Tourney hailed as hit sponsors, helpers praised

May 29, 1994|By Blair Holley | Blair Holley,Special to The Sun

The recent NationsBank Celebrity Golf Association Classic at Eagle's Landing Golf Course was a big deal for the Ocean City area. The night before things got under way the sponsors held a pleasant party at the Embers Restaurant and the 30-plus celebrities got acquainted with the many sponsors and volunteers.

Tournament organizers were high in praise for those sponsors and helpers, noting especially that NationsBank had stepped in only five weeks before the play date and provided the base so vitally needed for such a big undertaking. Andy Loving, Eagle's Landing pro, gave much credit to "the 170 volunteers who really made this work."

The idea was conceived by Jim Karvellas in 1986 with the requirement that all celebrities who play must have single-digit United States Golf Association handicaps. Karvellas, a member at the Ocean City Golf & Yacht Club, said, "We are not a celebrity tournament -- we are a professional tournament played by celebrities." And he has expanded the idea to a mini-tour of six events called the CGA Tour, with the Ocean City tourney the only two-man affair.

Well, this event came off well despite a very limited preparation time, five weeks actually. That's unheard of and Ocean City solicitor Guy Ayres put it best when he said, "This one was fantastic but we need to start working now for next year."

And come back next year it will if the many favorable comments overheard are any indication of a 1995 visit. Ocean City Councilman Buck Mann noted, "I'm very anxious to have it back. I think it's great for the town and provides fantastic golf exposure."

A Players Tent was set up by Nick Idoni's Sports Palace, with a bountiful repast for players and other notables over all four days. Everybody raved over the food and Nick Idoni Jr. said, "It was all fun and interesting and we got to see some of the nicest people we've ever met."

The Comfort Inn, which is seriously into golf packages under the guidance of Greg Foster, provided 10 rooms for celebrities. Denver Brocos All-Pro quarterback John Elway stayed at the Holiday Inn and admitted the only look he got at our ocean was from his balcony. Johnny Bench, his wife Laura and son Bobby did at least find time to drive out to Assateague in search of some ponies. Elway spoke highly of Eagle's Landing: "It's a heck of a golf course and really tough in the wind we had today."

In Friday's Celebrity-Amateur, played at Net Two Best Balls of Five, the winning quintet included Berlin's Gerald Long (Goober's Restaurant), Don Palmer (Rainbow Florists), farmer Ned Mumford and hotel man Ted Jenkins, with hockey player Darren Veitch. They posted a neat 124 total to score an easy four-stroke victory.

The runner-up five at 128 were Dean Langrall (TCI Cable), Chuck Almond (Fenwick Inn), CPA Dennis Bounds, Mike Nestorack and former CGA champion Rick Rhoden from baseball. In third on a 130 total were Greg Shockley (Shenanigan's), Ocean City G&YC ladies champion Sandy Andersen with son Jon (Viking Golf), Bill Cordial and Cleveland Browns tight end Brian Kinchen. An awards dinner was held at the Princess Royale Hotel on Saturday night.

Late Sunday, four tandems in the better-ball format were tied for the lead, with baseball greats Mike Schmidt and Bench joining that quartet of teams on the strength of Schmidt's eagle on the closing hole. They ended up tied for second at 7-under with another baseball pair, Craig Nettles and Shane Rawley.

The baseball monopoly was ended by Clark Gilles and Pierre Larouche from the National Hockey League, who went to 8-under when Gilles birdied the 17th. They split a check of $20,000.

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The Toyota/B. J.'s Ocean City Challenge Cup has been enlarged to include two Salisbury clubs and a couple from Delaware. In its second year, the season-long tournament of two-man teams in better-ball match play will involve the Bay Club, Eagle's Landing, Nutter's Crossing, Ocean Pines and Rehoboth Country Club, grouped as the Gray Division, and Ocean City Golf & Yacht Club, Cripple Creek, the Beach Club, River Run and Green Hill Yacht & Golf Club, grouped as the Blue Division.

The first- and second-place teams from each division will be in a playoff and the ultimate winners will split $2,750.

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The Ocean Pines Ladies Golf Association -- 9 Holers had a for-fun "Criers" tourney in which the golfers were allowed to change the strokes on their worst two holes to par with no handicaps allowed. In Flight A, the winner was Isabelle Makowski at 45 ahead of Nancy Teucher's 46, and in B it was Ellen Normoyle at 50 over Emma Tompkins and Audrey Teaney tied at 51. Then the OPLGA-9 golfers traveled to Shawnee County Club Milford, Del., for a tournament involving 9-hole groups from 11 other clubs on Delmarva.

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