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Brian Richey (-6) Leads NGA Tour Event at Savannah Lakes

In Uncategorized on May 1, 2014 by lakelandsmemories

By Greg Deal
Shorelines Editor & Publisher

MCCORMICK, S.C. – Brian Richey has put up some low scores this year and come close to winning a couple of tournaments, finishing in third place twice.

ImageThe NGA Tour player went low again Thursday, posting a 6-under-par 66 in a bogey-free first round to take sole possession of the lead at the Savannah Lakes Village Classic in McCormick, S.C.

Richey knows he has plenty of work ahead and plans to stay grounded.

“This is a long tournament,” said Richey, a Florida Southern University graduate and Lakeland, Fla., native. “I got off to a solid start, but I’ve got to play three more rounds.”

The Classic is being played Thursday through Sunday on the beautiful lakeside Monticello course in Savannah Lakes Village, which borders South Carolina and Georgia. The tournament is affectionately known as “the Masters of the NGA Tour.” It consistently rates atop the player favorites.

Richey, who holds a one-stroke lead over a trio of golfers who are at 5 under, had 33s on the front and back nines. He started his day on the back nine and got off to a blistering beginning, birdying the par-4 10th and the par-5 11th. He also birdied the par-4 13th. He birdied holes 3, 5 and 8 on the front nine.

“The golf course is in great shape,” Richey said. “The ball is running well in the fairways. There are plenty of birdies to be made.”

Richey has been inconsistent, at times, in opening rounds, generally starting slow and finishing strong. This time he decided to see how things looked from the front. The 66 is his second-lowest round of the season. He had a 65 in the first round at Sapelo Hammock.

Richey will have plenty of competition, as Tyson Alexander (University of Florida) winner of the event at Ocala, is among a trio of golfers at 5 under. Alexander, of Gainesville, Fla., is currently third in the NGA Tour money list standings. Also at 5 under are J.C. Horne (University of North Florida/Jacksonville, Fla.) and Daniel Obremski, of Irwin, Pa. This is an especially good start for Obremski, who has failed to make the cut in all but one event this season.

Five players are tied at 4 under. In all, 16 players are within four shots of the lead heading into Friday’s second round.

Friday tee times start at 7:30 a.m. at the first and 10th tees.

For full scores and a look at the leaderboard, visit NGATour.com

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SLV Classic ProAm

In Uncategorized on May 1, 2014 by lakelandsmemories

From Barb Shelley and Jim Staggs

Jim Staggs and I want to thank the over fifty volunteers who helped us to make this year’s Lakelands Orthopaedic ProAm Clinic the best ever! It absolutely amazed us that the winds were hallowing, the rain was pouring and yet every single volunteer was there. Special thanks to those men who were there from eight in the morning to eight at night doing every job imaginable and then asking what else you could do!! I could not believe it when I pulled up and there you were! We had more outside teams this year and they commented on the friendliness of our residents!

Thank you also to our staff. We particularly have to thank Bob McIntosh for his patience. This year was particularly difficult with the weather predictions. At one point, the weather looked so bleak we decided to move the putting contest into the ProShop. Before you knew it, Bob had cleared the ProShop and was taping off the floor. Thank you to Bob and Ginnie Timok for doing a professional job with smiles!

SYSCO was our food sponsor and provided the box lunches (with home made cookies!) and the best ProAm dinner yet! Everyone was raving about the mushroom sauce on the pork medallions but I have to tell you that spicy mango sauce on the grilled chicken breasts was to die for! Thank you to Chef Tricia Benning for her creativity and skills. Thank you also to Justin Maynard and his staff for their hard work and courteous service! I did not hear anything but raves all around!

Once the “bag boys” got the clubs on the cars, and the smiling girls at registration greeted everyone, the day started with the Lee Builders’ Putting Contest. John Stoddard ran the event and I have to tell you, up until the minute it started, he was literally running between the ProShop and the putting green, trying to figure out Mother Nature’s plan for the day! In the end, he opted for the putting green and it worked perfectly! Clay Antonakus and Carrie Phillips of Lee Builders, presented $250 to Ray Tarnosky, the winner of the 2014 Putting Contest!

