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City tournament opens Saturday

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GOLF: Smaller field is expected this year

The 64th annual City Championship golf tournament tees off Saturday morning at Los Alamos Golf Course.
The two-day tournament runs through Sunday, pairing some of the top players in the county. The 36-hole event gets going at 11 a.m. Saturday.
The 2011 City tournament won’t have the same big participation numbers as did the 2010 event. Last year’s tournament attracted 103 players, which is the record in the event’s 63-year history.
LAGC head professional Donnie Torres said the City tournament suffered from some schedule-shuffling. LAGC is scheduled to hold two big events in August, including the state women’s amateur championship, and was pushed up to this weekend.
As of Friday morning, the field included 54 players. He was hoping to bump that up to 60 by the time the pairings were released — registration was supposed to conclude Wednesday but spots may still be open for those interested in playing.
In 2010, Curt Norman outlasted his brother Jason Norman to claim his first City championship.
The Normans were tied following 36 holes and went to a sudden-death playoff. In the playoff, the two were even through four holes, but on the fifth Jason’s 4-foot par putt on the No. 1 green rolled wide.
Curt had a tricky uphill putt with a break left from 18 feet out for birdie and rolled that putt within two inches of the cup.
Jason Norman had won in both 2008 and 2009. He has won three City tournaments overall, the other coming in 2004.
Through 36 holes, Curt shot an even 144, posting two of the best three rounds of the tournament. He needed and got a birdie on his final hole of regulation to pull even with Jason.
In the women’s City tournament, Tami Martinson successfully defended her title, coming back from a stroke down after day one to post an 83 in day two. Martinson sank a birdie putt late in her round to ice her victory.
Martinson finished with a two-day total of 168, five shots better than runner-up and day one leader Barbara Schmitt.
Both Curt Norman and Martinson are scheduled to play this weekend in an attempt to defend their crowns.
In the senior men’s competition, Reid Griffith shot a 1-under 71 on day two last year to pick up that title. John Stam led by two strokes after the first round and shot a solid 75 in the second round but it wasn’t enough to overcome Griffith’s big round.
Bruce Norman, who won the seniors flight in both 2008 and 2009, played in the men’s title flight in 2010.