Roger Sloan would love to see the Western Championship return to Kamloops.
After Friday, he would probably be pleased if the Canadian Tour scheduled all of its events for the Kamloops area.
Sloan, a 25-year-old Merritt native, shot 67 on Friday to win the Home Hardware Pro-Am, an unofficial Canadian Tour event that ran Thursday and Friday at Sun Rivers Resort. His 36-hole total, 136, was five better than those of Americans David Dragoo and Mark Hubbard.
Sloan's only official Canadian Tour victory was at the inaugural Western Championship, which ran at Rivershore Golf Links in June 2011. The Western Championship couldn't find sponsorship to make it work this year, leaving a gap in the schedule that was partially filled by this week's Home Hardware Pro-Am.
Sloan was baffled as to his success in the area, both as a junior and more recently as a pro.
"I have no idea," he said. "I guess I'm relaxed and comfortable. I love the Kamloops area, I like playing well here."
Each professional was paired with an amateur for the 36 holes, with team and individual scores counting.
Sloan had opened with a 69 to sit one shot behind Dragoo, who hails from Carefree, Ariz. By the time Dragoo and Sloan were on the second tee, however, they were tied - Dragoo made birdie on the par-5 first hole, while Sloan made an eagle three.
Sloan posted the round of the day, with Hubbard, a San Jose native, one shot worse.
"I was solid," Sloan said. "It was windy and some of the tees were pushed a little back and the pins were in difficult spots - I was actually really pleased with how I played today."
Sloan and the tour will head to Edmonton for the ATB Financial Classic presented by Telus, which starts Thursday, before the Syncrude Boreal Open presented by AECON, which runs June 28 to July 1 in Fort McMurray.
There also are events in Saskatoon and Winnipeg in July, before a month-long break and stops in Ontario to finish the season.
The tour is committed to returning to Kamloops on a full-tournament basis, said Scott Pritchard, the Canadian Tour's director, business development and communications.
"Kamloops is one of our target markets we want to be in - the Okanagan in general, but Kamloops for sure," Pritchard said. "We're in discussions with different people . . . and this event was put together to try and keep Kamloops alive and keep a presence here."
But the main holdup is sponsorship. Without money, there won't be a tournament. Pritchard said the Western Championship committee is continuing its work in trying to find sponsors.
"The committee is still together, and we're meeting later today," he said. "At the end of the day, we need to put a full-court press on Kamloops and identify the right people and sponsors to push this over the edge."
By all accounts, the Home Hardware Pro-Am appeared to be an enjoyable event for the golfers, although Pritchard admitted there's unlikely to be a repeat next year.
A total of 36 Canadian Tour members took part.
"This is the first time we've ever done an unofficial pro-am," Pritchard said. "There's been a lot of positives to come out of it, and we'll see in time if anything more comes of it.
"I think the players had a good time, and the amateurs, too."
Three players tied for fourth - Australians Matt Jager and Tarquin MacManus and Stuart Anderson of Strathmore, Alta., all finished at 142.
They were a stroke clear of Americans Paul Peterson and Joel Dahmen, who tied for seventh alonside Chilean Hugo Leon.
Dahmen, from Clarston, Wash., actually had an incredible round going, as he fired five-under 31 on the front nine and birdied 10 to get to six-under. He stumbled coming home, making a double bogey on 14 and bogeys on 16 and 17.