Despite strong winds with gusts up around 70 km/h, three local golfers managed to overcome the conditions Monday and qualify for the Manitoba Amateur Golf Championship later this month.
Mike Dick fired a four-over-par 76 under the less-than-ideal conditions on the La Verendrye course in La Broquerie, Man., shooting a sizzling 36 on the front nine and then 40 on the back nine to finish in a wild nine-way tie for fourth at 76.
Al Thomson of Kenora also was among those who finished with a 76.
Mike Coghill of the St. Boniface Golf & Country Club fired a two-over-par 74 to top the field of 111 golfers vying for the 66 berths available for the amateur showdown.
That was one stroke better than Jason Crane (Niakwa) and Al Wheeler (Rossmere).
Local golfer Greg Ward also qualified. He had a solid front nine with a 37 but then faltered slightly on the back nine with a 41 to finish at 78—four strokes off the pace and in a seven-way tie for 17th.
He said the wind definitely had an impact on his score.
“Everything was going good until the wind,” said Ward, who qualified for the amateur in his first attempt. “I wasn’t used to the wind conditions—it was intense.
“I never had to play in those conditions before.”
Despite failing to make a birdie, Ward was playing consistent golf until the wind picked up late in his round, leading to a double-bogey on #12 and then bogeys at #13, #14, and #17.
Brian Beers of here had a 38 on the front nine and then a 43 on the back nine. That put him in a seven-way tie for 48th with an 81 but still good enough to make the cut.
But a pair of Kitchen Creek junior golfers—Brian Johnstone and Brian Kosowick—fell victim to the conditions.
Johnstone wound up with an 85 (41-44) to miss the cut by two strokes despite playing with a pinched nerve in his wrist that he injured on the 12th hole. That made it more difficult for him to swing, he said, and the results showed.
“The wind inflated the strokes, especially because the course is so wide open, but I was finished when I hurt my wrist with five holes to go,” he noted.
“But I’m not really disappointed because its part of the game,” he added.
Kosowick, who shot identical 43s on both the front and back nines, said he’s never played under such brutal conditions.
“It was the hardest wind I’ve ever seen in my life, and you could attribute four strokes because of the wind,” said Kosowick, adding he shot a 74 during his practice round there.
“It was unbelievable. It was a typical windy, prairie course,” he remarked.
Meanwhile, Dryden’s Jordan Krantz, who captured the Gillons’ junior title here late last month, advanced with a 77. Ben Allen of Dryden also made the cut with a 79 (37-42) as did Rob Johnson of Kenora with an 82 (37-45).
Over at Killarney, where another 52 berths were up for grabs, Jamie Stone of Minnedosa led the field there with an even-par round of 71, followed by seven players tied for second place at 77.
All those who made the cut will join John Lundon of here, who was among the 53 golfers that already had qualified for the amateur championships, which will take place at the Niakwa Country Club in Winnipeg and Steinbach’s Fly-In Golf Course.
The amateur field was increased to 171 players this year (up from 144) to accommodate the growing number of low handicap golfers wishing to participate in Manitoba’s top amateur tournament.