May 16, 2013

30th Masters North tees off today

MALONE — The 30th edition of the Masters North Golf Tournament take place today and Friday at the Malone Golf Club’s East Course.

And tournament director Willie King doesn’t foresee any dropoff in the outstanding amateur talent.

“We have 42 golfers in the Masters North field and 18 in the Legends field,” King said. “We have seven past champions playing and that’s a record for the tournament.

The biggest name returning is Graham Cooke, who has won the green jacket a record nine times. Cooke was runner-up last year, losing on the first playoff hole to David Passino, Jr., who won the event with a sensational eagle on the par-four first hole.

The East Course will provide a test for the golfers in both divisions.

“The course is in great shape and the greens are fast,” King said. “It should be nice to play and the field is a very competitive one.

“A lot of players have come close to winning over the years, including Matt King, who has been runner-up three times.

“What makes the tournament more interesting this year is that trees have been cut on the par-three 11th and 14th holes, which were already difficult to play. It will be even tougher this year if the wind is blowing.”

Willie King will not be playing in the event for the first time this year.

“We’ve made the tournament bigger and bigger,” he said. “I’m just going to help run the thing.”

Still, King is pleased with the talent in both the Masters North and Legends fields.

“There’s a lot of nice stories,” he said. “Bob Hughes is a past champion and he is the honoree this year. It’s nice to have Michael Jolin, a former local high school standout, playing. He lives in Milwaukee now.

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