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Cadillac Invitational offers local golfers chance to give back

The Southern Oregon qualifier of the Cadillac Invitational national amateur golf tournament will be held Monday at Eagle Point Golf Course.

A full field of 36 teams and 144 players will tee it up in a shotgun start at 12:30 p.m.

Tournament chairman Tim Mort says the third-annual local tournament is expected to generate more than twice the revenue it did last year for the Oregon and Southwest Washington branch of the National Kidney Foundation.

We made about $19,500 last year, and we expect to go over $40,000 this year, says Mort, vice president of the National Kidney Foundation of Oregon. Donations and sponsorships are way up this year, primarily because we have stepped up our fund-raising.

The community has really gotten behind this because it's such a great cause.

The format for the tournament is a four-player scramble. Competition is low gross only (without handicap).

The players on each team must have a combined total handicap of at least 43. Only one player can have a handicap of 8 or lower.

The winning team advances to the national finals next January at Pebble Beach, Calif. to play four resort courses, including Pebble Beach Golf Links.

Movie and television star Patrick Duffy will be master of ceremonies for the tournament dinner and auction on Sunday night at Rogue Valley Country Club. The dinner starts at 5:30 p.m., followed by the auction.

Among the many items to be auctioned, says Mort, are art pieces, trips and vacations, Blazer tickets and golf equipment.

In conjunction with the tournament, a million-dollar, hole-in-one shootout will be held Thursday through Monday at Eagle Point's driving range. There will also be putting and chipping contests.

All final events will be held at 11 a.m. Monday at the course.

In the shootout, golfers will pay $1 per ball to try to hit a shot within a 6-foot-wide circle from 125 yards away.

All contestants on Thursday will receive two balls to hit in the contest for the price of one. They can purchase as many balls as they want.

Players who hit in the circle advance to the semifinals at — p.m. Sunday. The semifinal shots will be from 135 yards.

The top five in the semis advance to the finals, where they'll hit from 150 yards.

A player making a hole-in-one in the finals wins $1 million.

If nobody makes a hole-in-one, the contest reverts to a closest-to-the-pin competition for finalists. Top prize is a trip for two to Hawaii.

Other prizes at stake in the shootout are golf merchandise, new cars, a Bayliner boat and golf vacations valued at up to $1,000.

Carousel Travel will sponsor the putting challenge, which features $14,500 in prizes.

Nevada Bob's golf shop will sponsor the pitching contest, worth $15,500 in prizes.