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Published: Thursday, 7/18/2013


Still a classic

There's a lot to like about the newly named Marathon Classic, the second-longest-running Ladies Professional Golf Association tournament in the United States, the third oldest in the world — and a Toledo area institution.

Formerly known as the Jamie Farr Toledo Classic, this signature event has raised millions of dollars for local children, boosted the regional economy, given local residents a chance to watch world-class golfers, and carried on a 27-year association with one of Toledo’s most popular ambassadors — Toledo-born actor Jamie Farr.

From the start, Mr. Farr, 79, has lent his name and talents to the tournament. He continues to do so, even as a new name reflects a new sponsor.

Tournament competition for the Marathon Classic at Highland Meadows Golf Club in Sylvania will tee off today for the 28th time since its start in 1984, missing only two years — 1986 and 2011 — to avoid conflicts with major men’s championships at Inverness Club. The tournament continues through Sunday, with a $1.3 million purse.

Credit much of the tournament’s success to loyal and generous sponsors, a testament to the community ethic of northwest Ohio. In its first year as title sponsor, Marathon is joined by Owens Corning and Owens-Illinois as presenting sponsors — and 17 other local corporations and businesses listed as “hall of fame” sponsors. The tournament has raised almost $8 million for local children’s charities.

This year’s field of more than 140 golfers includes defending champion So Yeon Ryu, the winner of the 2011 U.S. Women’s Open, and a hometown favorite, Caroline Powers, a Bowling Green High School graduate and an all-time great at Michigan State University.

Daily grounds tickets — $15 through Friday and $20 Saturday and Sunday — are available at the main gate. Information on The Blade Charity Ticket Program is available online at marathonclassic.com.

The tournament’s name has changed, but it’s still a classic.

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