Weather forces change of venues

PAUL TURENNE -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 8:07 AM ET

After already shortening two major tournaments in two weeks due to rain-soaked golf courses, Golf Manitoba has been forced to alter yet another major.

Part of next week's men's amateur championship has been moved from Bridges Golf Course near Starbuck to the Links at the Lake near Gimli because the swollen La Salle River has made Bridges unplayable.

"I got a call (yesterday) morning from Wayne Meeks, the head pro at Bridges, who told me the course would be unplayable. They figure the river had gone up nine inches overnight and still hasn't crested," said Dave Comaskey, executive director of Golf Manitoba. "Links at the Lake have graciously agreed to host us for all four days."

Comaskey said Bridges was dry and playable, but some of the holes close to the river would have to be shortened to par 3s which wouldn't work out well for the tournament.

The original plan was to have half the field play at Bridges and half at Larters at St. Andrews for the first two rounds, with the players switching courses for the second day. The field would then be cut to the top 60 and ties, and the final two rounds would be played at Links at the Lake.

That plan remains in effect, except that Links at the Lake has replaced Bridges for the first two rounds, and that the first two days will be split with two-thirds of the field instead of half playing at one course one day, then the other the next day.

The change comes on the heels of two cancelled tournament rounds in two weeks.

The women's amateur championship, which begins today at Bel Acres Golf and Country Club, was supposed to start yesterday, but the course was too wet and Golf Manitoba was forced to reduce the tournament to a 36-hole affair. Golf Manitoba also cut out the first round of the boys junior championship at Transcona Golf Club and South Interlake Golf and Country Club earlier this month.

"It's been a struggle," said Comaskey. "I'm touching wood and wishing on my lucky stars that we can get the other majors in without these problems."


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