By Adam Eisenbarth
The conditions seemed to match the sponsor’s name at the All Weather Windows Men’s Mid-Amateur Championship at the Ponoka Community Golf Course.
Golfers were greeted on June 15 by unwanted rainy conditions but the event went on schedule and the rain quickly died off.
Lori Evans, Alberta Golf Association tournament events manager, said after the rainfall that there were no thoughts of canceling the event.
“It was poor this morning but it wasn’t so bad that we were going to cancel anything. We weren’t in panic mode yet.”
Typically the association does whatever it can to get the events in.
“I guess our philosophy is to get it in at all costs, at least one round because you never know what tomorrow’s going to be like in Alberta. We would have played until the course was unplayable.”
Just one golfer had a home course advantage. Aro Dudley was the only member of the Ponoka Community Golf Course to participate in the event. Dudley finished in a tie for 39th out of more than 150 golfers, though he was frustrated with one aspect of his game.
“I was a little disappointed on the last day. I didn’t make one putt all day.”
Dudley wasn’t the only one frustrated on the greens, and says his home course helped him to battle through the difficult final day. “Most the guys I played with were four-putting the greens and one guy said he just had no clue how to read the greens.”
While the event did get off to a wet start, Dudley was pleased with the course and says conditions didn’t factor into play all that much.
“It was cool and the first day was a bit rainy but other than that, the greens were in absolutely great condition.”
To enter the tournament golfers had to have a 5.9 handicap index and must be 40 years of age or older.
Evans says the event, which has been around since 1992, is popular and typically has to turn away some golfers.
“The national association changed their mid-amateur to 25 plus because they couldn’t get enough players and a number of other reasons. We never changed our tournament because we were oversubscribed with 40 plus guys to start with.”
She says the course was an excellent host this year. “We have lots of volunteers and the staff is fantastic as well.”
Golfers from throughout Alberta agreed that Ponoka is a worthy host.
“They’ve been great. It’s really good, I’ve enjoyed the experience so far,” said Chris Smith of Canmore.
“I enjoy this course, I’ve played here a number of times. It’s a great course and I love coming here,” said Edmonton golfer Frank MacKenzie who finished a shot off the lead.
Frank van Dornick of Camrose and Kevin Temple of Calgary took the event to a sudden death playoff after finishing the third round tied at +6. Temple won the event on the second playoff hole with a par.