AMHERST - If Mitchell Roy is to repeat his Amherst Open championship he'll have to get his game back on track.
Roy, who won a thrilling playoff with Mark Gould last year to win his first open championship, will be one of the favourites when the two-day, 36-hole event kicks off this morning at the Amherst Golf Club.
"I'm going to have play a good steady game of golf without making any mistakes," said Roy. "Last year I was able to keep bad holes from impacting me, this year it's been a little different. It's been a bit of a struggle."
Roy is hoping he'll be able to refocus and get back to basics in time for the tournament.
A field of about 145 will hit the 18-hole layout seeking the tournament championship. While the number of professionals competing in this year's Open is down quite a bit from last year, club pro Frank McShane said there's a strong contingent of amateurs including the defending champion, Gould and this year's club and junior champion Zach Carson. Also in the running are perennial club champion Gary Carter, Cliff Lowery Jr., Northumberland's John Mills - who won the title two years ago and Nick Banfield -who won three years ago.
"We don't have the professional field we've had in other years, but the amateur lineup is one of the best ones we've had," said McShane. "There are a lot of local favourites and some of the best amateur golfers in the province."
Others to watch could be Aaron Nickerson of Clark's Harbour, who won the Nova Scotia mid-amateur in June, and provincial senior men's champion Ed Dumeah of Ashburn.
With this being the 100th anniversary of the club, McShane the number of prizes has been increased to mark that occasion.
McShane also credited superintendent Peter McCabe and his crew for getting the course in top condition for the Open.
"The course is in tremendous shape, they've put a lot of work into getting it ready and we should see some pretty high calibre golf here over the next two days," McShane said.
For the second consecutive year, Bordertown-Tantramar and Barnes Insurance are back as the corporate sponsors of the Amherst Open.
Ken Parrell said Bordertown-Tantramar is pleased to be able to support the Open because it's a great community event, while Mike Stack of Barnes Insurance feels the tournament will have a lot of economic spinoff in the community.