City gears up for first golf championship

City golf tournaments have become a staple in neighboring towns around Glendale. Now, Glendale will find out what it's like to host a city tournament of its own.

Nearly 100 participants, including a group of local residents, will tackle the fairways and greens while competing in the inaugural Glendale City Golf Championship.

The two-day event will begin with a qualifying round at 8 a.m. Wednesday at Scholl Canyon Golf Course. The qualifier will feature four flights based on the low index of the past 12 months.

"It's going to be a great event that we are eager to see how it will be viewed," said Rick Dinger, the tournament's chairman. "It's for a good cause and there will be plenty of great golfers.

"Other cities play host to tournaments, so we wanted to do the same thing."

The low 16 in the championship flight and the low eight in the other three flights will advance to the championship, which will take place Monday at Oakmont Country Club. In addition, a women's division flight will be conducted Wednesday.

The event is geared for amateurs with a maximum handicap index of 24. All proceeds will benefit the Glendale Parks and Open Space Foundation, a non-profit organization.

"We will have a field consisting of local residents and top golfers from colleges like Long Beach State, CSUN and Glendale Community College," Dinger said. "There are dynamics to playing at both courses.

"Scholl is more of a short municipal course. Oakmont is a very long championship-caliber course. It comes down to who makes their putts. It will be an interesting test for the field."

Among those set to take part in the tournament are Bob Rountree and Tavit Garabedian. Rountree, a Glendale resident and a member at Oakmont, said he's eager to see how the tournament will evolve.

"It's about playing some golf and raising money for a good cause for the city parks and recreation," Rountree said. "It's something you are glad to see the city have.

"I think the event will be a challenge for the golfers. You'll see plenty of excellent golfers and it will be interesting to see who will get to Oakmont."

The tournament will also bring in participants from neighboring cities, including Garabedian, a Pasadena resident.

Garabedian, who will attend Glendale college and try out for the men's golf program, said Glendale hosting a tournament will provide additional upside.

"It gets Glendale out there even more because a lot of people know the city a lot because of its malls," Garabedian said. "With the tournament, it's something that can go on for years.

"I'm going to try to get to Oakmont. That's the goal. You have to be able to hit the ball well off the tees and hit the fairways. The greens can be tough at Oakmont and you'll have to be able to get up and down."

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