October 22nd, 2020

Paradise Canyon Open events will allow more local golfers to be involved


By Woodard, Dale on February 21, 2020.

Tournament chair Doug McLaughlin speaks Thursday during the kickoff announcement for the third annual Lethbridge Paradise Canyon Open. Herald photo by Ian Martens @IMartensHerald

Dale Woodard

Lethbridge Herald

sports@lethbridgeherald.com

The third annual Mackenzie Tour PGA Tour Canada Lethbridge Paradise Canyon Open is returning to southern Alberta.

And everybody is invited to join in the festivities.

This year’s Lethbridge Paradise Canyon Open returns to the Paradise Canyon Golf Resort June 25-28 with the Interfaith Food Bank Society of Lethbridge as this year’s charity beneficiary.

And some new wrinkles added to this year’s tour stop will not only give local amateurs a chance to tee up in the high-calibre event, but to also walk away with a lot of extra cash in their pockets.

New to the event is the Million Dollar Shootout – awarding a hole-in-one with the same amount – and a junior qualifier at the Picture Butte Golf Club for a chance to play in the main tournament.

In a fundraiser for Lethbridge College and the University of Lethbridge, golfers will be able to go to as many courses as they want to qualify for the Million Dollar Shootout and the junior qualifier.

“They’ll be out there for the whole day on any particular course and every golfer that is playing on that course on that day will have the opportunity to pay $20 and try and get a closest-to-the-pin shot on that particular hole that day,” said Doug McLaughlin, Lethbridge Paradise Canyon Open tournament chair. “It’s open to men and women, and every golfer that tries this out in return for $20 will get a shot to get into the qualifier and they’ll get four-day tickets to attend the tournament. So they get something in return in addition to the chance try and win $1 million. That’s how the college will benefit and the university will benefit in the same fashion.”

Southern Alberta has also benefitted from the first two years.

“We know that in the last couple of years the economic benefit from having the tournament here has been in excess of $1 million,” said McLaughlin. “When you have 130 pros coming and trying out for the qualifier, you’ve got 130-plus here on Thursday and Friday playing and then the ones that make the cut on the weekend, there are hotels and meals. We’re spreading it around because there is going to be money spent out in Picture Butte if the guys to go out there for the Monday qualifier.”

The qualifier is June 22 in at the Picture Butte Golf Club. The junior qualifier will take place the same day with the juniors heading out after pro qualifiers have teed off. The top junior of the day will play in the main event as an amateur.

The Million Dollar Shootout qualifier will take place June 22 at Paradise Canyon with the main shootout taking place June 24 after the Pro-Am.

The main event tees off June 25 at around 7:30 a.m. and runs until June. 28.

As this year’s Lethbridge Paradise Canyon Open beneficiary, the Interfaith Food Bank Society of Lethbridge is excited to be on board.

“The food bank has a lot of ties to golfing,” said Mac Nichol, events and operations co-ordinator for the Interfaith Food Bank Society of Lethbridge. “Some of our staff members have children who are up-and-coming golfers and will maybe one day be a part of this event. So to be a part of this event is just fantastic. On top of that the money coming in is very important to us. But we are very excited to have such a big event have a focus back on the city and then give back to the community like they are doing.”

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