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AFTER a lifetime of playing and boosting the beautiful game, Manitoba's own Hector Vergara will be honoured in the Canadian Soccer Hall of Fame.
The hall unveiled its 2014 inductees this week, announcing six individuals, two organizations and one team that will be formally inducted into the hall in a Vaughan, Ont. ceremony on Nov. 9. Vergara, the Manitoba Soccer Association's executive director and a former FIFA official, will enter the the hall as a builder, alongside Olympian and frequent national team coach Chris Bennett.
"I am in shock," Vergara said in a statement. "I never thought about this at all, and now that it has happened I don't know what to say. My philosophy has always been to give my very best in a professional manner... No matter the accolades I always want to give my best effort. I am grateful to the Hall of Fame for their consideration. Thank you so much."
Vergara pursued a 10-year competitive playing career, before moving into officiating. He began his referee career in 1983 and went on to spend 19 years as a FIFA referee, including assistant referee turns at the 2002, 2006 and 2010 FIFA World Cups -- in the latter, setting a record for most World Cup games officiated with 14. He also served as an assistant ref at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.
Elmhurst hosts top amateurs
HUNDREDS of the world's top amateur golfers are set to converge on Winnipeg this week, as the 110th Canadian Men's Amateur Championship kicks off today.
A field of 240 competitors from across the world will converge on Elmhurst Golf and Country Club and Southwood Golf and Country Club, where practice rounds and the first 36 holes will be split. The tournament will wrap up on Aug. 6 and 7 at Elmhurst. Admission is free for all events.
Ontario's Corey Conners will look to lead the way for Canada. Conners is currently ranked 33 in the world, making him the top Canadian in the field. Last year, he finished as runner-up in this tournament, and made the semi-finals of the U.S. Men's Amateur Championships. Team Canada teammates Taylor Pendrith, Adam Svensson and Chris Hemmerich are also ranked inside the top 100 of the world amateur rankings.
Other top competitors include California's Rico Hoey, currently ranked 27th in the world, and Florida's Lee McCoy, ranked 53rd.
The winner will earn an exemption into the 2015 RBC Canadian Open and the 2014 U.S. Amateur Championship. The winner could also score exemptions into the U.S. Junior Amateur, U.S. Mid-Amateur and USGA Senior Amateur Championship, should they meet the requirements.
"We are thrilled to bring another national championship back to Winnipeg," said tournament director Adam Helmer, in a statement.. "The field is very strong this year and both golf courses will certainly challenge some of the world's top amateur players this week."
Golf hall announces new class
FOUR pillars of Manitoba's golf history are set to be inducted into the Manitoba Golf Hall of Fame at its 12th annual ceremony in September.
The honourees stretch back as far as Jack Cuthbert, the dominant golfer who captured the first Manitoba Men's Amateur Championship in 1919, and right up to golfer Dean North, an eight-time Manitoba PGA Player of the Year winner and four-time MPGA champion, who won that championship for three years in a row between 2009 and 2011.
The hall will also induct builder-athlete and Lakeland Golf Management president Harry Brotchie, who parlayed a top amateur career into a lifetime working to build the sport in the province and across Canada.
Also on the builder side, Lorrane MacLeod will be honoured for her decades of work in championing women's golf, including a stint as president of the Manitoba Ladies' Golf Association.
The induction ceremony is set for Sept. 29 at McPhillips Street Station Casino. More information is available at ManitobaGolfHallofFame.com.