June 8, 2021
FARMINGTON, NM — The 20th Carl Spackler Open is set to kickoff at Pinon Hills Golf Course in a matter of hours. Reigning champion Ken Sumner is part of the field of 70 players who have begun to arrive to northwestern New Mexico for the 96-hour golf celebration.
“So excited that I could pee myself,” said Mike Ellerbock of Michigan. “The 2 year wait was too long and ready to showcase my skills.”
The 54-hole golf tournament will be scored hole-by-hole using a handicapped stableford system. The Leaderboard is available on the website and to all players. “I love the scoring feature that gives our major championship so much excitement,” says Tim Swanson of Pennsylvania. “It’s all about getting comfortable out there and staying in the hunt through Round 1.”
Jon Munksgard, a 18-year returning participant, has his sights set on beating Mike Lewis. “There is no goal of a jacket for me. Just beating Lewis is my focus,” said Munksgard. “The only thing better than meeting my own personal goal is Lewis wearing the Carl Spackler Outfit on Sunday night.”
Jean Dore will also receive plenty of focus this week as he seeks to complete his 10th tournament. He looks completely rejuvenated since the start of 2021. The conditions are perfect, Dore could thrive thanks to his quality putting and shot-making skills.
There are nearly a dozen rookies who will jump into the tournament. Rookies from California, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania. Florida, Michigan, and Virgina. “This is our first year ever with no representation from North Carolina,” says Matt Pritchard. “No Myers. No Milam. No Archer. No Dupree.”
The likes of Mike Gauthier, Dan Obendorfer and 2018 Champion Chris Price will probably enjoy coming into the event slightly under the radar. “I have been quietly preparing in Roanoke, Virginia,” said Price. “It’s been great to not have a media frenzy around like in 2019.”
The closest participant by 15 minutes is Captains Club member Greg Long from Austin, Texas. The runner up is Clayton Sheridan from Reno, Nevada. The furthest is Dan Obendorfer in Boston, Massachusetts.
Pinon Hills was built for golf tournaments and a challenge for all players in the field. The weather is supposed to be sunny throughout. “We could not be more pleased by the opportunity,” says Pat Boland. “We are truly setup for a great event.”
The 20th Carl Spackler Open begins on Thursday with its traditional practice round. Then players will converge on Pinon Hills Thursday for Round 1. The final round will be played on Sunday. Live scoring is available online.