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Published: 8/13/2003

Harrison plays all he can

BY DAVE HACKENBERG
BLADE SPORTS WRITER
Tournament host Jamie Farr encourages a putt. Tournament host Jamie Farr encourages a putt.
BLACK / BLADE Enlarge

He played the role of a serious golfer yesterday, however, and he and pro partner Dottie Pepper were unbeatable in the Dana Celebrity-Pro Challenge, a preliminary event to the Jamie Farr Kroger Classic at Highland Meadows Golf Club.

The Pepper-Harrison team finished the alternate-shot event at even par as Harrison capped the six-hole tournament with an eight-foot birdie putt at No. 18. They won by two shots.

The actor, who belongs to clubs in California and on the southern coast of Oregon, plays to a 6 handicap, but still fights his nerves when teeing it up in front of galleries.

“Oh, sure I do,” he said. “I played earlier today at Inverness and shanked two shots. My son and I traveled 13 hours yesterday; got about three hours sleep last night and my swing didn't come around this morning. But I finally got some tempo this afternoon and we had a lot of fun.”

MOWING 'EM DOWN: Something you rarely see at a pro golf tournament is the grounds crew mowing while players are still on the course. The Highland Meadows crew had the mowers revved up by mid-afternoon, working on fairways, tees and greens while the golfers often stood to the side during practice.

The work was done with the LPGA's blessing, a tour official said. Little mowing was able to be done Monday night because of heavy rains and there was concern that a similar weather system might have created another problem for Mark Mixdorf's crew last evening.

WIE WATCH: Michelle Wie, the 13-year-old amateur from Hawaii who is in the Farr Classic field as a sponsor exemption, arrived in town over the weekend and has already played three complete practice rounds at the Meadows. Yesterday, she teed it up with three-time Farr champion Se Ri Pak.

“I like the course; it has some tricky holes,” said Wie, who may well be the longest hitter in the field. “There are some holes where I'll have some advantage because of hitting it far, but no way will I be able to hit driver on every hole here. There are a lot of holes where position is more important than length.”

PRO-AM: What do you get when you put three hard-working television sports anchors on the same pro-am golf team? A victory.

Brad Fanning (Fox 36), Dan Cummins (WTOL 11) and Rob Powers (WTVG 13) teamed with actor Ron Masak and pro Kristi Albers to win the Toledo Edison/ProMedica Pro-Am held in conjunction with the Farr Classic but played yesterday at Inverness Club. The team had a handicap-adjusted score of 50.19.

Finishing second and third, respectively, were the teams of pro Clarissa Childs (Carol Coe, Joni Ockly, Judy Steins, Kelly Strickland) and pro Cindy Schreyer (Jerry Batt, John Harbal, Jeff Ott, Jack Randolph).

Low gross honors, with a score of 57, went to pro Kelly Cap and amateur partners Jeffrey Crandell, Don Gildemeister, Elliot Hilsinger and Walt McBeath.

CELEB WATCH: Tee times for celebrity contestants in today's Owens-Corning Celebrity Pro-Am include Detroit Red Wings coach Dave Lewis at 12:20 p.m.; Red Wings player Kirk Maltby at 12:30; actor Ron Masak at 12:40; CNN anchor Leon Harris at 12:40; actor/director Don Most at 1; actor Gregory Harrison at 1:10; singer Michael Bolton at 1:20 and tournament host Jamie Farr at 1:30.

FIELD FODDER: Only four of the top 10 and eight of the top 20 players on the 2003 LPGA money list are playing in the Farr Classic this week.

The four top-10 earners in the field are No.3 Se Ri Pak, No.5 Hee-Won Han, No.9 Hilary Lunke and No.10 Rachel Teske. Among the missing are Annika Sorenstam and Gloria Park, currently 1-2 on the money list.

QUALIFIERS: Pros Jen Hanna and Liz Earley completed the weather-delayed Farr Classic qualifier yesterday with rounds of even-par 71 to earn the two qualifying spots in this week's tournament. Northwest Ohio amateurs Emily Bastel and Heather Zielinski came up short with rounds of 72 and 78, respectively.

FUTURE STARS: Fifteen girls, age 7-17, from the LPGA-USGA Girls Golf Club of Defiance got a special clinic yesterday from tour player Jen Hanna. The club was started by Martha Mallott, a top northwest Ohio amateur for many years who is now an LPGA teaching professional.



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