After going without one for a year, the mission to bring a prestigious city golf championship back to Anchorage begins this weekend with the first Anchorage Open at the Anchorage Golf Course.
Created to fill a void left by the Mayor's Cup, a 36-hole Alaska Golf Association event that served as the city championship for more than two decades, the 36-hole, stroke-play tournament takes place Saturday and Sunday at AGC.
Around 50 players competed in the final Mayor's Cup in 2010, and 53 are scheduled to compete this weekend, roughly half the number required for a full field.
Dwindling participation was the primary reason for the city championship being dropped from the AGA's schedule. AGC has taken over running the event, citing the importance of holding a city championship on Anchorage's only municipal golf course.
"We don't want a tournament like that to just disappear," AGC head golf professional Cody Long said. "We wanted to bring a new face to it, also to open it up to people outside Anchorage."
Labeling the event an open also allows the option of adding a professional division and a junior division in the future, Long said, part of the evolution of a championship that began as an all-amateur event when AGC opened in 1987.
"I think you'll see it grow in stature every year," said AGC general manager Rich Sayers, who won the second Mayor's Cup in 1988.
Bulter eyes 12th title in Palmer
Palmer's Allegra Butler knows what it takes to win the Palmer Golf Course Club Championship, having won the women's division for the last 11 years.
Butler will be one of around 80 golfers expected to compete in the 36-hole stroke-play event Saturday and Sunday, said Palmer director of golf George Collum III.
"It's a big deal every year," Collum said. "It's the biggest tournament for ams that we hold here."
The first club championship at the Palmer Golf Course took place in 1992, two years after the course opened, and it isn't just for Palmer golfers. The event is open to any Alaskan amateur and Collum said several past champions have come from Anchorage.
Palmer's Marcus Dolejsi won the men's division last year, backing up a first-round 80 with a sizzling final-round 66 to win by a stroke.
Registration is still open for the Palmer tournament. Call the golf shop at 745-4653 for details.
Eagleglen Open approaches
Professionals and amateurs will compete over Labor Day weekend in the Eagleglen Open, a 36-hole stroke-play golf tournament that boasts more than $40,000 in prizes, awards, food and beverage.
The annual event to be played Sept. 1-2 usually attracts a full field of 100 golfers, generating a high level of competition. Anchorage golf pro James Contreras won last year in a sudden-death playoff against Eagleglen assistant manager and golf pro Rob Nelson. Contreras and Nelson each finished regulation play with a 6-under 138.
Call the Eagleglen golf shop at 552-3821 for details about registration, which is limited to the first 100 paid entrants.
Moose Run to close Hill with par-3 tourney
Golfers looking for a lighthearted fall tournament may want to enter the End of the Season Par-3 tournament at Moose Run's Hill Course on Sept. 16, the course's final day for play.
"Some holes are shortened to 50 yards," said Moose Run manager Amy Sexton. "It's a fun way to end the season."
All 18 holes on the Hill course will be shortened to par-3 yardages for four-person scramble teams. The deadline for sign up is Sept. 11. Visit mooserungolfcourse.com for details.
The last day to play the Moose Run Creek Course is Sept. 30, with Eagleglen planning to remain open into October.
Reach Jeremy Peters at email@example.com or 257-4335.