Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Toews to head a sports-star galaxy at Manitoba's foremost golf festival

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IT will be a week for luminaries at Pine Ridge Golf Club, starting Monday.

Players Cup week will again feature Winnipegger and Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews, especially in fundraising events Monday and Tuesday.

Organizers also announced this week that the Tuesday Rumble at the Ridge between teams captained by Toews and former Stanley Cup winner Shane Hnidy will now include Winnipeg Jets defenceman Zach Bogosian.

The week's main event, the $150,000, 72-hole championship, starts Thursday with yet another elite Canadian Tour field that will include five former champions and, as of this week, all tour tournament winners so far in 2012 and each of the top 10 from the tour's money list.

Monday, Toews hosts the fifth Boston Pizza Jonathan Toews Fore Kids Golf Classic in which kids participate in the pro-am.

The Children's Rehabilitation Foundation, the Tallman Foundation and St-Boniface Hospital Foundation are the beneficiaries of the 36-team event.

Tuesday, the Free Press presents the Rumble at the Ridge Celebrity pro-am, where the teams of puck stars including Toews, Hnidy, Bogosian, Travis Hamonic, Mike Stone, Mark Stone, Nolan Baumgartner and Ab McDonald will join with Canadian Tour pros in a competition in support of local charities.

Also on the celebrity list are curlers Kerry Burtnyk and Cathy Overton-Clapham and retired Bombers star Obby Khan.

Admission for the celebrity pro-am day is included in the Players Cup weekly pass, available for $20 at .

When Thursday rolls around, the Players Cup field will include the tour's 2012 leading money winner so far, B.C. rookie pro Cory Renfrew, who won last week's Syncrude Boreal Open in a playoff. Michael Gligic of Burlington, Ont., and Andrew Roque of California are the other tournament winners so far this year who have entered the Pine Ridge event.

The list of contenders will feature many familiar names, such as American veteran John Ellis and Canadians Derek Gillespie and Dustin Risdon.

It will also feature a fresh list of Canadian youngsters, including Nick Taylor and Matt Hill, both in the top 10 on the money list so far, and former amateur star Eugene Wong, who will be making the Players Cup his first professional start.

Manitobans and tour members Matt Johnston, Scott Loewen and Tyler Mancini are also entered for their hometown week.

Former Winnipeg-event champions Rob McMillan, Josh Habig, Wes Heffernan, Mike Mezei and Alex Quiroz will take a stab at becoming multiple event winners in Manitoba.

That hasn't happened in 24 years, since Dave Barr took back-to-back Manitoba Opens.

Defending champ Tom Hoge of Fargo, who earned a place in the 2011 Players Cup via the Monday qualifier, won't be present next week. He's a member of the (formerly Nationwide) Tour this season.

NOTES: The Players Cup Monday qualifier takes place again across the street at Elmhurst. Deadline to enter, via the tournament website is Friday at 6 p.m. Four spots in the championship are available.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 5, 2012 D2

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