TERRE HAUTE —
Play begins in the Terre Haute Golf Association city championship today at Rea Park.
All players will be at Rea Park today and at Hulman Links on Sunday in the 72-hole event sponsored by Show-Me’s.
The city not only has a new date this season but there’s a change in the lineup. Players must declare for the championship flight.
Based on scores from the first two rounds, the championship flight will be pared to 16 and ties for the final two rounds. Others will compete for regular flight honors.
Those players declaring for the championship flight will play from the blue tees with new tees installed at Rea Park. They will play the ball down at Rea Park and play the ball down outside the fairways at Hulman Links where strip sodding has been completed.
Two other divisions also have been added to the tournament: women’s and seniors for those 60 years of age or older.
No women had filed entries as of late in the week and few golfers had entered in the seniors division.
“It will be interesting to see what happens playing from the new tees with the courses playing longer,” said Rea Park pro Dave Kennedy.
He said some of the “long hitters” may benefit from the change.
Ted Kaperak is the defending champion, winning last year for the second time in the past three years and for the ninth time total. With another title, he would become the second player with double-digit wins.
Tom Jones has been the champ seven times, winning last in 2008.
Rich Schelsky was second a year ago and won for the first time in 2011. He apparently will not be in the field.
Noting that, Kennedy says Chris Cassell and Kaperak should be top contenders to win. Cassell won in 2009.
He said Ezra Evans could be a sleeper. Evans has been runnerup in the Brazil Open the past two years. “He works hard at his game,” Kennedy noted.
Other top finishers from a year ago were Travis Turpen, Ryan Roscoe, Charlie Kluesner, Dusty Jovanovich and former winner Scott Hess. Chris Keen, another top finisher over the years, will be gunning for his first championship.
Tee times will begin at 7 a.m. today and Sunday. The field will be flighted for the final two rounds next weekend.