Cooke Municipal gearing up for 100th edition of Men’s Northern

Lucas Punkari/Daily Herald Men’s Northern tournament co-chairs Tom Wormworth, left, and Martin Ring present Danny Klughart with the championship flight trophy after the 2020 final at Cooke Municipal Golf Course.

Tournament runs from July 31 to Aug. 2

The annual Men’s Northern tournament is always a major event at the Cooke Municipal Golf Course.

This year’s edition, which will be held from July 31 to Aug. 2, will be extra special as it marks the 100th straight edition of the event.

“We started to put this on our calendars about five or six years ago when we realized that the 100th tournament would be taking place in 2021,” said Martin Ring, who is a co-chair for the event along with Tom Wormworth and Jeff McKeand. “We’ve got guys that won the tournament but haven’t been back in a few years coming up for the event and we’ve been really excited to see people respond to the chance to come up here for the long weekend.”

“This event is the highlight of the summer for both the course and the members here,” Wormworth added. “There’s nothing bigger and there’s nothing better.”

The amount of interest for those wanting to take part in the tournament was made clear once entries opened this winter.

“We put out invites to last year’s entrants on Feb. 1 and 90 per cent of them came back for this year’s event,” Wormworth said. “Then when we opened things up for everyone else on March 1, we had people getting online at midnight to make sure that they got in.

“I think the overall caliber of golfers that we have in this year’s field is higher than we’ve seen in many years. There’s going to be some really low scores over the course of the weekend.”

Danny Klughart will be back to defend his title, while 2020 runner-up Greg Swenson has also entered the event.

“You have a lot of the usual suspects taking part in the tournament, such as Ron Stewart, Colin Coben and Ashley Ziegeman,” said Ring, who won the Men’s Northern in 2009 and will also be competing this year.

“Brad Phelps from Saskatoon will be here and there’s a couple of guys from Regina that will be coming up, including Randy Gilewich, who hasn’t played up here in a number of years.”

In addition to the tournament, a putting contest and longest drive competition will be held on July 31 starting at 7 p.m.

The event will kickoff on July 30 with a past champions luncheon, which will see a bevy of former winners in attendance.

“It’s a who’s who of golf in Saskatchewan that will be here for that afternoon,” Ring said. “Our 1962 champion Pete Lukoni is coming, along with former winners Jim Scissons, George Jansen and Rick Hillestad, plus our long time head pro Danny Jutras.

“They are a big part of the history of this tournament and I’m sure it’s going to be a great day. There’s already been a ton of awesome stories that I’ve heard from the guys as we’ve contacted them to let them know about the luncheon.”

While seating is limited for the past champions luncheon and the tournament banquet, the public is invited to watch the match play portion of the event on Aug. 1 and 2.

“You often have 100 to 150 people following the final match on Monday afternoon and there’s great golf taking place all weekend,” Ring said.

“From a competitive standpoint, this is one of the premier golf tournaments that takes place in the province. Other than the Lobstick, this is the only match play competition in Saskatchewan and it’s one of the most prized events that you can take part in.”