Oh, did I mention that in the middle of all this confusion, we lost power in the ProShop? It would have been a “challenging” putt in the ProShop to say the least!

Bob gave the instructions and we were on the way by one o’clock, as planned. The “Beer Babes” came around all day with beer, soda and water, which was nice feature! Thanks to those who let us store supplies at their houses so our ladies did not have to go back to the ProShop. Thanks to our photography crew, every participant got a picture of their team! One of the Pros posted theirs on their website! When we got to the Par Threes, there were two more friendly volunteers witnessing for the Hole-in-One and Closest-to-the-Pin contests. No one won the $10,000 sponsored by David A. Crotts & Associates !

The Godbys came up four hours early at the last minute to set up the raffle table in case of rain, and they were still there when we got done golfing, helping THOSE WHO WON find their gifts. ( The reason for the capitals is that for twelve years of buying raffle tickets, I have never won a single prize.. and this year was no exception!)

After dinner, Bob presented the following prizes.

First Place Team ($100 each) From Augusta Linen.. Randy Tucker, Brett Pritchard, Logan Tucker, Harrison Mohr. Their pro was Wesley Graham.Randy is the man who brings us our tent each year. Many went out to watch them and it was reported they all can all hit over 280 yards. Heard some amazing stories, they came in at twenty under with a 52!

There were two teams not far behind with 55. Bob reported that the scores of these two teams were so close that he had to go to the last hole to break the tie!

The second place team, which each got $75 each, were PJ Poore (Hole-in-One Sponsor), James Poore, Chris Clem, Lowery Wilson and the Pro was Sam Ryder. PJ let us know that this was the second year in a row with the second place, so Randy better watch out next year!

The third place winner (playoff on the card), also with a 55, was the McCormick County Team consisting of Byron Thompson, George Patrick, Pete Shumway and Joe Todd. Their pro was Jarrod Barsamian. They all received $50.

The Closest-to-the-Pin results were:
Dr. Christian won a four- man guided fishing trip by Capt Mark Crawford (6′ 6″ on hole four)
PJ Poore won a SLVC Wilson Carry Bag sponsored by SLV (15’5″ on hole eight)
Harrison Mohr won a SLVC Wilson Carry Bag sponsored by Better Homes and Gardens (5’7″ on hole twelve)
Ross Trulock won a SLVC Wilson Carry Bag sponsored by SLV (30’12” on hole sixteen)

Jim and I need to also thank John Franklin for his support. We “forgot” we needed more tee markers and John cut and painted them for us at the last minute! He came to both of us on numerous occasions to see if we needed anything . The course showed the work he and his crew had done to prepare. By the way, John and his crew were out there with lights on their machinery late last night getting ready for today as soon as we finished yesterday. We are lucky to have such a dedicated crew at Monticello!

It was an incredible day yesterday, thanks to so many of you, we appreciate the support of our committee, our staff and our volunteers!

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Self Regional Recognized for Patient Safety Excellence

In Uncategorized on April 30, 2014 by lakelandsmemories

The South Carolina Hospital Association (SCHA) today announced that Self Regional Healthcare is a recipient of the South Carolina “Certified Zero Harm Award,” to recognize excellent performance in patient safety.

Certified Zero Harm Awards are given when a hospital records no preventable hospital-acquired infections of a specific nature during a certain period of time. The data is then independently verified by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC). The awards are presented at statewide SCHA meetings twice each year. 

Self Regional was recognized for achieving no surgical site infections for the health system’s hip replacement surgeries over a 12-month period. The South Carolina Hospital Association presented the award to Nancy Lumley, Infection Prevention Coordinator for Self Regional Healthcare.

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Infection Prevention Coordinator Nancy Lumley from Self Regional Healthcare is presented a Zero Harm Award from the South Carolina Hospital Association’s Dr. Rick Foster at a recent meeting in Columbia.

“We have worked diligently as a team to create a culture of safety at Self Regional, and have implemented the Safe Surgery checklist before any procedure is done,” said Lumley. “From 2012 to 2013, our efforts have really paid off—we were able to cut our infection rate in half.”

The award is part of the association’s efforts to guide and support the state’s hospitals in creating and sustaining highly reliable health care – meaning patient care that is dependable, high quality and safe over a long period of time, similar to the consistent results achieved by other high-consequence industries such as aviation and nuclear power.

