Forget bunkers and trees, the weather may be public enemy number-one for the field coming in the annual Kitchen Creek Classic men’s golf tournament this weekend.
Forecasts of rain this weekend—which may interrupt play in the two-day, 36-hole tourney—are keeping organizers of the 25th-annual event wary.
“There’s nothing we can do. We’ll take is as it comes,” club pro Steve Wood said Friday. “It’ll take a lot of rain and lightning [to halt play].
“Especially if there’s lightning. The golfers’ safety is our main concern, first and foremost,” he stressed.
Reigning club champion Brian Beers said adjustments will have to be made.
“There are things you have to adjust. Swing a little easier, keep shots low in the wind,” he noted. “It’s a different game plan involved.”
Unfortunately, weather may overshadow the story on the course featuring a strong field among the 130 golfers competing.
Leading the list is three-time defending champion Aaron Clary (formerly Loken) of International Falls and perennial local favourite Greg Ward, who’s come second to Clary the last two years.
But he’s coming into the weekend with wins at the Memorial and the Las Vegas Scramble under his belt.
Among the out-of-towners with low handicaps are Russ Deserre of Thunder Bay, former Fort resident Rob Badiuk of International Falls, and Mickey Gilbart of Ignace.
“Nothing’s being handed over to Aaron or Greg. They’ll have to play a good field,” said Wood. “There’s a lot of people out there with some good scores.”
Local standouts looking for their first Classic title include Seniors Open winner Snake Krawchuk—also a two-time runner-up—and Beers, who admitted he’s rebounded from his poor performance at the Canadian Club Championship back in June in Victoria, B.C.
“I feel pretty good, better than I did a month ago,” said Beers. “I’m shooting where I’m normally shooting.”
Tee-times begin in two waves Saturday—at 8 a.m. and noon. Sunday’s departures will begin at 7:30 a.m. based on first-round scores.
The leaders are scheduled to leave the clubhouse last at around 11:30 a.m.