May 26, 2014 5:40 pm

Top amateur golfers Winnipeg bound

WINNIPEG – Some of the country’s top amateur golfers will converge on Winnipeg next week as the University of Manitoba hosts the Canadian University/College Golf Championship.

The Bisons golf program is still relatively young in its 14th year of competition. They have never finished higher than third at this event but with the five-member team all in the latter stages of their university careers, there’s no time like the present.

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“There’s been many times we’ve been right there,” said Bisons golf coach Garth Goodbrandson. “We know that we’re competitive with all the teams. If things starting going our way, I think we’ll be alright.”

The biggest edge for the Bisons will be home course advantage at the Southwood Golf and Country Club, a wide-open course where even putts can be affected by the strong winds.

“Those guys are gonna hit chips and putts that are affected by the wind and just be like ‘What’s going on here?’ ” said fourth year Bisons golfer Bruce Barr. “You have a putt that with no wind would break left and if the wind is going the other way, it will break right.”

“I know what to expect.” said Bisons golfer Charlie Boyechko. “Whereas someone coming from B.C., where it’s nice every day, they’re not probably gonna like this weather very much.”

But the late spring has meant a later start to golf season here in Manitoba, while golfers in places like British Columbia will already be in mid-season form.

“I was at the golf dome for over an hour every day,” said fifth year Bisons golfer Josh Wytinck. “I was hitting balls so I’m sharp. That way it’s just the short game stuff I’ve been trying to get in.”

It’s the first major golf tournament for the new Southwood Golf and Country Club after re-locating from Fort Garry in 2011. They will also co-host the Canadian Men’s Amateur Championship in August.

“We built this course with the idea of hosting championship events and this is our first opportunity,” said host committee chairman Gord Hudson. “We have the Canadian Am later on in the year, but this is our first test.”

The 156 player field will tee it up for the opening round next Tuesday.

© Shaw Media, 2014

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