LIONS, TIGERS AND Bears may be missing but Huskies, Rams and even a Cougar may make you say “Oh my!” Thursday through Saturday.
Bremerton’s Gold Mountain Golf Club and the University of Washington will host 13 teams and a host of individual qualifiers at the 54-hole 2010 NCAA Men’s Golf West Regional Championships on those days.
The back-to-back Pac-10 champion Huskies are loaded with talent, including the world’s No. 1 ranked amateur, Nick Taylor, and fellow seniors Richard Lee and Darren Wallace.
Taylor recently earned his second-straight co-Pac 10 player of the year award and is a finalist for the Ben Hogan award, the college golf equivalent of the Heisman Trophy.
The seniors will pair with promising freshmen Nick Williams and Charlie Hughes.
Williams was the co-Pac-10 Freshman of the Year.
Washington State University senior Kevin Tucker will make his second straight trip to a regional championship, a first for a Cougar player.
Golf was long ignored at Wazzu, but with their own 18-hole gem, Palouse Ridge, the Cougars can finally host tournaments on campus (they previously used University of Idaho’s course) and can recruit more talented players.
Even with a stacked host team and talented challengers, the best thing about the tournament may be its price.
All three days of the tournament are free to the public.
A Ping driver will be given away Thursday, UW football tickets on Friday (Mr. Yuck Poison face!) and a custom-fitted set of Ping Irons will be drawn for a lucky winner on Saturday.
You have to visit Gold Mountain’s website at www.goldmt.com and print off a free ticket to turn in to be eligible for the prizes.
More information on the tournament can also be found on the course’s site.
The top five teams and the low individual not a member of those teams will advance to the NCAA Championship on June 1-6 at The Honors Course near Chattanooga, Tenn.
The boys from Bridgestone Golf will be at Peninsula Golf Club in Port Angeles from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday.
They will conduct free golf-ball fittings using their “Science Eye” computer system.
Golfers will hit a series of shots with their driver and their current golf ball of choice.
Based on their ball-flight characteristics, the technician will confirm they are playing the right ball, or recommend a Bridgestone/Precept ball that better suits their game.
After hitting a series of shots with the recommended ball, the golfer will be given a side-by-side comparison of all data, allowing him or her to determine which ball can maximize the performance with their driver.
Golfers will hit a series of shots with a mid- to short-iron with both golf balls.
After hitting the shots, they will be able to compare launch angle, spin rates and distance to have a better understanding of how the ball performs going into a green.
For more information, phone Peninsula Golf Club at 360-457-6501.
Peninsula Cup news
The second annual Peninsula Cup is set for SunLand Golf & Country Club in Sequim on Saturday.
Ninety-six players from six of the seven golf courses on the North Olympic Peninsula will compete this year, an increase from the 60 players who competed last year.
Some of the clubs are conducting their own tournaments to field the best possible team for the competition.
Scoring will come from the 13 best scores: the three best net and 10 best gross from each team.
The public is invited to come out and support their friends, co-workers and club members.
I’ll be there to meet folks and see some solid area golfers compete for the Cup.
For more information, e-mail tourney chair Ray DeJong at email@example.com.
ESPN tourney set
The ESPN National Golf Challenge local qualifying tournament will be held at SkyRidge Golf Course in Sequim on Sunday, June 6.
This two-person better ball format is the first stage in the quest to reach the national finals in Las Vegas in November.
Local qualifiers will be invited to play at Avalon Golf Links in Burlington on Aug. 23.
Winners there can book trips to the finals in Vegas
The cost for the SkyRidge qualifier is $65 per player, which includes a dozen HX Tour Callaway golf balls and a year’s subscription to Golf Magazine.
The maximum handicap allowed is 24, and teams can be any gender mix.
A minimum of two teams are guaranteed spots at regionals.
For more information, phone SkyRidge at 360-683-3673.
Golf for Grads
Nine-hole links style course SkyRidge will once again play host to the Golf for Graduates Tournament.
This year’s event will begin at 9 a.m. Saturday, May 29.
Proceeds from the tournament go toward providing a safe, drug-and-alcohol-free graduation night party for the 2010 Sequim High School class.
The format is a four-person scramble with a twist.
Members of the Sequim High School boys and girls golf teams will be auctioned off before the tourney Saturday morning to add a fifth player to your team.
Players can check in for the event at 8 a.m., purchase their “ringer” and tee off at 9 a.m.
The tournament is $50 per person or $200 for a four-person team.
Entry includes a round of golf, a gourmet lunch of blackened salmon, range balls, awards and prizes.
The tournament has space for 18 teams, so early sign-ups are suggested.
For more information, or to reserve a spot, call SkyRidge at 360-683-3673.
If you can’t play but would still like to give to this worthy cause, contact Alan Kowitz at firstname.lastname@example.org or Paul Boucher at email@example.com.
The donations are tax-deductible through the Sequim Education Foundation.
Sponsors will receive signage on the course during the golf event.
Clinics and lessons
Those looking for a quick tip should take advantage of SunLand professional Tyler Sweet’s series of free lessons.
Sweet will offer free 10-minute lessons at the driving range in Sequim on Friday and Monday,
He will continue his series of free clinics covering the short, mid and long game at noon this Friday and Tuesday, and also on Friday, May 28.
To reserve a spot in the clinic or a specific time for a free lesson, call the golf shop at 360-683-6800, ext. 13.
Through May, SunLand has a special deal for the public on weekends .
For just $39, participants will receive a round of golf and lunch.
SunLand also is conducting a drawing for a new TaylorMade R9 SuperTri driver, free rounds of golf and free golf balls.
Those interested can enter the drawing at www.sunlandgolf.com.
Remember to enter the word “contest” into the comments box.
SunLand will draw the winners on June 1.
Save the date
Cedars at Dungeness Golf Course in Sequim will host the fifth annual Claws & Paws Golf Tournament — a benefit for the Olympic Peninsula Humane Society — on June 26.
The event features two divisions: handicap and Callaway.
Entries are limited to the first 100 players.
The $100 entry fee includes cart, range balls, tee prizes, longest drive prizes, KPs, raffle tickets, luncheon and a prize field of $1,500 (based on 100 players).
Tickets for the luncheon are $15.
All proceeds go to the Olympic Peninsula Humane Society, and all donations are tax deductible.
For more information or to register, call Garrett Smithson at 360-477-2718, or Andy Anderson at 360-809-0144.
Tournament directors are also seeking sponsors.
For more information about becoming a sponsor, call Kandace Schmidt at 360-461-2810 or Marsha Robin at 206-650-5431.
For more information on golfing at Cedars, call the pro shop at 360-683-6344, ext. 1.
Watch for birdies
Kris Grier, father of state tournament-bound Port Angeles High School golfer Ev Grier, passed along this story.
“My daughter was playing in the Class 3A bi-district tournament [on May 10] and her group had hit safely on the 14th green.
“As many golfers are wont to do, they left their clubs at the next tee box and grabbed their putters to finish the hole.
“Olympic High School’s Hanna Rose looked back as they were putting and saw a crow swoop down to her golf bag and try to fly away with her score card.
“It flew a bit before dropping the card and was set to fly off with it again before the girls safely got the card back!”
________Michael Carman is the golf columnist for the Peninsula Daily News. His column appears on Wednesdays. He can be reached at 360-417-3527 or firstname.lastname@example.org.