Having a great time on the golf course and raising money to help children with their reading skills are two of the main reasons the Niekro Classic Golf Tournament has been so successful.
Entering its 16th year, the two-division affair (Open and Bridgeport-only) event tees off Friday morning at 8:30 at the spacious Belmont Hills Country Club west of St. Clairsville.
All the proceeds go to the Bridgeport Education Assistance Foundation, which was started in 2000 as a public/private educational partnership whose goal is to enhance the educational opportunities of children, primarily with reading and literacy programs.
"We, basically, pay for the students' reading programs," Niekro Classic committee member Gordie Longshaw explained. "None of the money raised goes towards athletics."
Over the first 15 years, Longshaw estimated around $150,000 has been raised.
"Our goal is to raise $15,000 a year," he revealed.
According to Longshaw, a total of 30 teams have already been entered. However, there is still room for six more.
"We can have 36 at the most," he said.
It's sad to say, but the event's namesake - Phil Niekro - won't be on hand to entertain the gathering - not with his golfing (although "Knucksie" isn't too bad) but witty humor. There is never a dull moment when Phil's in town.
"His grandson is playing in the Cal Ripken Experience in Myrtle Beach, S.C. and Phil is committed because his son just got hired with the Atlanta Fire Department and can't get off.
"This is only the second time that Phil has missed this (Niekro Classic), and he's upset, but what can you do?" Longshaw added. "The other time he missed his late brother Joe attended."
However, all may not be lost as Longshaw said Bill Mazeroski is about 90-percent sure he will attend, which would be a huge draw.
"Maz hasn't been back in the Ohio Valley since 2003 when Buckeye Local named its baseball field in his honor," Longshaw continued. "It would be big for him to show up."
Nicknamed the "Clown Prince of Baseball," John Worden, a member of the 1968 World Champion Detroit Tigers as a young left-handed pitcher, will return.
Outback Restaurant will once again cater the event, which serves as the kickoff to Bridgeport High School's Alumni Weekend.
Wheeling Park Memorial
Joe Kosar won the Wheeling Park Memorial on June 15 in a playoff with Larry Goodnight. Both carded 70s.
Bob Green and Dick Moore fired 71s to tie for third, while George Melnik and Nick Klamut finished at 73.
Josh Foose fired a 58 to take top honors by six strokes over Bob Hicks. Orie Robinson was third at 66, with Pete Barton and Russ Travis both one shot back.
Senecaville Senior League
At Robins' Ridge Golf Course
Closest-to-pin: Jeff Peters; Closest-to-pin second: Gary Mayberry
OFF THE TEE INFORMATION
If you know of golf happenings or local folks shining in the golf industry or field, feel free to let us know. We're looking for anything local golf related to run in this space. Whether it's scramble or tournament results, we want it. Don't hesitate to send information of hole in ones, double eagles, etc. You can skip the bogeys, however.
The event is held to "show appreciation and awareness to the oil and gas industry."
The event will begin with a 10 a.m. shotgun start and registration gets under way at 8 a.m. The entry fee is $675 a team, which includes golf, lunch, dinner, beverages on the course, prizes, special events and an open bar at the completion of play.
The event will benefit the Harmony House Children's Advocacy Center, which works to strengthen the community's response to child abuse.
The golf portion of the event will also feature skins, mulligans and raffles. Sponsorships are also available for the event.
For more information, or to register a team, please contact Ron Baker at Belmont Hills CC at 695-2263.
The Circus Saints & Sinners Club will hold its 14th annual Charity Golf Scramble on Friday, June 27 at Wheeling Country Club with the proceeds of the event going to WJU's wrestling program.
The scramble will begin with a shotgun start at 1 p.m. The entry fee for the event is $100 and tee sponsorships are also available for $100. Lunch and dinner will be included as well as beverages on the course.
For more information, please contact Justin Ferrell via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 304-243-9071.
For more information call Kelley (740) 238-0053.
All proceeds benefit the Union Local girls basketball team. Red sponsor $500 and White sponsor $300. Hole sponsors $150
Make Checks Payable to Union Local Girls Basketball, 35275 Kenwood Ave., Barnesville, OH., 43713.
The event is a 3-person scramble and the cost is $150 per team with all proceeds benefitting the Buckeye Local Football program. To register your team, please either contact Johnny O at (740) 391-0723, Tom Figurski (740) 424-6300 or Paradise Hills at (740) 859-5028. You can also register your team at the course.
The cost is $50 per player or $200 per team and registration is due by July 12. The cost includes cart, green fees, food, refreshments, prizes and door prizes. There will be an optional skins game for $5.
The scramble is open to the public. For more information, please contact Bill Wilson (391-9841), Buzz Donahue (676-4110) and Dick Johnson (359-2301).
For more information, please contact Norm via email at email@example.com
The entry fee is $200 per team, which includes carts, food and refreshments. Teams are encouraged to pre-register to ensure team entry due to limited entries.
Cash prizes will be awarded. There will also be door prizes, raffles and other events.
For more information and to register call Pat Binni at 795-5944 or Dian Baker at 795-5396.
The St. Joseph, Tiltonsville, Holy Name Society is sponsoring its annual 4-man scramble on Saturday, Aug. 16 at Fairway River Links in Rayland. This is the 32nd year Holy Name has sponsored the event.
Entry fee is $50 per person for the 8 a.m. shotgun start. That includes a cart, food and beverages. Trophies and prizes will be awarded.
A closest-to-the-pin competition is also scheduled. Hole sponsorships are available at $25. Registration can be made by calling (740) 859-9304 or (614) 545-8803.