Brandon’s Nolan Tutkaluk currently sits in 15th place among the point leaders on the Desjardins Financial Golf Tour. (FILE PHOTO)
Nolan Tutkaluk is heading into this weekend’s Westman Invitational as the defending champion and on the brink of missing the cut for the Desjardins Financial Golf Tour’s championship, but he’s completely relaxed.
The 35-year-old Brandonite knows it will be tough to defend his title in the Westman Invitational, a 36-hole event slated for Saturday and Sunday at the Shilo Country Club.
Even if he is one of the top 15 Desjardins point leaders to qualify for the Tour Championship in Minnedosa from Sept. 21-22, Tutkaluk doesn’t think he’ll be able to compete as he already has prior commitments.
Tutkaluk currently sits in 15th place on the tour, with only the top 20 point leaders eligible to earn points at Shilo.
Since this weekend may be his final competitive golf event of the season, Tutkaluk is looking at going out on a high note.
"I wouldn’t even know if there was a highlight (this season)," Tutkaluk said. "I played four tournaments this year. I haven’t won anything. I didn’t play bad, but I didn’t win anything.
"Hopefully we’ll go out on a high note. Hopefully the highlight is to come this weekend."
Tutkaluk’s best result came in Neepawa on Aug. 10, when he finished in a tie for second at the 18-hole tour event. He also placed fourth in the first flight at the Grey Owl and was the Tamarack’s second-flight runner-up.
The Westman Invitational can be a challenging event. The Shilo course traditionally has fast greens and, although the forecast calls for sunny weather in the low- to mid-20s C, the wind can cause some problems for golfers.
The best advice Tutkaluk has for any competitors this weekend is to not worry too much as the course can challenge even the best amateurs during the two days.
"You always know disaster waits on Shilo on quite a few holes, especially if you’re in the gauntlet (Holes seven through 12)," he said. "You can lose strokes pretty easily, so if you can lose strokes easily then anybody can lose strokes pretty easily. It’s one of those things that you have to keep your patience. You might think you’re struggling, but everybody else could be struggling."
There are plenty of spots still open for the Westman Invitational as only 60 players have registered and there’s enough room for up to 100 golfers. To register, call the club at 204-765-3623.
CHIP SHOTS: Minnedosa will host a nine-hole fun scramble on Saturday. It will also put on a cross-country golf tournament on Sept. 28. To register, call the club at 204-867-3151 … Boissevain’s club championship runs Saturday and Sunday … The battle for the Credit Union Cup between the Neepawa and Minnedosa courses will take place on Sunday in Neepawa.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition September 12, 2013