Tour’s Points List. “I’m not going to worry too much about what Wil is doing or any of the other guys. I’m just going to go out and try to play well. There’s no more pressure on myself.”
DATES: September 1-4, 2022
OFFICIAL NAME: GolfBC Championship
SCHEDULE: 10th of 11 official events of the 2022 PGA TOUR Canada season
VENUE: Gallagher’s Canyon Golf Club
PAR/YARDS: 71 (36-35), 6,786 yards
POINTS LIST: Winner earns 500 points
PURSE MONEY: $200,000 (winner claims $36,000)
CUT: Top 60 professional (and ties, plus any amateurs inside the top 60)
FORTINET CUP: The season-long points chase mirrors the competitive structure of the points-based competitions on the PGA TOUR, PGA TOUR Champions and PGA TOUR Latinoamérica. Through the sponsorship, the Fortinet Cup offers a new $100,000 player bonus pool—with $25,000 to the winner—to the top Fortinet Cup points-winners. The top-five Fortinet Cup points-earners gain membership to the 2023 Korn Ferry Tour, while Korn Ferry Tour benefits are available to those finishing sixth through 10th. In addition, the Fortinet Cup winner will also be exempt into the PGA TOUR’s 2023 RBC Canadian Open.
Fortinet Cup Standings
(Through CRMC Championship presented by Gertens)
|1||Wil Bateman (Canada)||1,031|
|2||Jake Knapp (U.S.)||1,014|
|3||Ryan Gerard (U.S.)||722|
|4||Danny Walker (U.S.)||720|
|5||Scott Stevens (U.S.)||672|
|6||Ian Holt (U.S.)||666|
|7||Brian Carlson (U.S.)||663|
|8||Thomas Walsh (U.S.)||633|
|9||Joe Highsmith (U.S.)||604|
|10||Parker Coody (U.S.)||571|
TITLE SPONSORS: GolfBC
BENEFITING CHARITIES: BC Cancer Foundation, Red Cross Kelowna, Central Okanagan Food Bank
Thursday, September 1 First Round
Friday, September 2 Second Round
Saturday, September 3 Third Round
Sunday, September 4 Final Round
SIZE: 156 players
COUNTRY BREAKDOWN: Australia (1), Canada (38), China (4), Chinese Taipei (1), England (1), France (2), Germany (2), Hong Kong (1), Ireland (1), Mexico (1), Switzerland (1), Thailand (1), United States (101), Zimbabwe (1).
LAST PGA TOUR CANADA TOURNAMENT: Jake Knapp won the CRMC Championship presented by Gerterns. He edged Wil Bateman by two strokes.
OPEN-QUALIFYING: Earlier this week, the tournament conducted a Monday qualifier at Okanagan Golf Course, with eight playing spots available for the best-performing players in the 18-hole event. The following qualified.
|Jordan Relling (Canada)||61|
|Angelo Giantsopoulos (Canada)||64|
|Camden Price (U.S.)||65|
|David Hansen (U.S.)||65|
|Max Sekulic (Canada)||68|
|Mike Valk (Canada)||68|
|Cole Madey (U.S.)||68|
|Emanuele Manzone (U.S.)||69*|
* Qualified via playoff
PGA TOUR CANADA ALUMNI: With recent back-to-back PGA TOUR wins, 2013 graduate Tony Finau has improved to No. 14 in the Official World Golf Ranking, the highest-ranked current former PGA TOUR Canada player. Since the Tour’s inaugural season of 2013, more than 250 players have graduated to the Korn Ferry Tour, with 45 players accounting for 54 wins. From there, 54 players have moved on to the PGA TOUR, with 14 players accounting for 18 wins. They are Finau, Corey Conners, Mackenzie Hughes, Joel Dahmen, J.J. Spaun, Nick Taylor, C.T. Pan, Talor Gooch, Adam Long, AaronWise, Cam Davis, Ryan Brehm, Chad Ramey and Sepp Straka. There are currently 10 Canadians on the PGA TOUR.