Mike Pritchard Memorial tourney raises over $40K

Thomas Friesen

This year's Mike Pritchard Memorial Golf Tournament raised around $40,000. (SUPPLIED PHOTO)

This year's Mike Pritchard Memorial Golf Tournament raised around $40,000. (SUPPLIED PHOTO)

If you put two foursomes on each hole on a golf course, you can get 144 players out.

Darren Pritchard finds a way to pack 51 more at the Carman Golf and Curling Club.

Pritchard hosted the 21st Mike Pritchard Memorial Golf Tournament in the extreme heat Saturday, July 7. He says this year there were exactly 195 players.

“Carman has two extra holes, and we re-open them,” said Darren Pritchard, Mike’s younger brother. “We put a group on the practice green, and we have some fivesomes as well as foursomes to get everybody in.”

The tournament started at the Roland Golf Club. But Roland only has nine holes, and as the tournament grew, it outgrew the course.

“It’s incredible how it’s picking up speed and momentum,” said Pritchard. “Most of these golf tournaments die out after 10 or 15 years.”

This isn’t just any golf tournament. Started after Mike passed away from cancer, the event draws attention from the hockey community, and many more people and businesses that believe in the causes the tournament supports.

This year, Pritchard estimates the tournament raised over $40,000. The lion’s share will go to South Central Cancer Resources, and some will go to the Carman and Area Foundation, specifically the Roland fund.

If the day of golf and support of terrific causes isn’t enough, the event had some unique prizes up for grabs.

Thanks to Darren’s younger brother Allen, a massage therapist for the Winnipeg Jets, the silent auction included a signed, framed Auston Matthews jersey, as well as a signed Drew Doughty jersey.

“It’s fantastic, getting the sponsors we have, and it seems like we’re getting more and more,” said Pritchard. “UFC sponsored the tournament this year with a $2,600 US prize.”

“If Brock Lesnar fights New Year’s Eve in Vegas, we have VIP seats for the fight.”

One of Pritchard’s favourite parts of the event is the people who keep coming back.

“It’s a reunion,” he said. “We have people flying in from Calgary for this tournament, or from Toronto.”

“When people are having fun and enjoying it, that’s what it’s all about. It’s really rewarding.”