--PRINCE ALBERT-- Cooke Municipal Golf Course plays host to the 90th annual Men's Northern Amateur tournament, drawing numerous past champions to the links for Saturday's early-morning tee off.
"It's a special event," said Cooke Municipal Golf Course head professional Darcy Myers. "I would say probably 15 past champions are in the field."
Brad Phelps, the tournament's defending champion looks to build upon last year's success at Cooke's pristine course.
Myers said the field is chock full of some of Western Canada's premium amateur golfing talent. Participants from Saskatchewan, British Columbia, Alberta and Manitoba will grace the links of Cooke Municipal with their golfing ingenuity.
The tournament is a match-play event, consisting of Saturday's qualifying round, which is used to flight players and determine Sunday's competitive pairings. Players who continue to win their matches will qualify as finalists for Monday's rounds.
"It's the best golf around," said co-president of Prince Albert Men's Golf Club Tom Wormworth. "The golf that we see this weekend is second to none."
Wormworth said the field consists of 160 high-caliber golfers, some of whom are members of the Willingdon Cup team - elite golfers that represent their provincial team.
Myers is in his second year as head professional at Cooke and said the course plays host to a bevy of tournaments throughout the season, which puts Prince Albert golf on Western Canada's radar.
Myers said the course is in "fantastic shape," even with the consistent flow of golfers using the facilities. A perfect blend of rain and sun has helped sustain Cooke's almost unblemished playing surface.
Those playing in the tournament need to be sharp from the outset, as Myers said the par-4 first, along with the par-4 18th, usually play the most difficult.
"We start tough and finish tough," said Myers. "You got to get her going right off the bat."
Monday's winners have their choice from a variety of prizes that are equally valued at $200. Local businesses donated all prizes for the event.
The first round of the weekend tees off just after dawn, on Saturday morning at 6 a.m.
You can follow Gary Pearson on Twitter: @newagejourno