City tourney on the tee

A new champion will be crowned in the men’s open division of this weekend’s 33rd annual Messenger city golf tournament, sponsored by Fort Dodge Ford Lincoln Toyota.

The event begins on the men’s side with a 7:30 a.m. shotgun start this morning at Lakeside. The women are at the Fort Dodge Country Club with incremental tee times beginning at 8:40 a.m.

Colin Pearson, the two-time defending men’s open champion, is unable to participate due to a scheduling conflict. Pearson qualified for the Iowa Masters in Ames after winning the junior portion of the event a year ago.

Four-time city runner-up Tanner Kesterson is also a no-go this summer. Kesterson is currently at a tournament in California.

There is no shortage of contenders, even with Pearson and Kesterson out of the picture. Nearly 150 golfers will be in pursuit of the trophy, including former city kings Ryan Kinseth (2005) and Lucas Peed (2001 and ’03). Recent leaderboard staples Austin Morrow, Nick Johnson, Eddie Doyle, Phil Ruth, Cory Cummins, Ryan Reeder, Jon Diehl, Steve Schmidt and Michael Faiferlick are also signed up.

Kelsey Faiferlick takes aim on a city three-peat in the women’s open bracket. Faiferlick, a St. Edmond graduate and current Park University team member, has prevailed in the last two tourneys by a combined 31 strokes.

Terry Miller is also back and defending his title on the senior side. Miller captured city gold in 2010 and ’12.

Perennial contenders Jim Dalton and Dean Bundy – former champs themselves – as well as Jon Schuman, Ron Cummins, Kurt Engnell and Scott Harms will be in the hunt to dethrone Miller.

The women’s senior race looks to be an open one, as Diane Blomker and Roxanne Kuhlman – who have taken all but one of the crowns since the category’s inception in 2005 – aren’t signed up as of Friday night. Peg Christensen was the runner-up last year.

The championship nine should tee off around 6:30 p.m. on Sunday evening at the FDCC.

Temperatures are expected to be in the mid- to upper-80s both days with little to no chance of precipitation.

Lakeside is a par-72 layout; the Country Club’s par is 71.