Home course advantage

SCOTT UNGER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 7:39 AM ET

Niakwa's Jill Hardy powered her way through the competition at the Women's City and District Golf Championship on the weekend, winning by nine strokes over Southwood's Rhonda Orr.

Hardy shot a one-under-par 71 at her home course on Sunday to cruise to the win. She had a two-stroke lead over Orr after Saturday when she fired an even-par 72 to Orr's two-over-par 74.

"A lot of putts were dropping, so it was a lot of fun out there," Hardy said. "It was on my home course, so I was pretty familiar with it.

"After the first couple of tournaments you really figure out what you need to work on for the season and I generally found my putting had been a problem. Luckily, it came together this weekend."

Mindy Lichtman of Grande Pines was a stroke back of Orr after a 74 on Saturday and a 78 on Sunday. Elmhust's Judi Linstone finished fourth with scores of 78 and 79. Another Niakwa hopeful, Judy Lang and Southwood's Noreen Stewart finished in a tie for fifth at 15-over-par for the championship. Lang had scores of 81 and 78, while Stewart was the opposite with a 78 on the first day and an 81 on the second day.

Next up for Hardy is the U.S. Amateur Qualifying in Minneapolis in early July.

SULLIVAN TOP BANTAM: Portage's Myles Sullivan carded a three-over-par 73 on Sunday at the South Interlake Golf and Country Club in Warren to win the Manitoba Junior Bantam Championship by six shots with a final tally of five-over-par 145.

Sullivan fired the low round of the tournament on Saturday when he finished with a two-over-par 72.

After shooting a 74 on Sunday, Scott Mazur of Transcona came in second at 11-over-par for the championship. Finishing third was Teulon's Kyle Kelpin at 15-over-par. Southwood's Garrett Neiles came in at 21-over-par, while Kingswood's Chris Kim was fifth at 25-over-par.

The bantam championship is for players aged 10-14 as of Aug. 9. Selkirk's Cruz Jimenez won the 12-and-under category with a two-day total of 190.

FUTURE IN MINNEDOSA: The CN Future Links Prairie Championship begins today at the Minnedosa Golf and Country Club.

Approximately half of the field in the boys division are Manitobans, including defending junior provincial champion Kevin Giesbrecht of Carman.

The CN Future Links Championships is a series of events for junior golfers in Canada. The top six finishers in each of the six events in the boys division get an exemption to the Canadian Boys Championships, which, new for this season, replaces the exemptions given at provincial tournaments.

Golf Manitoba director of player development Garth Goodbrandson said that could only add to the number of local players in the national championship.

"If someone from Manitoba wins both the Future Links this weekend and the provincial championship, then the fifth place finisher at the provincial championship would get an exemption," Goodbrandson said about how the new process works.

"I think it's everyone's goal at that level to play at the Canadian championship."

Under the old regulations, the top four finishers at the provincial championship would make up Team Manitoba for nationals, while the next four finishers would get an exemption. Now, only the top four finishers that form Team Manitoba will punch their ticket to nationals, unless members from the provincial team already have an exemption.

"Before we could only have eight players at nationals. This year would could have 10," Goodbrandson said.

GOLF MANITOBA FUND: Golf Manitoba made two separate funding announcements yesterday.

First they announced a $15,000 grant from the Royal Canadian Golf Association to assist their junior golf development programs, such as the CN Future Links Prairie Championship, Manitoba/Minnesota Matches and various junior golf camps around the province.

The second grant came in the form of $3,000 from the RCGA to assist the coaches of these programs. The money is to be used to offset the costs coaches incur when they conduct camps and clinics.


Videos

Photos