A strong Okanagan contingent of 13 players is among the 138 golfers in the field for the 49th playing of the Canadian Women’s Mid-Amateur and Senior Championship at the Osoyoos Golf Club (OGC) this weekend.
The event runs Sunday through Tuesday with an official practice round on Saturday. All play is on the Park Meadows course at the OGC.
“The volunteer participation has been off the charts, so we’re ready to go,” said Doug Robb, the club’s general manager.
The course, he said, is primed and ready for the event, which is one of Golf Canada’s premier championships.
Golf Canada officials have made several visits to Osoyoos over the spring and early summer. They are now here in force to finalize preparations and direct proceedings.
The work to host the event began long before the visitors arrived.
A local tournament committee has been at work since last fall under the leadership of host club tournament chair Lise Mathieu. A team of about 140 volunteers will handle jobs ranging from walking scorers and pace-of-play monitors to shuttle drivers, parking attendants and kitchen help.
Ms. Mathieu is confident the group will pull off the championship with flying colours.
“Our volunteers — if you look at every tournament that has seen them involved — they just put their heart and soul in it and make a big difference.
“They make people feel welcome and appreciated. At the end of the day, it’s how you make people feel that makes the biggest difference.”
The players will compete for four trophies: Mid-Amateur – for players over 25 years of age; Mid-Master – over 40; Senior – over 50; and Super Senior – over 60.
The full field includes elite amateurs from all across Canada and the US.
Two-time defending champion Sue Wooster of Melbourne, Australia will be in Osoyoos to defend her title.
OGC members Christine Jurgenson, Claudia Wood and Wendy Kamrudin are the local favourites.
There are two entrants from Oliver (Mary Lou Harkness and Judy Hill) and one each from Penticton, Vernon and Armstrong.
Kelowna has five women in the field and nine players will travel from other points in the Southern Interior.
The competition will be held on the Par-73, 5,828-yard Park Meadows Course. Tee times Sunday and Monday begin with a first flight at 7:30 a.m. and a second flight at 12:30 p.m.
The final day, there will be a two-tee start at 7:30 a.m. for the leading 70 players and ties.
The Championships officially get under way Saturday afternoon with the ceremonial opening tee shot by long-time Osoyoos Golf Club member and well-known community resident Ethel Van Duzee.
Ethel is the last surviving female charter member of the golf club and she still manages to hit the links for an occasional nine holes.
Many of the 140 or so competitors in the championship are expected to witness the event, as will Mayor Sue McKortoff, Golf Canada officials, the local organizing committee and volunteers and members of the public.
The ceremony gets under way at 5:30 p.m. on the 10th tee at the OGC.
Spectators are welcome throughout the tournament; admission if free.
The club’s Desert Gold course will remain open for member and public play.