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Flighting tweaked for Southern Oregon tourney

The area's championship golf season is fast approaching, and a few changes are on tap.

The Rogue Valley Stroke Play Championships will be at Centennial Golf Club Aug. 27-28.

The Southern Oregon Golf Championships at Rogue Valley Country Club follow two days later and continue through Labor Day.

Several changes have been made to the Southern Oregon this year, including online registration that has attracted more sign-ups at this stage than in the past couple years. There were 276 entrants as of Thursday morning; a full field is 416.

The biggest change comes in the women's format. Limited women's fields — a concern for both the city and SOGC tournaments — has resulted in the Southern Oregon going to round-robin play.

The women's and senior women's divisions will have eight-player flights determined by handicap. Qualifying scores will determine seeding within the flights.

Each flight will be subdivided into two groups of four, with each player playing matches against the other three. The subdivision winners advance to the flight title match.

Unlike in recent years, when a shortage of players led to occasional byes, women players will be guaranteed at least two matches.

SOGC officials are also interested in speaking with women's golf groups at courses throughout the valley to raise awareness of the tournament. Those interested in having a representative visit their league can call Michelle Johannes at 541-772-5965.

There will also be a flighting change for the men. Players will be placed in flights based on qualifying scores, rather than by handicap, as had happened the past half-dozen or so years.

The change reverts to how the tournament operated for many years and returns more importance to qualifying.

A caveat is that if a qualifying score exceeds a net 78, SOGC officials have the right to move players to lower flights. This prevents players from dropping below the level they should be at because of a poor qualifying round.

Entry fees for the Southern Oregon range from $225 to $275. Included are at least four rounds, nightly food and beverages and access to entertainment.

To register, visit secure.inverselogic.com or call the RVCC pro shop at 541-772-4050.

The Rogue Valley Stroke Play Championships include three rounds, including a practice round, and lunch on the two competition days. It costs $130.

Online registration is available at centennialgolfclub.com. The pro shop number is 541-773-4653. — Tim Trower.