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Published: Wednesday, 4/19/2006

Farr, baseball to share spotlight

BY DAVE HACKENBERG
BLADE SPORTS WRITER

Take me out to the golf course?

Well, sort of.

Baseball and golf will share a big week in Toledo in mid-July when the Mud Hens host the Triple-A All-Star game and the 22nd Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic, an LPGA Tour event, takes place at Highland Meadows Golf Club.

The events will merge into a social affair on Tuesday, July 11, when a co-sponsored Ballpark Bash is staged at Fifth Third Field.

"Every year since the tournament started we ve had a gala dinner with a national [entertainment] act, and it has been held at the SeaGate Centre since that venue opened," said Judd Silverman, tournament director for the Farr Classic.

This year, however, the Hens wanted to use SeaGate, a next-door neighbor to Fifth Third Field, for the All-Star FanFest.

"Part of the agreement for hosting the All-Star game stipulated that Joe had to throw a dinner for the players and team executives," Silverman said, referring to Hens general manager Joe Napoli. "When we all realized the game and the tournament were the same week, we got together."

So Triple-A baseball stars, pro golfers, and fans of both sports will party together at the stadium at an event co-sponsored by ProMedica Health Systems and Fifth Third Bank. Tickets are $200 and attendance will be capped at 3,000.

Dinner will be served at a series of "grazing" stations as opposed to a sit-down affair, and entertainment will be provided by World Classic Rockers who, said Silverman, are musicians who are all former members of big-named bands. Finally, a fireworks show will be launched off the High Level Bridge.

"We re excited," Silverman said. "It s going to be an awesome week for Toledo and the event at the ballpark is something new and different."

The Triple-A All-Star schedule [July 10-12] includes a Home Run Derby on Monday night, the Ballpark Bash on Tuesday, and the All-Star game on Wednesday night. The Farr Classic begins the next morning.

"Another big benefit is that ESPN2 will be televising the All-Star game and the last three rounds of our tournament," Silverman said. "That s four days out of five that Toledo will get national TV exposure."

FARR JUNIORS: The third annual Girls Junior Amateur, held in conjunction with the Farr Classic, will be staged this year at The Legacy on June 13-14. The field is limited to the first 64 girls, ages 18 and under, who submit entry forms.

Participants will play 18 holes on both days with the field placed in three flights after the first round. The championship flight winner receives a $750 scholarship and will be awarded her trophy during the 18th green awards ceremony following the final round of the Farr Classic on July 16 at Highland Meadows.

For entry information, contact the Farr Classic office at 419-531-3277.

NO MICHELLE: Silverman said that the Farr Classic offered a sponsor s exemption for this year s tournament to Michelle Wie, but that the teen sensation from Hawaii declined the invitation.

S.P., CALL HOME: A large boulder sits empty outside the pro shop/snack bar at Ottawa Park. A statue of the legendary S.P. Jermain, the father of Toledo golf who designed the park and its original golf course, used to be mounted there but was stolen in mid-January.

"It s a big piece of our history here," said general manager Alan Mutsko, "and we d like to see it returned. We filed a police report but we haven t heard of any leads."

Mutsko said the statue has disappeared on a couple of occasions through the years, most recently during the 1970s, but was always returned or recovered.

What could a thief or thieves want with the old bronze statue that was dedicated in September of 1928?

"Your guess is as good as mine," Mutsko said.

NEW EVENT: The Toledo District Golf Association will conduct a first-ever tournament for members of its associate clubs. The two-man team stroke event, with gross and net competitions, will be held on May 13 at Red Hawk Run in Findlay.

The TDGA primarily serves 20 private clubs in the district, but has 33 associate members including daily-fee courses, traveling leagues, and golf associations that contract with the TDGA for handicap and course rating services.

WELCOME, LADIES: Tom Wolf, championship coordinator for the Toledo Metro Golf Association, said that women s divisions have been added for both the S.P. Jermain match-play championship and the Toledo Amateur in 2006. For more information on the Metro, visit www.lynks.net and click on the TMGA logo.

COMING/GOING: Bill Pollert is the new PGA professional at Belmont Country Club. He comes to Belmont from Crooked Stick near Indianapolis, where he served as an assistant pro. His all-new staff includes assistants Scott Shannon and Drew Belt. General manager Rob Ross and head pro Van Brandt have left Stone Ridge in Bowling Green and have been replaced by Scott Choura and Blair Howell, respectively. Brandt will be an instructor at Claire Batista s teaching academy at The Legacy. Matt Mennetti is the new head pro at Ironwood in Wauseon. His predecessor, Jeff Friel, is now an assistant to Dan Sutton at Eagles Landing.

HE S NO. 2: Jaysen Hansen of the Toledo Country Club pro staff recently finished second in the PGA National Assistants Championship in Port St. Lucie, Fla.

MOST PRESTIGIOUS: Another new magazine means another new ranking. Roughly 10 per cent of the "100 Most Prestigious Private Clubs in America" as judged by the Golf Connoisseur magazine are from Ohio. Inverness Club was No. 68 on the list and was ranked fourth in Ohio.

The nine Ohio clubs on the list, and their national rankings, include: (22) The Country Club, Pepper Pike; (23) Camargo Club, Cincinnati; (39) Double Eagle, Galena; (68) Inverness; (85) Scioto Country Club, Columbus; (86) The Golf Club, New Albany; (90) Canterbury, Beachwood; (93) Muirfield Village, Dublin; (100) Coldstream Country Club, Cincinnati.

THE DONALD: Golf purists are always in search of Donald Ross-designed courses to play. Four that are open to the public are within reasonable driving distance of Northwest Ohio.

There are two 18-hole Ross courses that are part of the Mill Creek MetroParks system just southwest of Youngstown, between Boardman and Canfield. The semi-private Elks Country Club is in McDermott, Ohio, along the Ohio River near Portsmouth. And there is the Hill Course at French Lick Springs in Indiana, about 90 miles south of Indianapolis.

The two Ohio courses sport greens fees of $30 or less while the Hill Course, part of a resort complex, is a bit pricier. But it has a bit more history, too. It was there that Walter Hagen won the 1924 PGA Championship.



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