Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

It's all fun and games

Pro-am a blast; players get to serious work today

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Jeff Pries walked off the course at St. Charles Golf and Country Club on Wednesday with a smile on his face and a story to tell for years to come.

Pries took part in the CN Canadian Women's Open Pro-Am and along with fellow amateurs Doug MacDonald and Harold Derksen was paired with Aussie golfer Anna Rawson.

Rawson, a fine player with lots of upside, is not only a member of the LPGA but an international model with catwalk, print and TV experience.

"Absolutely, Anna is the most attractive golf partner I've ever played with and the best player as well," said Pries, who works with Bison Transport and was invited to play in the pro-am as a guest of title sponsor CN Rail. "This was great. So much fun. She was friendly and gave us lots of advice and she can hit the ball."

Rawson lined up a put for Pries on his final hole of the day and he rolled it in like he was born to it.

"I ignored her caddy's advice on one hole early on and missed the putt," said Pries. "After that everything they said we did. And we sunk three or four putts off her read."

Just behind Pries, playing with South Korea's Na On Min, was Mayor Sam Katz.

Katz has had quite the sporting week, including a soccer incident in which he accidently kicked a Winnipeg youngster in the face during a friendly match on Monday.

"I heard (Katz) was on the course so I was on my guard," laughed Pries. "None of his golf balls came near us."

Video of Katz and his soccer smashup has gone viral and can be caught on a number of major U.S. sports websites.

"I'm getting calls from all over the U.S. They all say the same thing, they can't believe how high my leg was. But I can report to you that I kept my golf ball within the confines of this course which is rare for me," said Katz. "I didn't hit any spectators. And the young man from the soccer game is fine. Sammy, that's his name, got up and finished the game."

Winnipeg realtor Chris Pennycook was a guest of friend Guy Bieber and they played with pro Angela Stanford.

"What a great player. She can hit it," said Pennycook. "Guy's daughter Stacey (Futures Tour member and star of Golf Channel show The Big Break) went to TCU (Texas Christian University) and so did Angela so there's a connection for us."

Pennycook and his group are all longtime members of St. Charles.

"We've been giving Angela some advice. She's listening, but whether she uses any of what we say is another matter," laughed Pennycook.

Stanford says the pro-am is a key part of each tournament.

"You get to meet great people and learn about the places you're playing in," said Stanford. "This group is great because they all know the golf course so well. You have to listen to what they have to say. They can teach you a few things."

For local businessman John Tennant, co-owner of Piston Ring, the $10,000 his group paid to spend the day with Brittany Lincicome was worth it.

"This is a great event for Winnipeg. A great chance to Winnipeggers to come out and see a world-class event at reasonable prices," said Tennant. "We're having a great day. Brittany is a lovely young woman and a fine golfer. I hope they bring another event like this here in the next five or 10 years and I'll sign up to do this again."


Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 26, 2010 C4

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