he fork in the road is directly ahead and two of Manitoba’s finest women players will take different paths.
Two-time former amateur champ Jill Hardy, now playing out of Elmhurst, is already on hers.
After much consideration in recent years, Hardy, 27, has decided her career in pharmacy and amateur golf will do just fine and to that end, has entered next week’s Manitoba Amateur to try to wrest the crown back from two-time defending champ Kaitlin Troop of Brandon.
A different way will be taken by 2005 Amateur champ Stacy Bieber of St. Charles.
The 23-year-old is finished with her finance studies at TCU and has decided to turn pro later this year.
Bieber, who along with Hardy played this week’s CN Canadian Women’s Tour event at Glendale, will not be present for the Manitoba Amateur at Transcona next week, due mainly to work commitments at her new home in Fort Worth, Texas.
She will play a U.S. amateur qualifier in San Antonio in July before returning to Winnipeg for the Canadian Women’s Amateur that begins July 29 at Glendale.
Bieber missed nearly two months of golf this spring because of a hand injury. Prior to that, she played some mini-tour events.
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A team of Manitoba’s top amateur players is out to buck a trend this weekend in Bismarck, N.D., at the bi-annual North America Cup matches.
The competition against North Dakota’s finest amateurs is taking place at the excellent Hawktree Golf Club. Practice rounds were Friday, then it’s four-ball matches this morning followed by alternate-shot matches in the afternoon. Sunday, the singles matches take place.
Jesse Skelton, Scott Markham, Brad Kirton, Garth Collings, Scott Borsa, Tyler Mancini, Peter More, Stewart Bannatyne and non-playing captain Don Cook comprise Manitoba’s team.
Manitoba won the last playing in 2006 at Larters but the home team has hoisted the cup four straight times since 2000.
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As part of the upcoming Canadian junior girls championship to be staged at St. Charles Aug. 5-8, the RCGA’s Future Links program will be helping to conduct a special junior girls club day on Aug. 4, the Monday before the championship begins.
“This is going to be a fun day for girls who haven’t yet or are already playing golf,” said St. Charles head pro Cory Kartusch. “Any girl in the city is welcome to come.”
Kartusch said there will be as many as five Canadian PGA instructors present. The clinic will be divided into two sections, one for ages 7 to 11 and the other for ages 12 to 18.
“For the younger ones, we’re going to have a lot of the fun type of stuff and for the older ones, we’ll have a little more instruction,” Kartusch said.
“And after each of them, they’ll get to make their own sundaes and pile it all on there. And there will also be an opportunity for the girls to stick around to watch some of the best players in the country practice and hit balls as they get ready for the tournament.”
The clinic — and the free ice cream — is open to the first 60 girls registered. To register, call the St. Charles pro shop at 888-8229.
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The Canadian Tour’s Players Cup is still looking for caddies. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for information or to sign up… Tournament director Mitch Zalnasky said that Monday qualifier entry forms for the event, to be played July 14 Elmhurst, are available on the tournament’s website, www.ctplayerscup.com… Last week’s Canadian Tour winner Adam Speirs caddied at this week’s CN women’s tour event at Glendale for B.C.’s Elise Brandt.
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