Wednesday, Jun 29, 2016
One of America's Great Newspapers ~ Toledo, Ohio

Barbara Hendel

Inverness is bustling with U.S. Open activity

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The 24th U.S. Senior Open at Inverness Club is the talk of the town this week. Golfers, hackers, and wannabes are swarming to the Inverness links. It's a place to see and be seen, and plenty of social activities surround the event.

During practice rounds Monday, guests watched some golf, then lunched in the corporate tents. Alan and Debbi Brass were there.

Several volunteers were seen “walking on water,” so to speak, at a corporate village built on a platform over the swimming pool. Dave Kienzle, Rick Sabin, and Cindy Taylor were guarding the entrance. Volunteers - many from area clubs, such as the Toledo Club and Stone Oak Country Club - were also seen, including Jim Walter and Jerry Sutter.

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From left, Tom Meeks and Mike Davis of the U.S. Golf Association chat with Marc Stockwell of Inverness Club and U.S. Senior Open golfer Jay Overton at Fifth Third Field.

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Monday night, some of the pro golfers headed to Fifth Third Field to see the Mud Hens win. Golfer Jay Overton, who played in the 1993 and 1986 PGAs at Inverness and returned this week for his first year as a senior, said, “It's like old home week” being in Toledo. Mr. Overton is the host professional at the Westin Innisbrook Golf Resort in Tarpon Springs, Fla., a course developed in 1971 by several Toledoans, including Harvey Jones. Innisbrook was named for a street in Toledo where one of the founders lived.

Friends, including John and Bridget Ansberg, whose son, Todd, caddied for Mr. Overton in 1993, were at the game, catching up on old times.

Also seen was Lew Smither, director of instruction at Innisbrook and coach for Mr. Overton. Mr. Smither is also coach for Senior Open golfers Gary Koch and Doug LaCrosse. Mr. LaCrosse is a former college roommate of championship director Judd Silverman.

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Jennifer Kasee and her mother, Carole Mack, view the 18th hole from the clubhouse.

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It was a scorcher of a day Tuesday at the Open, but that didn't stop spectators and fans from cruising the links to watch the pros practice. The corporate hospitality tents offered a cool respite from the heat. And it's hard to believe these are tents! The Jermain Pavilion is the biggest by far and the most costly, soaring to $250,000, while the other tents are $100,000. La-Z-Boy's tent is so comfortable that many joked they would like to take a nap. There was, of course, a La-Z-Boy chair, along with several couches in cozy living room settings.

One can belly up to the three-sided bar in the Columbia Gas/Brooks Insurance tent. The Future Sites tent, shared with Gladieux Enterprises, includes two meeting rooms. Barbara Berebitsky was busy entertaining guests in the Huntington National Bank tent. Seen in the Columbia Gas/Brooks Insurance tent were Gina Thompson, Jim Olszewski, and Jennifer Homier, who is expecting any day now. Ben Brown joked that the baby might be named Brooks Columbia.

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From left, Bob Smith, his daughter Gina Thompson, Heather Biddulph, and Jennifer Homier relax at the Senior Open.

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Strolling among the tents were Dave Francisco and Patty Wise, Chuck Swisher, Pat and Jim Appold, Joe Minnick, and Moe and Skip Gardner. Volunteer Connie Ulmer was busy tooling around in a golf cart, looking official. Hobnobbing was Ken Valuska, who was a fashion plate in a red golf shirt with matching socks and cap. Seen on Inverness Club patio, which only select members can enter, were Jennifer Kasee and her mother, Carole Mack, who had a perfect view of the 18th hole.

Beautiful flowers are everywhere in the corporate village - they are shipped from all over the world and changed daily.

While the golfers were practicing, the wives were treated to lunch Tuesday at Toledo Country Club.

Yesterday was another hot day on the course for the golfers and spectators.

Today, the crowd at the corporate tents will no doubt increase as tournament play begins.

There will be public after-play parties with entertainment - tonight it is Run Avril Run, tomorrow night it's Velvet Jones, and Saturday night it's Skoobie Snaks.

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