Pine to Palm field to be as strong as ever
It will be a typical strong field of play during the 82nd Pine to Palm Golf Tournament, which will start Monday, Aug. 11, at the Detroit Country Club.
Although there will be plenty of new players vying for one of the many divisional championships, the numbers will be strong as usual.
“The Championship Flight always has big numbers and we will be seeing a lot of new players, since a lot of those young guys are turning pro and won’t be back,” said Pine to Palm chairman Jim Bruflodt.
One of those who will not be returning is defending champion Jon Trasamar, who won each the medalist honors and championship in 2013.
Trasamar turned pro this summer and is playing on the Dakota Tour, where he’s already won one event.
“Winning that early shows me I belong (on the pro circuit),” Trasamar said. “It definitely was a confidence booster.”
So for the second year in a row, the defending champion will not be playing, after 2012 champion Beau Hanson pulled out after he qualified for the U.S. Amateur.
But that doesn’t mean the talent is any lesser for the 2014 field.
There once again will be a big contingent of college players, including from the University of Minnesota, where Trasamar played out of as a senior.
He will have up to six former Gopher teammates playing in Championship Flight play, while many others from across the country will also be playing the DCC links.
But the week is not just about Championship play, but also will have super competitive divisions in the Mid-Am, Seniors and Super-Seniors, as well as name flights and 16 numbered flights.
“The Mid-Am, Seniors and Super-Seniors have gone very well and have been very popular,” Bruflodt said.
The three defending champions in the Mid-Am (Perry Piatz), Seniors (Tim Rubis) and Super-Seniors (Chuck Renner) will all return.
For Renner, he will forego his automatic No. 1 seed and play in the qualifying round. Renner is the three-time Super-Seniors champion and has won three medalist laurels, as well, out of the four years the division has been in existence.
Bruflodt also is pleased that the 1981 Pine to Palm champion Mark Norman will compete in Senior’s play.
The Pine to Palm chairman also noted the website and online presence will be better and timely, with tee times and opponents posted.
Bruflodt also credited the many volunteers throughout the week who work the long hours to make the Pine to Palm Golf Tournament the best amateur golfing tourney in the region.
“It’s just a great atmosphere all week and that’s because of all the volunteers who make it happen,” Bruflodt added.
The Pine to Palm qualifying rounds for all divisions will be Monday through Wednesday, with match play beginning Thursday and running through Sunday with all championships being held.