LAGC hosts first big tourney of summer

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Golf: Around 60 players expected to compete in 2012 Best Ball event

By Mike Cote

Los Alamos Golf Course is set to host its first major tournament of the summer this weekend.
While it’s technically not summer yet, many consider Memorial Day the kick-off of the season. LAGC is no exception, as it hosts the Memorial Day Best Ball Tournament starting Saturday.
The Memorial Day Best Ball tournament is one of four course-sponsored events that mark the course’s busiest time of the year.
This summer is shaping up to be a busy one at LAGC, despite the fact it’s still working through design and funding issues with Los Alamos County. Money for course improvements, including the construction of a new clubhouse, has been approved by council, but those improvements may still be several years away.
Head course professional Donnie Torres said that while battling maintenance issues is an ongoing fight at LAGC, the early part of the season is going pretty well.
“It’s getting good. We’re pretty excited,” Torres said. “A lot of that is due to the condition of the course. Richard (Matteson) has done a good job of getting the course back up from square one.”
Matteson and the course’s maintenance crew had their work cut out for them following the 2011 golf season. LAGC’s conditions were as bad as any in recent memory, but the course has rebounded nicely so far this season.
While the playing area is in solid shape heading into the Best Ball tournament, the lack of a clubhouse, which had fallen so far into disrepair the building was razed in 2010, may still make many golfers leery of entertaining at LAGC.
However, Torres said regular use of the course has been near the level of previous years and all the tournaments the course was scheduled to host in 2011 are returning this year. Last weekend, about 60 players competed in the Young Life tournament and more than 100 are expected for next week’s Special Olympics fundraising tournament.
In all, the course is scheduled host 35 tournaments this year.
For Memorial Day, between 50-60 people are expected to compete in the best ball event. Golfers had the option of competing for all three days of the weekend or just Sunday and Monday — the two-day tournament accommodation was made for golfers that were attending Los Alamos High School graduation ceremonies Saturday.
In 2011, the team of Curt Norman/Darren Knox nipped Kenny Walker/Kevin Brake by one shot over the 3-day tournament. Norman/Knox was in fourth place following the first day of play, but shot back-to-back rounds of 66 for a cumulative score of 204. Walker/Brake finished with a 205 despite shooting a combined 67 on day three.
John Sutton/Jay Sutton also won the 2-day tournament by one shot over TD Sutton/John Stam. Sutton/Sutton had a net total of 116 to win.
Following the Memorial Day Best Ball, LAGC will have its Atomic City Invitational July 4, the Los Alamos City Championship July 28-29 and the Labor Day Slugfest in September.