“We feel that publicly celebrating hospitals that have reached the milestone of zero infections within a given time frame is a crucial part of our collective journey to highly reliable health care,” said Rick Foster, MD, senior vice president for Quality and Patient Safety, South Carolina Hospital Association.

For more information on the SCHA Certified Zero Harm Award please contact Rick Foster, MD, senior vice president for quality and patient safety, South Carolina Hospital Association, at 803.744.3538 or rfoster@scha.org. For media inquiries please contact Amanda Brasier at (864) 725-4218.

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Abbeville Area Medical Center Recognized for Patient Safety Record

In Uncategorized on April 21, 2014 by lakelandsmemories

Abbeville Area Medical Center has received the South Carolina “Certified Zero Harm Award,” which recognizes excellent performance in patient safety. 

The award is given when a hospital records no preventable hospital-acquired infections of a specific nature during a certain period of time. The data is then independently verified by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC). The awards are presented at statewide South Carolina Hospital Association meetings twice each year.  

AAMC was one of only two hospitals that received three Zero Harm awards and the only hospital to receive three awards spanning an 18-month time period.  

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Rich Osmus, AAMC CEO and Mary Margaret Jackson, AAMC Chief Quality and Risk Officer, display the three Certified Zero Harm Awards presented by the South Carolina Hospital Association for excellence in patient safety and infection prevention.

The hospital has had no preventable bloodstream infections in the ICU, no surgical site infections of the knee and no surgical site infections of the hip, all for an 18-month period.

“We know that hospital acquired infections are a serious concern for our patients,” stated Rich Osmus, AAMC CEO.  “Our staff works very hard to keep a clean, infection-free environment to ensure that we have a safe place for our patients to come to receive their healthcare.”

The award is part of the association’s efforts to guide and support the state’s hospitals in creating and sustaining highly reliable health care – meaning patient care that is dependable, high quality and safe over a long period of time, similar to the consistent results achieved by other high-consequence industries such as aviation and nuclear power.

“We feel that publicly celebrating hospitals that have reached the milestone of zero infections within a given time frame is a crucial part of our collective journey to highly reliable health care,” said Rick Foster, MD, senior vice president for Quality and Patient Safety, South Carolina Hospital Association

“Zero patient harm can be accomplished only through purposeful, ongoing collaborative work among physicians, clinical and support staff. The AAMC team has effectively demonstrated their strong shared commitment to patient safety.”

“We are very proud of AAMC’s exemplary performance in quality improvement”, said Thornton Kirby, president and CEO, South Carolina Hospital Association. “We hope their success will serve as an inspiration to all South Carolina hospitals striving to provide measurably safer care for every patient, every time.”

For more information on the SCHA Certified Zero Harm Award please contact Rick Foster, MD, senior vice president for quality and patient safety, South Carolina Hospital Association, at 803.744.3538 or rfoster@scha.org. For media inquiries please contact Meg Davis at (864) 366-3364.

 

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S.C. Hospitals Create Initiant Healthcare Collaborative to Reduce Costs

In Uncategorized on April 12, 2014 by lakelandsmemories

The boards of five of South Carolina’s largest health systems have approved the formation of a healthcare collaborative to drive down healthcare costs.

ImageThe founding members of Initiant Healthcare Collaborative include: Self Regional Healthcare, (Greenwood); Greenville Health System (Greenville); McLeod Health (Florence); MUSC Health (Charleston); and Palmetto Health (Columbia).

CEOs of these leading healthcare systems wanted to find ways to create synergies among the organizations while remaining independent. Legislation and payment reform introduced in the Affordable Care Act have created an environment that begins to compensate hospitals and physicians for the value of the services provided rather than solely on the traditional fee-for-service model. This shift has accelerated efforts to reduce costs; explore new ways to optimize access to health services; and to enhance health and wellness in the communities we serve.

