Propane Golfers Association tourney preview

May 1, 2004 By    

When golfers in the Propane Golfers Association’s 20th annual medal handicap
tournament compete next month at The Westin Innisbrook resort outside Tampa,
Fla., odds are 50-50 the event will produce a new champ.

Or a four-time champion.

Dennis Kendall of Cincinnati, a marketing representative for AmeriGas, returns
to defend his title and shoot for his fourth victory in the competition. Last
summer at the World Golf Village in St. Augustine, Fla., he carded a three-day
total of 217 on the tough King and Bear, Slammer and Squire courses to win by
16 strokes, a record margin of victory.

Also expected to compete in this year’s tournament will be two other three-time
champions: Dave Buker of Calgary, Canada, and Jim Darr of Memphis, Tenn.

Over the 19-year history of the 54-hole medal event, nine different players
have taken home the championship trophy, which is awarded by ECII/RegO Products.
Once again, trophies will be awarded to medal and handicap champs.

Following a practice round on June 16, the field will tee off on the deceivingly
tough Highlands course June 17, the Copperhead course June 18, and the Island
course June 19. The top eight medal and top eight handicap finishers will compete
in a nine-hole Skins Game match on the Island course June 20.

Kendall, who has won two of his championship trophies while playing at Innisbrook,
says he’s looking forward to the challenge of trying for a four-peat.

“If all of the former champions play this year it will be lots of fun
going head-to-head with them.”

As if the competition won’t be tough enough, Kendall suggested, the three
courses at The Westin Innisbrook resort, located 20 miles northwest of the Tampa
International Airport in Tarpon Springs, are enough to test the mettle of any
low handicap or professional golfers.

In the late 1990s, the Copperhead course was the site of the J. C. Penny Classic.
For the past four years, it has hosted the Tampa Bay Classic, one of the last
PGA tour events of the year. The wind-swept 5,950-yard Highlands course, though
appearing to be tame in nature, is considered to be the toughest executive l8-holer
in the United States.

“The Island course is a shot maker’s layout where every hole has a different
look and the subtle greens will drive you up a wall if you hurry your putts.
Even then, rounds without a three- or four-putt are a rarity. Although I have
lost a couple of times there during the final round of the championship, it’s
my favorite.”

The tournament package is $550 and includes entry fee, green fees and a half-cart
for a Wednesday practice round and the three championship rounds, unlimited
use of golf practice ranges, welcome dinner, awards dinner, club storage and
daily transfer, taxes and service charges.

Golfers arriving a few days early will have an opportunity on Monday and Tuesday
(June 14-15) to get their game in shape under pressurized conditions. Prior
to medal-handicap play, a field of 12-16 golfers (two-player teams) will compete
for four different titles in the Corken-Gabe Szekely team tournament sponsored
by Corken, Inc. of Oklahoma City.

Entry fee (a separate item, see ad page 11) for the two-player team tourney
will be $185 per player. The entry fee includes green fees, half-cart, club
storage, unlimited use of practice range and daily cooler. The tournament will
be on the Island and Copperhead courses.

Condominium suites (single or double occupancy) with kitchen, dining, laundry
facility and daily maid service are available for $99 (club suite, 800 sq. ft.),
$109 (one-bedroom suite, 980 sq. ft.) and $198 (two-bedroom suite, 1,400 sq.
ft.) per day. Rates are subject to an 11 percent state/local taxes. A daily
per-person service charge has been waived.

Room reservations must be received at Innisbrook resort (1-800-456-2000, or
727-942-2000, or fax 727 942-5576) by May 31 and guaranteed by credit card or
night deposit. Tournament entries will be accepted until May 31.

For more details, call Zane Chastain, executive director, at 218 723-9275 (voice
mail) or 218 525-6424 (home).

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