© Herald Photo by Dave Leaderhouse
Jackie Packet, second from left, was the first recipient of the Nadia Gisi Spirit of the Northern Award when the annual tournament concluded on Sunday at Cooke Municipal Golf Course. Gisi was a long-time participant in the tournament who succumbed to cancer last fall and the tournament organizers wanted to have a way to remember their friend, who was never happier than being on a golf course. Shown in the photo is Nadia's husband Brent, who presented the award, along with senior women's champion Joanne Schiller, centre, Kathy Ziglo, Ladies Northern champion and tournament organizer Andrea Ring.
This year’s annual Ladies Northern golf tournament was more than just about who shot the best score. It also honoured a dear friend.
Nadia Gisi passed away last fall after a lengthy battle with cancer and the long-time participant in the tournament was remembered at this year’s event when an annual Spirit of the Northern Award was established to carry her love of the game forward for years to come.
“She knew what golf meant – it wasn’t for the sport of it or who had the best score, but to have a good time with friends,” said an emotional Jackie Packet upon being named the inaugural recipient of the award and receiving a plaque with Nadia’s image on it from Nadia’s husband Brent.
“I am so honoured; there are so many deserving people for this,” added Packet.
All 55 participants in the tournament stood and gave a standing ovation after Packet was presented the award, which was graciously donated by the Prince Albert Men’s Golf Club at Cooke Municipal Golf Course.
Oh and there was indeed some golf played!
Less than favourable conditions wrapped up the 36-hole tournament as heavy rains put a chilling finish to the event on Sunday at Cooke Municipal Golf Course, but when everyone was in the clubhouse it was a familiar face collecting the top prize.
Perennial favourite Kathy Ziglo of Saskatoon fired a second straight 77 to win the tournament for an unknown number of times as she edged Crystal Piero from Regina by a single shot. Piero, who entered the final round with a one-shot lead, had a 79 on Sunday to finish alone in second place.
“No one was really stellar out there today,” admitted Ziglo. “I think the main thing today was to get as many pars as you could.”
“I had a good round yesterday,” added Piero. “I just let a couple of holes get away from me (on Sunday).”
Karly Wormworth, who was raised in Prince Albert, but now calls Saskatoon home, was third after carding consecutive 79s and Kim Risulini from Lloydminster, who was entered in the tournament for the first time, had back-to-back 80s to finish in fourth spot. Kerry Vezeau rounded out the Top 5 after shooting an 85 on Sunday to go with her opening round of 79.
Defending champion Pauline McDougall, who was serenaded with “Happy Birthday” by a large group of golfers when she putted out on the 18th green, had rounds of 82 and 83 to finish in sixth spot.
In the senior women’s division, a chip-off was needed as Joanne Schiller from Lloydminster and Anne Kirkland from Saskatoon were tied with 164 totals after the two rounds. Schiller won the tie-breaker for her second senior’s title in eight years.
Following is a complete list of the flight winners for both the regular and senior ladies draws.
Championship Flight – Kathy Ziglo, Saskatoon; runner-up Crystal Piero, Regina
First Flight – Abra Thompson, Saskatoon; runner-up Chris Harnett, Prince Albert
Second Flight – Cindy Pittman, Saskatoon; runner-up Lynn Braaten, Prince Albert
Third Flight – Connie Blake, Shellbrook
Fourth Flight – Debbie Krawchuk, Saskatoon
Fifth Flight – Lori Isbister, Prince Albert
Senior championship – Joanne Schiller, Lloydminster; runner-up Anne Kirkland, Saskatoon
Senior First Flight – Lori Boyle, Moose Jaw
Senior Second Flight – Carole Rucks, Prince Albert