Golf: City Championship opens Saturday

-A A +A
By Mike Cote

While the fairways at Los Alamos Golf Course are usually busy on weekends, this weekend they’ll be jam-packed.

LAGC will be hosting the 63rd Los Alamos City Championship. The City Championship, which is hosted by Los Alamos Golf Association and Los Alamos Women’s Golf Association, is a stroke-play contest that will be held Saturday and Sunday.

This year’s City tournament is shaping up to be the biggest in history.

As of Wednesday afternoon, 103 entries had been received at LAGC, easily outdistancing the all-time record of 89 in 1986 and more than twice as many players as were entered in 2009.

LAGC assistant professional Ken Walker said there was a big push to bump up registration numbers for the tournament.

“We really worked at it this year,” Walker said. “We did everything we could do to get them in. We’re giving each player a pair of shoes to start off with.”

The big registration promotion was to give out pairs of Foot Joy golf shoes to all paid registrants. Additionally, food stations will be set up on both the front and back nine holes of the course and the flight payouts for the tournament’s top golfers were bumped up this year.

The 36-hole tournament will start at 8:30 a.m. both days.

Last year, Jason Norman won his second consecutive City championship, surviving a tough field to beat younger brother Curt Norman by a single stroke. Jason Norman was down by two strokes to Curt Norman heading into day two of the tournament but shot a 2-under through 36 holes to take control of the leaderboard.

With his win, Norman became the 12th player in men’s City history to win back-to-back titles.

On the women’s side, Tami Martinson put together an impressive two-day showing last year, winning by 14 shots over 17-time champion Ev Griggs. Griggs, however, won the women’s Atomic City Invitational match play tournament earlier this month, the ninth victory of her impressive amateur career.

In the 2009 men’s senior’s flight, Eddie Sanchez picked up his second title in three years, holding off 2008 champion Bruce Norman.

Sanchez had a 2-day total of 147, while Norman shot 1-under in the second day of competition but that wasn’t enough to erase Sanchez’s 5-stroke advantage after the opening round.

The record for most men’s tournament victories is held by Bernie Killoran, who passed away in February of this year. Killoran won six tournaments between 1962 and 1971.

Norman will be going for his fourth career City title — he also won in 2004 — which would tie him with Walt Garcia and Cale Jones for fourth place on the all-time list.