Saturday, May 05, 2007

Niagara Men's Tour 2007

I'm back for my fourth year on the Niagara Men's Amateur Tour after finishing 31st in year one, 11th overall in year two then a disappointing 24th last year.

Once again there are six events but there have been a couple wrinkles added for this year.

First of all, this is the first time that the tour is having a qualifier for non-exempt players. Essentially, the tour has grown to the point that a qualifier is necessary so they decided that the top 30 players from the year previous, along with any former event winners, get exempt into the tour.

Anyone else has to shoot their way in, with the first event being the qualifier. Wrinkle number two is that the first event/qualifier is a two-round tournament, another first for the tour.

Round one takes place this afternoon at the highly esteemed Lookout Point in Fonthill, Ontario, a gorgeous Walter Travis design. Round two will be on Mother's Day Sunday at Peninsula Lakes, also in Fonthill but a Rene Muylaert design.

Finishing 24th on the tour last year makes me exempt for the year so I can just go out and try to play good golf today. Lookout is a strategic gem, not overly long but the green complexes are devilish and the course is wildly undulating, with deception everywhere.

The course has small greens so my strategy for the day will be to shoot at the middle all day and take what the course gives me, unless I have a wedge in my hands. You just can't short-side yourself out there.

I'll be back tonight or tomorrow with a recap.

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