“When health systems collaborate in areas that save patients and businesses money, and continue to improve and focus on areas of safety and quality, everyone benefits,” said Jim Pfeiffer, President and CEO of Self Regional Healthcare.
Several hospital systems around the country have created similar collaboratives, including BJC in Missouri, Stratus in Georgia, and the Iowa Healthcare Consortium in Des Moines.
Initiant Health Collaborative is a limited liability company owned by the founding members. Other hospitals can be added to the collaborative over time. These health systems can work together for common goals, yet remain independent, and will continue to serve patients in their respective communities. Working together allows for economies of scale in areas including the following:
— Purchasing of equipment, supplies, and services — Sharing health system administrative and clinical support functions — Accessing critical competencies not currently available or affordable to a single member

“This collaboration will provide the scope and scale to make a significant positive impact on healthcare across the state, while allowing each hospital to maintain autonomy and service in their local communities,” Pfeiffer said.

 

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Self Regional Healthcare Foundation Women’s Health Classic Announces Charitable Recipients

In Uncategorized on April 4, 2014 by lakelandsmemories

Organizers of the state’s only LPGA qualifying tournament are announcing the charitable recipients of the fundraising event to support women’s health and other community initiatives to benefit women and families in the Lakelands region of South Carolina.

Charitable funds are expected to total $200,000, making the Self Regional Healthcare Women’s Health Classic the largest charitable contribution of all of the 20 Symetra – Road to the LPGA tournaments in the U.S.

The primary beneficiary of the tournament is the Self Regional Healthcare Foundation, which will use funds to support Self Regional Healthcare’s services for women and outreach programs for women in the community. Chip Stockman, chairman of the Self Regional Foundation board, said, “These funds will help the women in our area improve their health, and we know that most women serve as the healthcare managers for their families. That benefits everyone.”

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Symetra Tour players Stefanie Kenoyer (left) and JayeMarie Green (right) visit with local students (from left) Shamiya Moraieune, Katie Kellum, Summer Karle, Jennings Brasier, Dru Strickland, Clary Pederson and Collins Strickland featuring the Self Regional Health Express. The Self Regional Healthcare Foundation Women’s Health Classic will benefit women’s health initiatives in the Lakelands, including support for the Health Express, which offers health outreach, including screenings and education.

In addition to Self Regional, Piedmont Technical College Foundation, which serves students in all seven Lakelands counties, will receive major funding from the tournament designated for women’s scholarships.

Local non-profit The Greenwood County Community Foundation (GCCF) will allocate the charitable funds generated by the tournament.

President and CEO of GCCF Mark Kasper, said, “We are honored to receive the tournament’s charitable distributions for the Lakelands.  In addition to the two tournament beneficiaries and an endowment to the GCCF for women’s causes, we have diligently selected eight organizations which serve the needs of women and families from surrounding counties to receive a portion of the proceeds.” More on the upcoming Symetra Tour event: http://www.stoneypointclassic.com/

Additional recipients of tournament proceeds include the following organizations in the counties noted:

Multi-county service area:

MEG’s Househttp://megshouse.org/ provides safe emergency shelter and supportive services for victims of domestic violence, including emergency shelter, assistance with relocation and transitional housing, information and referrals, court advocacy, support groups, and educational services. MEG’s House serves McCormick, Edgefield, and Greenwood counties.

Greenwood County:

A Place for Us Ministries http://aplaceforus.com/exists to minister to the physical, spiritual, and emotional needs of birthmothers and fathers facing crisis pregnancies. The organization provides physical care in the form of a home for birthmothers and practical training related to homemaking and parenthood.

Beyond Abusehttp://beyondabuse.info/ leads the community beyond sexual violence and child abuse through awareness, advocacy, and action. The organization helps prevent sexual violence and child abuse by building awareness about the social and personal costs, risks and effects of interpersonal violence.

Edgefield County:

Women In Unityhttp://www.womeninunity.org/creates positive change in the lives of disadvantaged children and families in the Edgefield area to significantly improve success in school, in the workplace and in homes.

Laurens County:

SAFE HOME http://thesafehome.org/provides 24-hour services for victims of domestic violence. Their mission is to provide a safe place for battered women to find comfort, peace, acceptance, and support while they are rebuilding shattered lives.

McCormick County:

McCormick Children’s Home, Inc., provides emergency residential care for abused, neglected, or abandoned children. Children may range from birth to seventeen years of age.

