Play is underway today in Ames for the 65th Iowa Masters Golf Tournament after a little de-ja-vu this week. It was ten years ago that the tournament was flooded out when heavy rains forced Squaw Creek out of its banks onto Iowa State University’s Veenker golf course — the site of the tourney. Tess Balsley, the clubhouse manager at Veenker, says things got a little tense this week when heavy rain again threatened the course. She says there were lots of anxious moments as the creek got to bank full, but she says they dodged the rains that would’ve caused the course to flood. Balsley says 1993 wasn’t the only time things were washed out. She says they have a big trophy that includes the name of the champions, and the years it is not held, Squaw Creek is listed as the winner. She says the creek is listed three times. The tournament runs today through the weekend. Everyone plays Friday and Saturday, and about half then are cut and the rest return for the final round on Sunday. Balsley says the field is strong with over 200 golfers. Most of the top amateurs are playing after qualifying by playing in other events, and there’s also was a qualifying round in June to allow more to qualify. This tournament doesn’t carry the big paycheck you see on the pro tour. Amateurs can’t accept cash, so they get gift certificates and trophies. Balsley says the public is invited to come out and watch the golfers as they make their way around the course.
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