The field is rife with potent players and former champions, including the top amateur in the province.
No wonder Red Deer Golf and Country Club head pro Ken Frame is eagerly anticipating this weekend’s 54-hole CH TV Central Alberta Amateur.
Headlining the list of entries is reigning Alberta men’s amateur champion Mitch Evanecz, who captured the Central Alberta title in 2007 but missed last year’s event while competing in the Pacific Coast Amateur south of the border.
The Red Deer native is again playing in the Pacific Coast Amateur — this year in Tucson, Ariz. — and is tied for 47th heading into today’s final round. After carding scores of 70-77-71, he had a 54-hole total of 218 and was 15 shots back of co-leaders Kim Chan of Chandler, Ariz., and Eric Mina of Fremont, Calif.
“We’re excited to have him back,” Frame said Thursday. “We’re glad that Mitch could work our tournament into his schedule this year. He flies out of Tucson late Friday and plays here Saturday afternoon.”
Indeed, Evanecz and the remainder of the 192-man field — including 41 in the championship flight — will tee off with a shotgun start at 12:30 p.m. Saturday. The players will head out at 7:30 a.m. Sunday and the final group will tee off at 2 p.m. Monday.
“We’re glad to have Mitch here and we’re glad to have a lot of other players. This is the deepest field we’ve ever had,” said Frame, pointing to the championship flight that features former champions Evanecz, John Saunders, Tom Skinner, Ken Griffith, Matt Steinbach, Tom Alford and 2008 winner Kyle Morrison.
“We have seven or eight former winners. That’s a real feather in our cap and a feather in their caps for being here and continuing to play at that level,” said Frame.
This year’s field also features a healthy number of up-and-comers, including the likes of Garrett Scott, Chase Teron, Ryan Tofani, Cody Mast and 2008 Red Deer Golf and Country Club junior champion Myles Rindal.
Frame isn’t sure why the 2009 field is stronger than in past years, but he’s not complaining.
“We have some good weather in the forecast and the golf course is in great shape,” he said. “I just went out and did some ground markings for ground under repair, mostly around the cart paths, and I didn’t use very much paint. The grass is thick and the all-around conditions should be great.”
Following are the championship flight pairings for Saturday and Sunday.
Hole 18A: Al Mah, Grant Lee, George Kosch, Mike Moller; 18B: Tom Skinner, Dan Soley, John Saunders, Tom Alford; 17A: Merv Dusyk, Pete Duncan, Brian Laubman, James Monsees; 17B: Ross Andras, Terry Clackson, John Nixon; 16A: Myles Rindal, Ryan Tofani, Matt Steinbach, J.D. Morrical; 15A: Rob Kuntz, Darren McArthur, Garrett Scott, Shaun Howell; 14A: Andrew Clark-Marlow, Peter Innes, Kirby Krupka; 13A: Chase Bingham, Jordan Krulicki, Cody Mast, Chase Teron; 13B: Harry Aime, Eric Brodie, Senan Foley, Kolby Kneil; 12A: Ken Griffith, Chad Cargill, Ted Zukiwsky; 11A: Mitch Evanecz, Kyle Morrison, Dave Hoppe, Joey Sereda.