Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

'Tobans miss cut at Cup qualifying

Faced stiff competiton at windy Southwood

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The Player's Cup roster is now set with 10 new names added to the list after Monday's qualifier, but no Manitobans were able to make the cut at the Southwood Golf and Country Club.

Only four Canadians were able to crack the top 10 out of 84 professionals golfers looking to make their mark at one of the PGA Tour Canada's premier events.

Canadians Jerry Christiansen, David Rose, Kevin Stinson and Murray Walter were among those non-tour members that qualified to compete July 10-13 at Pine Ridge Golf Club.

"This is the second time I've attempted coming from Calgary and my first successful time," said Walter, 36, who shot a three-under 69 and was the only Canadian not from British Columbia to qualify.

"I'm very happy and very proud. It's going to be fun. I'm out here with my family enjoying a summer holiday and this fit into my schedule. It's an absolute bonus and I'm pleased to play."

Walter was one of four players who shot 69 on the day. All were standing near the scorer's tent hoping a player wouldn't come up with a five-under or better, which would send those who shot 69 into a playoff. He said this will be his first PGA Tour Canada event.

Christiansen, meanwhile, a golfer for the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds, was one of five players who tied for first with a score of four-under 68. Originally from Saskatchewan, the young player had experience playing at Southwood's windy, open course just last month during the university national championships, where his team finished second. Experience that likely paid off on Monday.

In a field filled with players from the southern United States and countries around the world, Manitobans just couldn't find an edge, but that's not to say they played poorly. Ryan Horn and Brad Kirton were the best players from Manitoba throughout the day. Horn shot a one-over 73 while Kirton fired a one-under 71 on the round.

"I played all right, made a couple mental mistakes on the back nine, made a couple doubles and shot 73," Horn said after his round, predicting it wouldn't be good enough. "But overall I'm happy with the way I played. I mean, it's not an easy golf course, you gotta be able to hit the ball well."

Horn, 32, was a PGA Tour Canada member just four years ago and qualified for the Player's Cup last year, but at a different course. He said he's played at Southwood just three time before.

"You definitely gotta know where you're going and the greens can be tricky at times, too," he said.

"Obviously I came in trying to get in and I mean, I played well, but that's golf. Sometime's it's a shot here, it's a shot there, that's the way it goes."

The $150,000 Players Cup will be the fifth stop on the PGA Tour Canada this season. Golf Channel analyst Notah Begay III will be conducting a clinic on Pine Ridge's range at 9 a.m. today.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 8, 2014 C2

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