Robert Husseman, The Triplicate

One of Del Norte County's longest-running golf tournaments kicks off today at Del Norte Golf Course.

The 24th Annual Bill Speer Memorial Sweepstakes runs through Sunday afternoon, with approximately 120 golfers expected to participate. Friday afternoon included a barbeque, auction and horse race - a competition in which every golfer plays a hole at the same time. Higher scores are eliminated until a single player is left standing as the winner.

The tournament honors one of the founding fathers of Del Norte Golf Course, William "Bill" Walter Speer III. Speer and his father, William Walter Speer II, helped build Del Norte Golf Course and are among its original owners.

"It's one of my favorite weekends of the year," says Billy Speer of Redding, the son of Bill and grandson of William II. "It's a good mix of people from Crescent City, a good group from Redding.

"The older I get, the more I appreciate people taking time out to come to the tournament."

The tournament has its origins in the Calcutta Tournament, a golf event that began approximately 50 years ago, according to members of the Del Norte golf community.

The Bill Speer Memorial's original moniker was based on the tournament's format, which will be in use this weekend.

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