Lots of heat. Dry and fast conditions. Returning champions.
Those are familiar themes at seemingly every Modesto City Golf Championship, and this year is no different.
Four former champions, including 2013 winner Raymon Tira, will be in the 56-player championship flight for this year’s 36-hole event, which will be held Saturday and Sunday at Dryden Park and Creekside golf courses.
Play in the top flight begins Saturday at 7 a.m. at Dryden, and turns to Creekside on Sunday.
In all, 161 golfers will be competing in six men’s flights and one women’s flight, said Chris Mendes, head professional at Dryden.
“It’s going to be hot, dry and fast,” said Mendes, pointing out the triple-digit temperatures expected this weekend. “The courses are in good shape, we’re drying them up and starting to mow and roll.”
Joining Tira in the field will be past champions Jeff Thomas (2011, 1992, ’91), Jim Atchison (2008) and Peter Canevari (2007).
Also playing is Modesto’s Patrick Burda, who is coming off a second-place finish last month at the Manteca City Stroke Play Championship and is tied for 47th in Northern California Gold Association Player of the Year standings. A victory this weekend is worth 100 points.
Atchison, who plays out of Creekside, was runner-up this year in the Sacramento City Four-Ball Championship and is 115th in NCGA points.
Ken Webb, who won in 1998, will be in the men’s senior championship flight and Jane Findarle, who won as Jane Irwin in 2008 and 2009, will compete in the seven-player women’s division. She will be joined by two-time winner Sue Krogness (’91 and ’94).
On Saturday, Dryden will host the championship, first and senior championship flights with the second, third, women’s and senior handicap flights at Creekside. Play begins at both courses at 7 a.m.
On Sunday, the players change courses, and tee times will be predicated on the scores from Saturday. The leaders in the championship flight Sunday are expected to tee off around 11:30 a.m. at Creekside, Mendes said.