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Four rounds in one day: Coquitlam golfers complete marathon for ALS research

Six players recorded a combined 405 holes from dawn 'til dusk at Vancouver Golf Club, and have raised more than $11,000 for the ALS Society of BC.
The Vancouver Golf Club in Coquitlam has raised nearly $10,000 for the 2022 PGA of BC golf-a-thon for ALS, thanks to the physical and mental efforts of Michael Grabowski, Jordan Rourke, Bob McCusker and his daughter Grace.

Jordan Rourke was surprised he was able to physically complete four full rounds of golf on June 20.

In fact, the certified professional tells the Tri-City News he probably could've gone further than the 72 holes he played before darkness officially settled in.

His body, however, may have likely made the decision for him after his final putt on the 18th at Vancouver Golf Club in Coquitlam, but his mind is at peace knowing the physical and mental strains were worth every stroke.

As of this publication (July 2), he, alongside five other golfers, have raised more than $11,000 amongst all collected donations in hopes of advancing research and resources to find a cure for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).

It was part of the PGA of BC's annual Golf-a-Thon for ALS — a marathon that sees golfers play as many holes as they can from sunrise to sunset at 34 courses across the province.

Along the way, participants are raising money for the ALS Society of BC with help and pledges from family, friends and the community.

Since its inception, the organization has raised roughly $2 million for ALS research and estimates about 3,000 Canadians are currently living with the disease.

"This was my first year participating," Rourke explained in an interview with the Tri-City News about the endeavour.

"I was surprised that I didn’t feel as tired as I thought I would during the last round of golf. If anything, I think the most difficult part was deciding that 72 holes was enough for us as we could have probably squeezed in another nine or so with the daylight."

Essentially, the golf-a-thon's objective to simply to take a swing, then chase the ball because some who choose to donate may pledge a certain amount of money per hole a participant completes.

Combined, Rourke says his group tallied 405 holes at the end of the day.

He and fellow certified golf pro Michael Grabowski completed 72 holes each, Bob McCusker played 36, Grace McCusker finished 18, and two other pros combined for 63 holes.

"There were definitely a few beverages over the course of the day to keep us going," said Rourke.

"One unique stat that I thought was interesting is Mike and I played a 72-hole match and the winner of the match won 2&1, which is extremely close over that amount of golf [...] lots of birdies and a few double bogeys."

Rourke says there was also a brief encounter with a bear and coyote that were playing with each other on the 13th hole of the first round.

After that, the mindset was play with purpose and determination.

This was the 10th year the Vancouver Golf Club took part in the PGA of BC's golf-a-Thon.

In 2021, its group raised a total of $22,140 for ALS research — the second highest collected among participating courses.

If you wish to contribute to the cause, you're encouraged to visit the VGC's page on the golf-a-thon's website.