The weather could not have been more beautiful for the annual Sherring Gold Ladies Open at Deer Park on Monday.
Over 80 women took part in the tournament that contained a Championship flight all the way through to a fifth flight; a participation number that, according to tournament chairperson Wendy Boyle, is impressive. “Having 83 golfers is a good year because we’ve been down in the 60s on some years,” offered Boyle, adding that the best she has seen was in the low 90s, before the 2010 flood.
Boyle then mentioned that this tournament is also on the Order of Merit Tour and that because of that, Deer Park routinely sees some of the top female golfers the province has to offer. “It is on the Order of Merit Tour which means that we get low handicappers that want to gain points towards those standings by competing here,” said Boyle, continuing, “We see some of the best female golfers in Saskatchewan here because if they win they get more points toward the Order of Merit Tour and at the end whoever has the highest point total is provincial champion.”
In fact, players from all across the province flock to Yorkton for the annual tournament. Golfers from as far away as North Battleford and even Manitoba make the trek to Yorkton to take part in what has become a staple in the golfing community.
But while every female golfer from Saskatchewan was vying for first place in order to climb the standings in the Order of Merit Tour in the hopes of becoming Saskatchewan Provincial champion, it was a woman from out of province that took home the title.
Joan Miller, a 55-year-old resident of Russell, Manitoba, cleaned house at Deer Park on Monday finishing with a +12 (84), three shots ahead of her nearest competition Karen Mario and four shots ahead of third place Denise Klotz.
However victory at Deer Park is nothing new to the Manitoban. Miller has actually won the tournament several times, but has not competed recently due to other commitments. “I’ve golfed in this tournament lots before but these last few years, with work and kids and because it’s on a Monday I couldn’t get here,” offered the tournament champion Miller, who shot a pair of birdies on the back nine, one each on the 13th and 16th holes, to solidify her spot atop the leaderboard. “But this year I just took holidays to come and golf because I love the course and it’s just a great place.”
Championship flight: Joan Miller +12 (84), Karen Mario +15 (87), Denise Klotz +16 (88). First Flight: Bev Bielinski +27 (99), Brenda Haacke +28 (100), Lorinda Lemond +28 (100). Second flight: Caroline Ruehlen +32 (104), Sylvia Pattison +32 (104), Kim Boreen +32 (104). Third flight: Val Bailey +38 (110), Debbie Knourek +38 (110), Helene Buckle +38 (110). Fourth flight: Vickey Kohnen +47 (119), Arlene Nussbaumer +47 (119), Gillian Potter +47 (119). Fifth flight: Gwen Keith +58 (130), Josei Arsenault +59 (131), Radell Audette +61 (133).