Cooke Municipal hosts Monday qualifier for Elk Ridge Saskatchewan Open

Golfers from across North America made their way to Cooke Municipal Golf Course in Prince Albert on Monday to try their hand at qualifying for the Elk Ridge Saskatchewan Open in Waskesiu later this week.

The event provided plenty of publicity for the course both in person by players attending and on social media.  Cooke Municipal provided free practice rounds in the days leading up to the Monday qualifier for players to gain familiarity with the course, which plays at 6361 yards from the blue tees.

A post on twitter from the account @acaseofthegolf1 that recognized Cooke providing free rounds for players had received nearly 295,000 views on Twitter and nearly 670 likes.

Cooke head professional Darcy Myers says he is thrilled to see the appreciation shown on social media.

“It’s a bit of a courtesy thing that we do for fellow professionals. It’s really good to see that they appreciate it and it’s got a lot of a lot of mileage on social media, so that’s pretty good publicity for Cook Municipal.”

The scorecard at Cooke looked a little different than usual as the course played at par 70 for the qualifier. The 447-yard third hole is played as a short par five for normal play but played as a par four for the qualifier.

Of the top eight players who automatically qualified for the Elk Ridge Saskatchewan Open Monday, no player finished with a score better than par on the third hole.

Myers says he believes the change didn’t affect the field a whole lot.

“It’s an adjustment that the players have to make. Par is just a number. You got to make your way around the 18 holes and whether it’s a par four or par five, you still got to get the ball in the hole.”

Logan Perkins of Mcdonough, Georgia and Zach Mandry of Solon, Ohio finished with the lowest rounds of the day at 66, four-under-par.

Myers says Cooke handled the test of providing a challenge for some top-level professional golfers.

“The golf course stood up really well. The greens were really quick. And the golf course has just been fabulous and a lot of great comments from all these players from all over North America. So, it’s something that we’re very proud of.”

Saskatoon’s Chase Pochylko will be in the field on Thursday as he qualified with a three-under round of 67.

He says he was pleased with his round.

“It was really good. I’ve been playing pretty solid the last few weeks and it’s just good to see my hard work paid off. It was one of my goals for the summer to play in a PGA Tour Canada event, so it’ll be very awesome.”

Cooke Municipal plays shorter at 6361 yards than the Elk Ridge course will play this weekend at 6780 yards.

Pochylko says players still have to play smart at Cooke despite the shorter yardage.

“I feel like the course management aspect shows a lot at this course, just because there’s a lot of holes where you can’t just blast driver out there, you got to place your tee shot.”

In terms of local talent, Prince Albert’s Hank Henry finished with an even-par round of 70 and Cole Jenkins fired a seven-over round of 77.

Other players who qualified include Travis Fredborg, Joseph Dendy, Tyler Johnson, Ziggy Nathu and Devin Morley.

Opening Ceremonies for the 2023 Elk Ridge Saskatchewan Open begin Tuesday afternoon at 2 p.m. with Round 1 beginning on Thursday.