Chasing the crown
Defending champion Tim Yorke says Lobster Festival Golf Tournament is key in his chase for provincial player-of-the-year honours
Tim Yorke looks to defend his men’s Lobster Festival golf title this weekend and pick up vital points in the race for player-of-the-year honours.
Kensington’s Tim Yorke says there is a lot on the line this weekend.
Yorke is back to defend his title in the Lobster Festival Golf Tournament ( formerly the Clark’s Toyota Cup) at the Summerside Golf Club.
“I’m number two in points so it’s a big tournament for me to catch up on the number one guy,’’ Yorke said, referring to Jason Campbell who has been red hot of late, winning amateur tournaments at Mill River and Glen Afton recently.
The two-round, 36-hole Lobster Carnival tournament goes Saturday and Sunday.
Players accumulate points in the player-of-the-year series, which will determine P.E.I. teams for national championships.
It’s the perfect place to make a run for the top of the standings, Yorke said.
“It’s a golf tournament that’s close to me because I was a member there for so many years. I enjoyed the membership. I enjoyed the golf club (and) it’s usually in fantastic condition.’’
Brad Cook, general manager of Summerside Golf Club, said they had 60 entries as of late Thursday afternoon. That’s up from 40 last year but short of the 122 who competed as recently as 2011.
Cook said tournaments across the province are struggling to fill out the field but no one is sure why.
“That’s the million-dollar question I think that every golf professional or operator would love to have the answer to,’’ Cook said. “I think people are just keener on social play. They’re not as competitive as they once were.’’
Yorke said they need lots of first-, second- and third-division players this weekend to come out and compete.
“It’s a challenge (to find entries) and it’s getting to be more and more of a challenge all the time,’’ the Kensington golfer said.
Scheduling can be an issue with tournaments taking place virtually every weekend.
The Lobster Festival Golf Tournament itself was postponed twice due to the condition of the course. The harsh winter pushed many courses back.
Cook said the course is in phenomenal shape now.
“I won’t pull any punches, though. We started the year off at about the worst condition imaginable. To put it in my own terms, conditions you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy.’’
The grounds crews have been working hard getting the course back to its old self.
Cook said they’re still not completely satisfied with two of the greens, on holes 3 and 11.
“We’ve done just about everything we can to get them to come along, it’s just been a little slower coming than we had hoped.’’
Yorke said Cook and the grounds crew deserve a lot of credit.
“Hats off to them, they put a lot of pride in it. The course is going to be in good shape (this weekend),’’ Yorke said.
As for what it’s going to take to walk away with the trophy, Yorke said it’s pretty simple.
“The guy who wields the hot putter will probably win. The greens are usually so good that if you make a few putts it will make a big difference,’’ he said.
Tim Yorke will be defending his men’s title this weekend at the Lobster Festival Golf Tournament at the Summerside Golf Club.