Victoria's Pete Jawl Doesn’t Play Like A Rookie In His PNGA Cup Debut

Pete Jawl From The Victoria Golf Club Won Two Of His Three Matches At Seattle Golf Club As B.C. Finished Second In The 13th Annual PNGA Cup - Image Credit PNGA

By Brad Ziemer, British Columbia Golf

SHORELINE, Wash. -- As a PNGA Cup rookie, Pete Jawl acknowledged battling some butterflies as he walked the first few fairways of historic Seattle Golf Club. Then Jawl remembered he had more than a solid golf game to rely on. He also had an experienced player and good friend by his side in partner Craig Doell. 

To say Doell is a PNGA Cup veteran would be an understatement. While Jawl was playing in his first PNGA Cup, a Ryder Cup-style competition featuring top players from the British Columbia, Washington, Idaho and Oregon golf associations, Doell was playing in his 12th. Doell has missed only one PNGA Cup since the annual competition began in 2006.

Jawl said Doell helped calm his nerves early in their first four-ball match Thursday against the Idaho team of Jesse Hibler and Will McCurdy. “I was definitely feeling some nerves the first few holes,” Jawl said. “I missed a few shots and put myself into some bad spots. Craig really carried us the first few holes and I started to feel more comfortable midway through the front nine. “Craig was giving me a lot of positive reinforcement.”

The two Victoria Golf Club members quickly meshed into an effective team as they won both of their opening-day matches at the PNGA Cup. “I could tell his swing was a little quick to start but then he smoothed it out as we went along and everything started to fall into place,” Doell said of Jawl. “He hit some great shots on the back side (of their opening match). I knew it was going to happen. It was just a matter of time.”

Jawl, in fact, took charge on the back nine of their opening match. On the par 4 second hole (their 11th), Jawl rolled in a tough 15-foot downhill, breaking putt for birdie. Hibler then missed his birdie attempt from about four feet and the B.C. team had a two-up lead in the match when it looked like they might walk off the green all square.

Jawl then stiffed an approach on the 13th hole to restore the two-up lead after Idaho had won the 12th hole. Jawl made a terrific up-and-down par on the 14th hole to put B.C. up by three. They closed out the match 4&3 and then went out in the afternoon and won their foursomes match 4&3 over the Oregon team of Arthur Kim and Jack Dukeminier.

image credit Brad Ziemer

Victoria Golf Club Members And Good Friends Pete Jawl (L) And Craig Doell (R), Were A Formidable Twosome In The PNGA Cup

Doell also won his singles match on Friday, defeating Reid Hatley of Washington one-up. Jawl lost his singles match 2&1 to Michael Haak of Washington. The solid play of Doell and Jawl wasn’t enough to carry British Columbia to the team championship, however. B.C. finished the competition second with 12 points. That was six fewer points than the winning team from Oregon, which captured the event for the seventh time in its 13-year history.

Jawl, 29, called it a privilege to play with Doell in the opening two matches. As a junior golfer at Victoria Golf Club, Jawl said Doell was one of the players he most admired. “He is a multiple club champion at our course and he was a player I looked up to as a junior,” Jawl said. “It’s really special to be able to come out and play in this event and especially be partners with him.”

Golf was not Jawl’s first sporting love. That was rugby, a sport he played at a high level. The University of Western Ontario graduate played for Canada’s under-20 national team in his third year of college. “Rugby was my sport of choice for a few years and then I came back to golf when I realized I wasn’t good enough or fast enough to play,” Jawl said with a laugh. “I was a kicker and a lot of the best kickers in rugby that I know have actually transitioned into being good golfers. It’s a tempo thing, I guess.”

Jawl fell in love with Seattle Golf Club, an immaculate hilly and tree-lined course that was founded in 1900. “It’s magical and it beats the office for sure,” said Jawl, who works in real estate development in Victoria. “The greens are really good so if you are missing putts you can’t blame them. It’s a really nice piece of property.”

As much as he enjoys seeing familiar faces when he returns to the PNGA Cup each spring, Doell likes the fact that new players, like Jawl, are brought on board by their respective golf associations.
“It’s the perfect mix,” Doell said. “We have a few guys who have been around for a while and a few new guys. It just makes it perfect because it is a new experience for the new guys, which is great, and it’s great for the other guys that have been around and get to see some old familiar faces and foes.”

Of course, it’s not just guys who are playing. Each 12-member team has four female players. Alison Murdoch of Victoria, Karen Kloske of Lake Cowichan, Josee Deslauriers of Parksville and Christina Proteau of Port Alberni joined Jawl, Doell, Sandy Harper of Nanaimo, Doug Roxburgh of Vancouver, Gudmund Lindbjerg of Port Moody, Daniel Brown of Grand Forks, Norm Bradley of Kelowna and Kevin Carrigan of Victoria on Team British Columbia.

Proteau brought more than her 14 golf clubs to the competition. She also brought along her five-month-old son Thatcher, who was happily being passed around her table during Thursday’s lunch in the Seattle Golf Club clubhouse. “This is his first event,” Proteau said of Thatcher. “We had our first son, Jamieson who is now three and a half, well trained and he has been everywhere. So it is time for Thatcher to get on board with the same program and he is doing awesome.”

Proteau has a friend from home help her with Thatcher on the road. “We call her Auntie Rosie, a friend from our golf course and she has caddied for me at lots of events. She came to two USGA Mid-amateurs with Jamieson and now she is doing this one.”

Like Jawl and Doell and pretty well everyone else who plays in the event, Proteau loves the PNGA Cup. “I think this is my ninth,” she said. “It's always an honour to represent your province. You can’t take that for granted. You never know, it may not happen again. It’s a great way to start the year and see all your buddies.”