By Jim Henry
Globe Sports Editor
The event isn’t as old as the golf course, but it’s close.
The Ozark Amateur begins today at Schifferdecker Municipal Golf Course, and it’s attracted 170 players. Tee times begin at 7 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., and the final round is set for Sunday.
The Schifferdecker layout, built on land donated to the city by Charles Schifferdecker, celebrated its 90th birthday last month.
In 1922 — the same year the golf course opened — the first Tri-State Tournament was played, and in 1959 the name was changed to the Ozark Amateur.
However, no tournament was played from 1943 through 1946 because of World War II. So this year is only the 86th mid-summer event at the course.
There will not be a repeat champion this year as Paul Ashe is out of town this weekend. Last year Ashe shot a 9-under-par 133 to claim his second Ozark crown and beat son Derrick by one shot. Ashe’s first Ozark title came in 1988 — one month before Derrick was born.
Derrick Ashe and Tim Old, the first-round leader who finished in a tie for third, also are not entered this year, but most of the remainder of the top 10 are back.
Brian Black, tournament champion in 2009 and 2010, shared third place at 135, two shots in front of Chase Foster. Ben Starkey and Tug Baker tied for sixth at 138, Barrett Lais was eighth at 139, and Rusty Smith placed 10th with 142.
Three more flight winners are back. Andy Pochik and Josh Greer tied for first in A Flight with 142, and Lyle Green captured D Flight with 162.