Mid-Amateur, Senior event

Signage for the Canadian Women’s Mid-Amateur and Senior Championship in Osoyoos.

OSOYOOS — A strong Okanagan contingent of 13 players will be among a 138-golfer field for the 49th Canadian Women’s Mid-Amateur and Senior Championship at Osoyoos Golf Club next weekend.

Club general manager Doug Robb says the OGC is primed and ready for the event, which is one of Golf Canada’s premier championships.

“The volunteer participation has been off the charts, so we’re ready to go,” he said in a recent interview.

Golf Canada officials have made several visits to the club over the spring and early summer. They will arrive in force starting early next week to finalize preparations and direct proceedings.

According to Robb, the main challenges have been, “Making sure, in our own minds, that we have the place in tip-top shape from the turf condition to food and beverage, and just making sure we’re totally organized to handle that number of people. Which we are.”

The event runs Sunday, Aug. 18 through Tuesday, Aug. 20 with an official practice round on Aug. 17. All play is on the Park Meadows course at the OGC. The desert gold course will remain open for member and public play.

There is no admission fee and spectators are invited.

A local tournament committee has been at work since last fall under the leadership of host club tournament chair Lise Mathieu. A team of about 140 volunteers will handle jobs ranging from walking scorers and pace-of-play monitors to shuttle drivers, parking attendants and kitchen help.

Mathieu is confident the group will pull off the championship with flying colours.

“Our volunteers, if you look at every tournament that has seen them involved . . . they just put their heart and soul in it and make a big difference.

“They make people feel welcome and appreciated. At the end of the day, it’s how you make people feel that makes the biggest difference.”

The players will compete for four trophies: Mid-Amateur — for players over 25 years of age; Mid-Master — over 40; Senior — over 50; and Super Senior — over 60.

The full field includes elite amateurs from all across Canada and the U.S. Two-time defending champion Sue Wooster of Melbourne, Australia will be in Osoyoos to defend her title.

Locally, Kelowna leads the way with five competitors, followed by three the host Osoyoos club, including the current and past women’s club champions. There are two entrants from Oliver and one each from Penticton, Vernon and Armstrong. Nine players will travel from other points in the Southern Interior.