Newberry County:

Sexual Trauma Services of the Midlands http://www.stsm.org/provides crisis intervention, advocacy, and support services to female and male child, adolescent, and adult survivors of sexual assault and abuse.

Saluda County:

MK Inc., http://www.mamakidsinc.com/provides service to communities through community development initiatives such as after school programs, parent literacy, economic empowerment, teen pregnancy prevention, and character development.

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In Uncategorized on March 27, 2014 by lakelandsmemories

NGA_& Masters_Preview_2014 (abridged edition)

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Brothers’ Cup 2014 about Golf, Fellowship & Charity

In Uncategorized on March 26, 2014 by lakelandsmemories

Brothers’ Cup 2014 welcomed 32 men over five days for golf competition, fellowship and fund-raising. 

ImageMen from Illinois, Alabama, North Carolina and South Carolina joined this year’s competition in Savannah Lakes Village on the shores of Lake Thurmond. The event featured NGA Tour Pro Justin Regier. Participants competed in a 54-hole round Ryder Cup-style format. Justin also provided contestants with a Par 3 “beat the pro” competition, and joined the men on the range for some pre-round swing tips.

The event raised nearly $2,000 for the designated charity, Food For Friends, and also made a contribution to local golf course beautification efforts.  

The theme of the 2014 event was “The One Thing.” Men competing in the event were asked to think of one thing in their life that they would like to see changed. During the closing dinner, several competitors shared meaningful dialogue with the group regarding their “one thing.”

Planning is already underway for Brothers’ Cup 2015 and the interim reunion/introduction event.  

Brothers’ Cup is continually seeking to grow and is open to all men that might be interested in joining. See Brothers-Cup.com for event details, periodic updates, and contact information for any questions you might have about getting involved.

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A Golf Lesson Learned: Even the Worst Has Something to Offer

In Uncategorized on March 25, 2014 by lakelandsmemories

Besides a few hacks at the Par 3 West in Greenwood, I haven’t taken any real golf swings since lumbar spinal fusion in 2009 and then meniscus surgery in 2012. Excuse 1: Can you imagine what back and knee surgery do to a golf swing? Anyway, I’ll have more excuses later.

Plus, I spent Monday at home sick. Excuse 2.

So, I didn’t think I’d be playing in this year’s Media Day Golf Tournament, sponsored by Savannah Lakes Village, in association with the upcoming NGA Tour event here in the village.

duffer

But, late Monday night, I asked my wife, Shea, to check my golf bag for balls. Yep. They were there. Tees. Yep. Markers. Yep. All clubs. Yep. Darn!

Then it was raining when I left Greenwood Tuesday morning. He-he. (Excuse 3?) I wouldn’t have to go out and show off my rusty swing, after all. Thank goodness.

But wait …

As I crossed over from Greenwood County into McCormick County, the skies parted and the rain stopped. What? You have to be kidding me?

I stopped on the side of the road and emailed SLV Classic communications contact Phil Kinzer. “Is the course playable?” I asked, hoping for an answer that would keep me off the course – which, for SLV residents, likely meant fewer divots. (Excuse 4?)

Phil: “It’s playable. Cart paths only.” Ah. Denied again. You mean I really have to go through with this? (Not that playing such an awesome course as Monticello is bad; but ME playing such an awesome course as Monticello IS bad). Then I remembered the one thing I forgot to ask my wife: “Did you check for my golf shoes?”

Was this my “out clause?” (Excuse 5). I rolled into the Monticello Course ready to cover the media event and then skip the golf, but then I had second thoughts. You see, my conscience got the better of me. Kathy Godby, who writes the golf committee article each month for Shorelines Magazine, had just penned an article for the upcoming April 1 issue about the golf shoes in the golf shop.

Well, guess what I did? Yep. Bought me a shiny new pair of FootJoys. I had no more excuses to keep me off the course. And, well, the golf shoes were very nice.

I was teamed with villagers Paul Aube and AJ Piwowarski (thank goodness, because I thought it would be all media. You see, those who can’t play golf … well, we write about golf). Andrew Macke, a sportswriter with The Index-Journal, where I worked for 10 years (1996-2006), was also on our team. I thought, “Well, at least another hacker will be with me.” Yeah, right. The guy who “just started playing” was way better than me. Things were looking bad. I was going to be the fourth wheel. You know, the guy out there smacking around balls for no good reason.

