The field at the annual Port Huron Elk’s Men’s Invitational has grown, and club PGA professional Brian Bowman said it’s the biggest one in the past seven years.
“We have some new members, and maybe it’s just the quality of the tournament, I’d like to think,” Bowman said in regard to why there was a jump. “I do think golf is a little bit on the rebound in this area, and we captured a good 30 new Elks members, and a lot of those guys wanted to play.”
The tournament, which begins with a practice round Thursday and has its competitive rounds Friday, Saturday and Sunday, will feature 114 teams in 12 flights. The 2014 version of the tournament featured 101 teams.
Friday and Sunday’s rounds will be played in a best-ball format, while Saturday will be a scramble. Typically, there is more movement on Saturdays, as the scramble lends itself to lower scores.
Flights 1-6 will tee off at 7 a.m. Friday, and 12:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Flights 7-12 will do the opposite. The first flight will feature eight teams, as will the 12th flight, which is a senior flight. The others will each have nine or 10 teams.
While the flights are sorted by handicap, only the senior flight has handicaps figured into the tournament’s scoring.
Mike Bush and Tyler Laws are the defending champions of the tournament’s top flight. Bush knows that repeating won’t be easy.
“It’s actually a really tough field,” Bush said. “I’d say it’s probably one of the toughest fields in a while, just with (Patrick) Cansfield being in it. I know he’s playing really well. Obviously Dieter (Schulz) has been playing really well, he made it to the second round of match play at the Michigan (Amateur). (Bob) McKillop and Mitch (Bazinski) are always in the top three, if not winning it. Then you’ve got Ted Ernst and (Tim) Phipps who have been members out there for the last over 20 years, and they’re playing that course every day.”
Bush also mentioned Dan Bowman and Glen McCoy as a team that could compete for the title.
Cansfield will play with Ryan McNamee, a new and dangerous team in the tournament. That’s also a good sign for the Elk’s in general.
“It’s good to capture a couple of the younger generation playing,” Brian Bowman said. “You hope you get them for 20, 30 years in a row to play.”
Contact Paul Costanzo at (810) 989-6251 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @PaulCostanzo.