The field is currently set for 132 of Alberta’s top amateur golfers to tee off for provincial glory next month, though the format of the tournament is set to change to line up with health regulations.
Usually played over the course of four days, the 2020 edition will be shrunk down to a 54-hole tournament held between July 21-23.
A number of further restrictions will be implemented at MHGCC including zero caddies and spectators in attendance and golfers taking photos of their scorecards instead of signing them.
For what they’ll lack in fans this year, Jacques said they’ll make that up in local content taking part.
“We hope to have somewhere between seven and 10 locals,” he said. “Lots of young players too that are on scholarships and some really young kids that have been playing golf at our club and our surrounding club for many, many years. So, it’s going to be an exciting event and we’re pretty happy about it.”
A total of 10 locals are currently named in the field including Ryan Werre, Sam Bratvold, Nolan Burzminski, Ryan Hodgins, Jordon Forsythe, Mitch Kurtz, Lanny Seefried, Matt Taylor, Michael Valk, and Derek Whitson.
This will also be the second time this decade that MHGCC has hosted the Men’s Amateurs, as they did so in 2012 as well.
Marking the first top-flight tournament to be held in Medicine Hat since the Canadian Boys’ Junior Championships in 2018, the organizers are excited to bring elite level golfing back to the city.
“We know our golf course will be in good condition and we know the city will be happy to have some visitors,” said Jacques. “Both the City of Medicine Hat and our golf course always do a great job of hosting these kind of events.”
Organizers are hoping this tournament will bring a needed economic boost to Medicine Hat as well with the local and provincial economies devastated by the pandemic.
“They’re coming down, supporting our city, they’re staying in our hotels and eating in our restaurants,” said Jacques. “For a year where there’s not too many events coming to Medicine Hat, it will help with the economy a little bit and we’ll get to see some championship golf for three or four days.”
Golfers are expected to arrive in Medicine Hat for the tournament ahead of a practice round on July 20 before kicking off the event the following day.