I made my typical on-course excuses: The ground is wet (I can’t hit fairway shots when the ground is wet), I haven’t played in forever, I’m just a duffer, yadda, yadda.

Too bad there wasn’t a gallery. When I played in a club tournament in Greenwood in the late-1990s (when I used to play daily), I coughed up the “I don’t play well with people watching” excuse. Funny thing? My first three tee shots with a driver went out of bounds, each by less than a foot, and some guy about 10 carts back yelled, “Hey, buddy, just pull out a 4-iron and punch it up the middle.” How embarrassing. I made a 12 on the par-5 first hole – the easiest hole on the course. I birdied the par-3 second. Go figure.

Yes, golf is a game of fun, no matter how good or bad you play; however, my uncle played in the U.S. and Senior Opens, and he tried to teach me the game, so I feel pretty bad that I’m 44 years old and couldn’t shoot a 44 on one side on my best day.

It’s golf, though. Paul reminded me to think about the positive and forget the negative. He had an acronym for it, but I can’t remember it right now. The idea wasn’t lost on me, though. What can I do to help this team? C’mon, something? Anything!

Paul and AJ clearly play well. I’d expect nothing less from those who live here. Andrew was a surprise. He used to be a hockey player, and, as I was informed by NGA player Justin Reiger just a few days ago, hockey players make great golfers. Justin was a hockey player until he switched to golf at age 16. Andrew clearly has a future on the less-than-duffer side of golf with his pretty swing.

At least I knew where I stood. In this scramble, I’d be the one whose ball would get picked up every time over the 9-hole event. You kind of have to accept your role.

Or maybe not.

AJ’s long drives put us in great position on just about every hole. When he didn’t, either Paul’s or Andrew’s shots did. Then my little miracle happened: I started making putts. Three birdie putts, to be exact. I felt like I was actually making a contribution to my team.

I have to give Andrew a lot of credit. He putted each time before me, and I watched his line and speed like a hawk. Andrew would miss by a hair. I would make minor adjustments and, well, I’d sink the ball in the hole. Teamwork!

greg

I got high-fives, and a few compliments that I REALLY needed. Still, I had not once hit a tee or fairway shot that was the best ball. That was until the highest-rated hole on the course. AJ nailed a brilliant tee shot in a good landing within 100 or so yards of the hole. AJ told me to go long, hit the bank, and let it role down to the hole on the second shot over the water. Guess what? I did it. I had the best ball on that shot, and went on to make the birdie putt. For one hole, I felt like I was just a tad bit more than the “putting dude.”

That’s how golf is: You can go from feeling really bad about the game to feeling pretty darn good about it. That’s why even the worst of us can have a good time.

We ended up finishing second (by one stroke).

Phil jokingly (I think) tossed away several of the scorecards – including ours – because no one signed the scorecards. C’mon, Phil, we know the rules. It’s Media Day. What can you expect, my friend? The media are used to bylines on stories, not signing scorecards. Well, if he wasn’t serious, we finished second. I’m making myself believe he wasn’t serious.

What I thought would be a stressful, embarrassing and soggy day on the golf course turned out to be one of new friendships and plenty of good feelings. I was grateful to be teamed with these fellas, and I learned a lot about how even the worst golfer in a Scramble foursome can make some decent contributions.

Besides Paul and AJ asking me if I wanted a coat every five minutes – I guess they are now part of the masses who know you’ll never see me in a coat – things went about as well as I could have expected. Just kidding, Paul and AJ. I appreciate the coat offer, but I was sweating by the second hole. I’d play in my underwear, but, according to golf committee rules, that’s not proper attire. I guess I can understand that.

Now, we won’t talk about all those fat fairway shots I had that went 20 yards. Let’s just say AJ had to keep the sand container handy to fill in my Grand Canyon-sized divots. Don’t worry. The groundhog from Caddyshack did not pay a visit to Monticello this morning.

Thanks to Savannah Lakes Village for a great time. Sorry, August Luedecke, that I couldn’t accept the on-course beer refreshments, but I had to come back to work. I don’t think the Shorelines’ owners would have appreciated me being tipsy while working.

