Sunday, Jul 31, 2016
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Dave Hackenberg

Farr's 1-hit wonders savor their triumphs

  • Farr-s-1-hit-wonders-savor-their-triumphs

    Joan Pitcock, the Farr champ in 1996, chats with fan Russel A. Rhodes yesterday at Highland Meadows during the Aquafi na Junior Pro-Am. The Farr was her only win in 350 LPGA events.

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A list of Joan Pitcock's LPGA Tour victories would be like The Best of Edison Lighthouse. Short. Ditto Tina Tombs and the Baha Men.

They were all one-hit wonders.

For Pitcock and Tombs, the Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic was their Monster Mash.

Both were back at Highland Meadows Golf Club yesterday for early-week visits that included playing in the Aquafina Junior Girls Pro-Am.

Pitcock played in more than 350 LPGA events during her 14 full years on tour that followed a star-studded amateur career. The 1996 Farr was her lone pro victory mixed in with a couple close calls.

Farr-s-1-hit-wonders-savor-their-triumphs

Joan Pitcock, the Farr champ in 1996, chats with fan Russel A. Rhodes yesterday at Highland Meadows during the Aquafi na Junior Pro-Am. The Farr was her only win in 350 LPGA events.

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She said she is now retired "in every sense of the word. I wake up, drink coffee until 11 in the morning, make a plan for the rest of the day, and often fail to come up with one."

Tombs' win at the '90 Farr was her only triumph in 210 career LPGA starts and she played in it, and all the rest of them, with a secret.

Farr-s-1-hit-wonders-savor-their-triumphs-2

Tina Tombs and Jim Mihaly high-fi ve after Mihaly made a hole-in-one during the KeyBank Putting Pro-Am yesterday. Tombs had one LPGA title in 210 tournaments the 1990 Farr.

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"I played with epilepsy my entire career," Tombs said. "Nobody else knew I had it. I was embarrassed about it. I'm just now coming to terms with it. It has only been a year, maybe a year and a half since I started talking about it.

"So, yeah, I still remember walking up the 18th fairway here in '90. My caddie asked me how I felt and I said, 'This is what it's all about.' But it was even more than that. It was making it on tour, winning out here, raising two kids who have turned out to be beautiful, talented girls, and doing it all with epilepsy. There was a lot going through my mind during that walk up 18."

Tombs, who now teaches golf at the Arizona Biltmore Resort in Phoenix, and Pitcock represent half of the cast of one-hit wonders produced by the Farr Classic. Kathryn Marshall (1995) and Heather Young (2005) are others whose Farr victories are their lone claims to LPGA fame. Young, of course, is an active player who will have many chances to go platinum at other times in other places.

Pitcock, however, said that if one win was going to be her limit, Toledo was as good a place as any for it to happen.

"It meant everything to me," she said of her one-shot victory in '96. "It was the highlight of my career. I always knew I was good enough to win, but I guess it crystallized it for a lot of other people. How did I know that? Well, everyone was so surprised.

"That it happened here made it even more special. I've made so many close friends here. As long as they'll have me, I'll keep coming back."

Pitcock has been involved with fund-raising for Toledo Children's Hospital and will return to the area early next week to head up a golf outing in Bowling Green to benefit the Jimmy V Foundation.

Pitcock won about $1.3 million during her career, topped by the '95 season when she cashed $204,407. That placed her 30th on that year's LPGA money list.

"As well as I played, and I thought I was pretty good, that was my highest finish," she said. "You've got to be pretty good to stink out here."

Pitcock and Tombs spoke to the players before yesterday's junior pro-am, the only event of its kind affiliated with an LPGA Tour event.

Tombs told the girls that "talent doesn't always make you successful. It's not automatic you're going to make it in golf. Be honest, be good to yourselves, and work hard. Sometimes, those who work hard will beat those with the most talent."

All the work paid off for her at Highland Meadows in '90, when she roared out of the gate in the final round with five birdies in six holes to win by four over LPGA legend JoAnne Carner.

Like Pitcock, Tombs said she knew she could win. "I'd won in college and in amateur golf. But out here, well, there's so much doubt. There were days it was hard to believe in myself. But one day, one weekend here changed that. Not everybody gets that opportunity, that moment. I'm thankful for it."

There's nothing wrong with being a one-hit wonder, especially when it's such a huge and meaningful hit.

Contact Blade sports columnist

Dave Hackenberg at:

dhack@theblade.com

or 419-724-6398.

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