Golfers cope with smoke at SOGC

East Medford, Ore. — The Southern Oregon Golf Championships qualifying rounds kicked off this week with a bang and some smoke.

This is the 88th year the Rogue Valley Country Club has held the event. Event management said the championship is unique because of its match-play style.

One problem the event is dealing with this year – smoke settling into the course area from nearby wildfires.

“They all know it’s an outdoor sport. We had a little backup plan to go inside if we needed to, but yesterday it cleared off nice, and we’re just going to see how it does for us going forward,” said Tracy Snyder, head golf professional at Southern Oregon Golf Championships.

Snyder also said masks are provided at the event, should any of the participants need them. But for many of the nearly 400 golfers out at the course, the smoke is just a small price to pay for the fun of the game.

“Smoke is not bothering me that much, last two days have been really nice. Let’s hope the weather holds,” said participant Cris Carrigan.

“Smoke has been a little tough, on the sinuses, but we’re making it through and it’s clearing up so we’re looking good for the rest of the week, we hope,” said another participant Annette Vandaam.

Match-play will continue into Monday – where the 2017 champions will be named.

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