Maybe I should have taken up that offer to play nine more holes. Hmm.

One thing I will say: It’s a great thing to work where “work” often involves playing golf. Maybe SLV should have a few more Media Days, just for the heckuva it. Maybe my game would improve.

Good luck to all involved in the upcoming tournament. As always, SLV does everything first class.

 

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Savannah Lakes ‘Like Second Home’ to NGA Tour

In Uncategorized on March 25, 2014 by lakelandsmemories Tagged: , , ,

The vice president of operations for the NGA Tour calls Savannah Lakes Village “like a second home.”

“It’s like the NGA of the West,” said Waters, whose pro golf development tour is headquartered in Myrtle Beach. “It would be great if we could play all 18 events (on the tour) here.”

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Ryan Waters

Waters and the local SLV Classic golf committee are preparing for this year’s SLV event, which is April 29-May 4. Tournament play is May 1-4 at the Monticello Golf Course.

“Monticello and Savannah Lakes are always dear to me,” said Waters, who played in a Pro-Am with his brother here in SLV 12 years ago. Waters has been with the tour since 2002 and has been VP of operations and NGA media director since 2012.

Tuesday was media day, where NGA officials and local tournament committee members staged an official event to announce the 12th annual tournament.

 

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Phil Kinzer

Phil Kinzer, who handles SLV Classic communications, says the fans are who make this tournament special. “It’s a great venue for aspiring golfers, and it helps us showcase an area we are all proud of.”

Kirk Smith, CEO and general manager of SLV, thanked committee members for their current and past successes with the tournament. He reminded everyone in attendance that NGA members consider this event the “Masters of the NGA Tour.” NGA Tour players consistently vote the SLV Classic as their favorite stop on the tour.

“This is not just a golf tournament,” Smith said. “It’s a community event.”

Smith announced that the tournament would be giving back to the community through a couple of projects. One includes signage and a landscape project at U.S. 378 and S.C. 7 (near The Village Store). The second phase includes a landscaping plan that will include signage that says “Home of the SLV Classic.”

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Kirk Smith

Smith also showed a 30-second commercial about the tournament that will appear on the SLV website and on News Channel 12.

NGA Tournament Director Terry Johnson has played in PGA Tournament events, has been a golf director, a club pro for 18 years and has seen many sides of the golf business.

“It’s a pleasure to be back in Savannah Lakes,” Johnson said. “Every time I come here I feel part of the family.” He said everything here just “clicks.”

He thanked the first responders, the sponsors and the community. “The way ya’ll get behind this event is amazing,” Johnson said.

 

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Terry Johnson

 

August Luedecke in his final year as tournament chairman. He said he’s so proud how the community rallies around this event. “More people pull together than any time during the year.”

August said it’s been a labor of love for him, and that he’s never seen such hard-working people.

Floyd Thomas will assume the role as tournament director next year.

The NGA Tour (formerly known as the Hooters Pro Golf Tour) is the No. 1 men’s professional golf developmental tour in the United States. Unlike the PGA Tour and Web.com Tour, for which funds are provided by sponsors, the bulk of the NGA prize money is paid out of player entry fees. This year, player practice rounds are Monday, April 28 – Wednesday, April 30. There’s also a Junior Clinic on the 28th for local students, and a fishing contest for NGA Players. On the 29th, there’s a qualifier event, shootout and volunteer dinner. On the 30th, there’s a putting contest and Pro-Am.

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August Luedecke

Tournament play begins each day (May 1-4) at 7:30 a.m.

Former NGA Tour players who have gone on to win major championships at golf’s highest level include: Bubba Watson (Masters), Keegan Bradley (PGA Championship), Stewart Cink (British Open), Lucas Glover (U.S. Open), Ben Curtis (British Open), John Daly (PGA, British Open), Jim Furyk (U.S. Open), Lee Janzen (two U.S. Opens), Tom Lehman (British Open), Shaun Micheel (PGA), David Toms (PGA), and Zach Johnson (Masters).

Twenty-one other NGA Tour alums have won at least one event on the PGA Tour.

http://www.NGATour.com for more information on the tour.

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