•Three Norman courses will host annual City Championship

By Lynn Garnand

Transcript Sports Writer

Three days.

Three courses.

One weekend.

What does that add up to? Perhaps a golfer’s dream.

Regardless, that’s what the linksters who enter the City Championship will be experiencing starting next Friday.

That’s when the eighth edition of the tournament, sponsored by The Norman Transcript begins.

The first round is at The Trails, the second at Westwood Park (Saturday) and the third at the University of Oklahoma’s Jimmie Austin (Sunday).

That type of triple-header action is what has fueled the tourney’s growth from its fledgling beginning to its now much-anticipated status.

One golfer who has participated in the Championship from the start is local businessman Mike McCurdy. He knows first-hand that the three-day contest is a challenge, and entertaining.

“It’s always fun to play in this tournament,” said McCurdy, a former standout basketball player for the Sooners. “I’m a member at The Trails so I play there most of the time. Other (entrants) are members at other courses so they play there most of the time.

“That’s the main difference in this tournament. All of the courses are different. Each course has it own personality. (The Championship) gives everyone a quality test.”

McCurdy proved to be equal to the “test” last year while playing in the Championship Flight. He didn’t win, but he did post the lowest score of any “senior” in the field.

He’ll be going against the tourney’s best again this weekend.

“I’m not a contender (for the championship trophy), but I like to play against the best,” McCurdy said. “Some of the favorites are probably (defending champion) Bryan Reed and Rick Bell. Those guys can play.”

With his past City Championship experience, McCurdy also has some advice for newcomers, and, for that matter, other tourney veterans.

“The big thing about this tournament is that you don’t want to shoot yourself out of it on the first day. At The Trails, on a couple of holes, you can do that. If you’re not careful, you can make some big numbers,” he said.

“At Westwood, if you’re playing well, you can make a move, or, at least, stay close, although it’s a tougher course than it used to be.

“At OU, it so long, you just try to do your best — and survive.”

David Lisle, the head pro at Westwood, which just hosted its annual invitational tournament over the Fourth of July holiday weekend, the largest of its kind in Oklahoma, had this to say about the City Championship: “A great tournament. It’s a combination of all our local courses. A lot of players like that. They’re playing at three different venues against players of their own caliber.”

One usual Championship entrant is David Stringer, the publisher of The Transcript.

“It is a unique tournament. We’re just glad to be a part of it,” Stringer said. “I’m not aware of any other tournament like this. All the courses are different. That’s what the players like about it. The City Championship challenges all aspects of your game.”

On three courses. On the same weekend.

Lynn Garnand366-3537lgarnand@normantranscript.com

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