PNGA Lamey Cup A Perfect Combination Of Camaraderie And Competition

The Last BC Team To Win The Lamey Cup Was In 2014 - PNGA Photo

By Brad Ziemer, British Columbia Golf

It was cool, rainy and windy at last year’s PNGA Lamey Cup, but John Robertson enjoyed every minute of what was his debut in the annual Ryder Cup-style competition featuring teams from the British Columbia, Washington, Oregon and Idaho golf associations.

Robertson loved the competitive side of the event, but also remembers the great camaraderie between the teams.

“That is why I am looking forward to going back and competing again,” Robertson says.

“I might end up playing against some of the same people. The associations tend to send their top people year after year, so you get to play the same matches over and over again. I am hoping to build some friendships and maybe get to play some other stuff across the border as a result of it.”

This year’s event will be played May 4-5 at Blue Lakes Country Club in Twin Falls, Idaho, and features 12-member teams (eight men and four women) from each of the four associations. It’s a match play competition with four-ball and foursomes matches played on Day 1 and 12 singles matches contested on Day 2.

The competition was named the PNGA Cup for its first 13 years and renamed in honour of Dr. Jack Lamey, a former president of the Pacific Northwest Golf Association, shortly before his death in 2019. Last year’s event, the first after it was not played for two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic, was contested at Bellingham Golf & Country Club.

Robertson, a 51-year-old former pro from Courtenay who regained his amateur status about five years ago, remembers playing through some miserable weather, but thoroughly enjoying the experience. “I had a great partner in Craig Doell and unfortunately we had an 18th-hole loss and an 18th-hole draw,” Robertson says.

BC's John Robertson At The 2021 Men's Mid-Amateur - BC Golf Photo

“We played fairly well as a team. I won my singles match the final day. It was so cold and windy and rainy. My opponent asked me on the 15th or 16th tee, ‘Do you want to just call it and take a draw?’ I went, ‘No, we can’t.’ He was from Washington and I knew they were leading and I owed it to the field to at least try and win my point, which I did. . .I am hoping for better weather this year.”

Each Lamey Cup team is comprised of four Mid-Amateur men (age 25 and older), two Mid-Master men (age 40 and older), two Senior men (age 55 and older), two Mid-Amateur women (age 25 and older) and two Senior women (age 50 and over).

Robertson will be paired in the foursomes and four-ball competitions with another former pro, Gary Pike of Victoria, in the Mid-Master category. “I played with him two or three times last year after being randomly drawn with him,” Robertson says of Pike.

“He plays a completely different style of game than me. He is very straight and accurate and very consistent, so I think we’ll be a good match in terms of match play. He seldom misses a fairway and rarely makes more than a bogey. So that kind of frees me up to play my game. I love to be able to cut a corner and maybe steal a birdie.”

Besides Robertson and Pike, the B.C. team includes Mike Aizawa of Richmond, Patrick Weeks of Vancouver, Cory Hilditch of Penticton, Kamyar Yamini of Vancouver, Sandra Turbide of Maple Ridge, Karen Kloske of Lake Cowichan, Emery Bardock of Chilliwack, Jamie Oleksiew of Surrey, John Gallacher of Burnaby and Neil MacLeod of Burnaby.

Turbide, who won last year’s Washington State Senior Women’s title and was runner-up at the B.C. Senior Women’s Championship, is back for her fourth Lamey Cup. She particularly enjoys the fact it is a match play event. “It is such a different way of golf,” Turbide says.

“We are not used to it. In Europe, that is what they play a lot. They play lots of club events, important zone events, as match play. It is something they cherish. Here we don’t get the chance to do that ever, really. We have no competition like that. So playing this event is a challenge but it is really fun at the same time because it’s different.”

B.C. has won the Lamey Cup on three occasions, but has not hoisted it since 2014. Washington won last year’s Lamey Cup at Bellingham Golf & Country Club. Oregon has taken home the Lamey Cup seven times, Washington has won it four times and Idaho’s lone win came in 2017.

For more on the Lamey Cup click HERE.

CHIP SHOTS: Michael Cook, a longtime rules official and a member of the board of directors of British Columbia Golf, will serve as B.C.’s non-playing captain at the Lamey Cup. . .This will be the 16th playing of the Lamey Cup.