Golfers clamor for tour­ney

128 peo­ple have signed up to be part of July 20 con­test

Santa Fe New Mexican - - FRONT PAGE - By Will Web­ber wweb­ber@sfnewmex­i­can.com

Or­ga­niz­ers had to cap the play­ers list at 136 for the Marty Sanchez Links de Santa Fe 20th An­niver­sary Golf Tour­na­ment, which starts July 20.

Dur­ing the plan­ning stage, a cool 100 sounded nice.

Then some­one had the crazy sug­ges­tion of maybe 120. Then 128.

This week, the pow­ers that be fi­nally put a stop to the mad­ness and capped the play­ers list for the up­com­ing Marty Sanchez Links de Santa Fe 20th An­niver­sary Golf Tour­na­ment at 136 en­tries.

“We had to,” course mar­ket­ing co­or­di­na­tor Henry Lucero said. “The en­tries kept com­ing in so we had to ba­si­cally just put a stop to it.”

Barely a month af­ter the city’s golf tour­na­ment failed to come any­where close to the cen­tury mark for en­trants, golfers of all kinds have been el­bow­ing for room to take part in the Marty tour­na­ment de­signed to cel­e­brate the course’s 20th year of op­er­a­tion.

It is the high­light of a sum­mer’s worth of ac­tiv­i­ties planned by the city to honor the two decades of ser­vice for what many con­sider to be the best mu­nic­i­pal golf course in the state. Events to com­mem­o­rate the an­niver­sary be­gan this spring and sev­eral more are planned the rest of the year.

The tour­na­ment, sched­uled to ba­si­cally run all day with a shot­gun start July 20, in­cludes a pair of spe­cial guests in LPGA leg­end Kathy Whit­worth and the course’s orig­i­nal de­signer, Bax­ter Spann.

Whit­worth is a New Mex­ico na­tive and is re­garded as one of the top ath­letes to ever come out of the state. She grew up in the south­east cor­ner and went onto a cel­e­brated pro­fes­sional ca­reer in which she be­came the first

fe­male golfer to earn $1 mil­lion in prize money.

She has won more LPGA events than any golfer in his­tory.

Spann is the course ar­chi­tect who spent many a day in what was then the bar­ren out­skirts of town try­ing to en­vi­sion the lay­out for the beau­ti­ful links course that is there to­day. He has de­signed more than three dozen cour­ses around the coun­try, Marty Sanchez among his finest.

Whit­worth and Spann are spe­cial guests of the city, each fly­ing in from Texas to take part in the cel­e­bra­tion that will in­clude two com­pet­i­tive flights; one for men and women, an­other for just fe­males.

Prizes will be handed out to the top fin­ish­ers in each cat­e­gory, as well as door prizes cre­ated by Lucero and his staff.

Other dig­ni­taries are, among oth­ers, for­mer May­ors Sam Pick and Larry Del­gado.

Pick was in of­fice when the ex­ten­sive ground­work for the course was hatched while Del­gado was in charge when the course opened in 1998.

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