WASAGAMING — Whether it’s during men’s, junior men’s or women’s competition at the 81st annual Tamarack golf tournament, it seems like Chris Coulter can be always be found on the Clear Lake Golf Course.
Coulter is playing in the women’s championship flight, but she has also been following her husband, Dale, during men’s play and her son, Tyler, in the junior men’s event. That can make for a long and exhausting day, but the Brandonite doesn’t view it that way at all.
"That’s what it’s all about," she said. "That’s what we come out for; it’s just family and friends and all our relatives are all here. That’s really what the Tamarack is all about."
The Coulters are off to a good start to the tournament, with Dale and Chris both alive in their respective championship flights, while Tyler is in the junior men’s third flight. Dale won his first match on Tuesday and will face fellow Brandonite Jason Thorpe in today’s quarter-finals, while Tyler defeated Braden Little — who lives down the street from him — in their quarter-final yesterday.
For her part, Chris got into the championship flight on a countback, and then edged Winnipeg’s Trish Jordan 1 up in Wednesday’s quarter-finals.
It was a tight match with the lead going back and forth through the first nine holes before they matched each other stroke-for-stroke for most of the final nine. Jordan missed a short putt on No.6 — they opened their round on the back nine — to give Coulter the lead, and they halved the final three holes.
While she was pleased with the final result, Coulter was even happier with her play.
"I hit the ball really well today, so I’m happy about that because I wasn’t hitting it well in qualifying," she said.
Part of the reason Coulter struggled in qualifying is she hasn’t played as much this year. Last year she switched from working part-time in marketing and advertising to a full-time job in real estate. While she enjoys the new work, it has eaten up more of her time and made golf less of a priority. However, Coulter feels she’s starting to find her swing, and she’ll need to be at her best Friday when she faces LaSalle’s Janice Young in the semifinals.
"Hopefully I can keep it going and give someone else a good game," she said. "Even though the Kaitlins (Troop) aren’t here this year, there’s still some really nice golfers in the field. You want to come out and do your best and not really struggle."
Young won the final two holes to beat Calgary’s Colleen Sinclair 1 up. Sinclair used a nine-iron from 134 yards to ace No. 6 — the players’ 15th hole — and looked poised for a come-from-behind win, but couldn’t hold on in the end.
Friday’s other semifinal will feature former Brandonite Julie Card versus Wheat City native Sherri Ferguson. Card, who now lives in Calgary, defeated Winnipeg’s Tracy Rutledge 2 and 1, while Ferguson beat Brandon’s Barb Coulter — Chris’s sister-in-law — 2 and 1.
Meanwhile, Tianna Slate defeated Sydney Stritz 2 and 1 in a battle of Brandonites in the junior women’s quarter-finals. Slate will meet Erickson’s Bobbi Uhl in the semifinals, while Brandon’s Haylee Shanks will meet Hallie Burke of Rocanville, Sask. Burke beat Madison Allen of Duncan, B.C., 3 and 1.
In the senior men’s top flight, Brandonites Terry English and Scott Lancaster both advanced to the semifinals, along with Hamiota’s Clay Wyborn and Onanole’s Cliff Lenz.
The Tamarack continues today with men’s quarter-finals, junior men’s semifinals and champion men’s championship flight quarter-finals.