Get taste of tournament play

KEN WIEBE -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 7:32 AM ET

It's been a long time since Larry Robinson teed it up in his first golf tournament, but the experience left a lasting impression.

"I remember when I was a youngster and played in my first Manitoba Junior, I was scared to death," said Robinson, the assistant pro at Larter's at St. Andrews Golf and Country Club. "I still remember it and that's almost 40 years later."

SHORTAGE OF ENTRANTS

If you're a young golfer looking to get a taste of tournament play, the Manitoba Optimist Junior Open Golf Tournament is slated for June 10 and 11 (at Larter's and The Meadows at East St. Paul).

Though the field can hold 140 golfers, so far, just over 60 have signed up. With an entry fee of $60 for two rounds of golf, a meal and a gift, Robinson is concerned by the shortage of entrants -- especially since he believes the Optimist tournament ranks just below the Manitoba Junior Championship in terms of prestige for young golfers.

"It's a shame because the Optimists spend a lot of money on this tournament and really spoil the kids," said Robinson. "I don't know what it is. Maybe the kids think they have to be really, really good, which is not the case. There are going to be some good golfers here, no doubt. But most are going to be all calibres. Each kid that plays here is going to get an experience out of it."

The event is split into three age categories: 12 years and under, 13 to 14 and 15 to 18.

To register for the tournament, call the Larter's pro shop at 334-2107.

MATCH PLAY: The Manitoba Men's and Women's Match Play titles will be handed out later this week at Niakwa Country Club.

The men's portion of the event is down to 16 players (from 32), while the women are down to four players.

The men's field was hurt somewhat by the scheduling of this week's Canadian University/College Championship, while the women's field drew only six entries, giving top-seeded Judi Lidstone of Elmhurst and second-seeded Tammy Gibson of St. Boniface a bye into the semis.

DEADLINE APPROACHING: With five tournaments already complete and the Canadian Tour gearing up for its Western Canadian swing in a couple weeks, they have extended the deadline for Spring Qualifying School to this Friday.

Regular Tour play resumes June 15 to 18 at the Greater Vancouver Charity Classic, a new event that takes place at Hazelmere Golf Course in South Surrey, B.C.

Rob McMillan of Pine Ridge is 38th on the Order of Merit money list with $3,432 through four events, while Adam Speirs of St. Charles sits 40th with $3,300 through five events.


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