An easy sell for Glendale

GLEN DAWKINS -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 7:31 AM ET

Last July, Glendale's Michael Averbach was playing in the Canadian Senior Match Play golf championship at Hecla when he was approached by officials of the RCGA. They wanted to know if his home club would be interested in hosting this year's Canadian Men's Senior Championship.

While it's been 10 years since Glendale hosted a national golf championship, Averbach knew they were up for the task.

"I would say it was not a tough sell at all (to get the Glendale board of directors to agree)," said Averbach, the co-chair for the championship, which begins Tuesday at Glendale. "I went to a couple of the (club's) directors -- as I am not a member of the board anymore -- and just said that this was an opportunity for us to showcase our facility which is something we always like to do."

A full field of 156 golfers will tee up for the first two rounds Tuesday and Wednesday. Following Wednesday's round, the field will be cut to the low 70 and ties including the top 10 super senior golfers (70 and over). An inter-provincial team competition will be held during the first two rounds.

"We're fortunate that we have a core group of people who are willing to give their time, good people who are prepared to help out," said Averbach, who was also the chairman for the 1996 Canadian Amateur which was held in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of Glendale's founding. "We are not expecting a large amount of spectators (that they had with the Canadian Amateur).

"We're delighted to have whoever comes but I think anybody who comes to this event will understand where to stand and where to go."

The field will be headed up by defending champion Robert Fugere of Gatineau, Que., 2003 champion Andre Gagne of Boischatel, Que., 2002 and 2001 champ Graham Cooke of Hudson, Que., and defending Canadian Super Senior champ and two-time senior winner Patrick Suraj of Etobicoke, Ont. Manitoba's 18-golfer contingent will be led by 2006 and three-time provincial senior champion Gavin Speirs of St. Charles.

In addition to Speirs, Manitoba's four-golfer provincial team will be made up of Portage's Don Jackson, Bill North of Carman and St. Boniface's David McLeod.

The field also features 20 U.S. players including 2005 Canadian Senior Match Play champ Gary Shimmin of Okatie, S.C., three-time Canadian Senior Match Play champion Billy Graham of Pensacola, Fla., and 2003 Canadian Super Senior champ Chuck Ribelin of Dallas.

"Winnipeg is a great venue for golf and everybody likes to come and watch," said Averbach, who heads the committee with co-chair Todd DeRyck and will also be playing. "In spite of these people's ages, these guys can play."

The organizing committee has enlisted 60-70 of the club members to volunteer their time to help run the event.

"Having done the Canadian (amateur), I didn't look at this event as being quite as onerous," said Averbach. "But it's still a job and we've introduced a number of other people so that when we do this again 10 years from now, it's not me."


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