Senior Classic ringing success

July 09, 1998|By John W. Stewart

The visible signs of the inaugural State Farm Senior Classic are gone, for the most part, but the enjoyment generated by the recent Senior PGA Tour event is a pleasant memory, especially for the tournament officials.

The three-day championship, as well as the assorted programs during the week, attracted an estimated 90,000 to 100,000 spectators to Hobbit's Glen Golf Club in Columbia.

Tournament officials say it will take some time before they know how much money will be distributed to the event's charities, mainly the Maryland Special Olympics.

"To us, what matters are the fans, and they were terrific," tournament executive director John Mathews said yesterday. "The crowds, the volunteers, the players -- we're just extremely satisfied."

The players were equally excited, and several said they could not believe this was a first-year event. Additionally, the players were profuse in their praise for the layout of the golf course and its condition.

"We're pleased it shook out, and we're excited about next year," said Mathews. "It will get better and better."

Chi Chi Rodriguez made last week special for at least one terminally ill cancer patient at Howard County General Hospital. Alerted to the situation, Rodriguez called the hospital and spoke with the patient, boosting spirits and carrying on a conversation for 10 to 15 minutes.

Pub Date: 7/09/98

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