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Ohio Senior Am endures change at the top

By DON HOHLER • Jun 28, 2019 at 6:29 PM

SANDUSKY — There have been several changes, but the Ohio Senior Amateur Hall of Fame Golf Classic continues on.

The longtime tournament manager, Craig Soule, along with tournament coordinator, Lori Smith, have resigned from their respective positions. 

Instead, the Aug. 4-6 tournament at Plum Brook Country Club will be managed by the Dublin-based Ohio Golf Association in conjunction with the Ohio Golf Hall of Fame committee.

The host professional is Eric Morgan, while the new Tournament Director is OGA Executive Director Matt Lefferts. For tournament information, Lefferts can be reached at 614-698-0014. Additional information can be found on the Ohio Golf Association website at ohiogolf.org, or by emailing [email protected]

The tournament dates are August 5-6 with tee times both Monday and Tuesday set for 8:30 a.m. No. 1 and No. 10 will be used on Tuesday. Breakfast for entrants starting at 7:30 a.m. on both days of the tournament are included in the entry, as is a lunch following play.

There will be a Best Ball event on the afternoon of Aug. 4 with a cocktail party and awards ceremony set for 6 p.m. with spouses welcome.

The deadline for tournament entry is 11:59 p.m. on July 26.

The entry fee for the Sunday Best Ball event and the two days of the tournament is $370. The costs is $310 for the tournament only. The fee for the Sunday event only is $85.

There are some changes in format, however. The biggest being the reduction of age divisions in both gross and net to just three, a Senior Division (ages 50-64), a Super Seniors (ages 65-69), and a Super Seniors Plus (ages 70-over),

The overall champion will be determined by the low gross score from any player in the Senior and Super Senior divisions.

Annually, the association recognizes outstanding achievements of Ohioans who play or support the game of golf. This year’s Hall of Fame induction ceremony, one that has taken place annually since the tournament’s inception in 1992, will be held in the Plum Brook Ballroom at 7 p.m. on Aug. 5. Tickets ($55) are required for a spouse or guest accompanying a tournament entry.

This year’s inductees will be Canadian-born Rod Spittle, Savannah-Georgia native Dr. Doug Hanzel, and Dayton-native James C. “Skip” Snow.

Spittle, 63, had a brilliant amateur career in Canada, finishing runners-up in 1973 in the Canadian Junior Championship — and then winning the Canadian Amateur in 1977 and 1978. At the same time, he was starring on the Ohio State team with eventual tour players John Cook and Joey Sindelar. Those three were the backbone of the Buckeye’s three straight (1976-78) Big Ten championship teams.

Spittle turned pro in 2004 and played on the Champions Tour.

In 2010, he made it into the AT&T Championship field as a Monday qualifier. He not only made the cut, but beat Jeff Sluman in a playoff for his first-ever professional title — one that gave him full exemption for 2011.

In 195 starts over his 13-year champion’s tour career, Spittle missed just five cuts and earned over $4 million dollars in prize money. He had 23 top-10 finishes including two runners-ups and as many third-place finishes.

This will be Spittle’s third Hall of Fame entry, the other two both in Canada.

Hanzel is a transplanted Cleveland native. He was a high school state champion (1974) and went on to play at Kent State University, where he captained that squad for two years, both times earning All-Mid-American Conference honors.

After moving to Georgia, he started a march through the golfing ranks in the Peach state, winning the 2004 Georgia Mid-Amateur and the 2006 Georgia Four-Ball titles.

Once he reached Senior status of 50, he really started to fill his trophy case. He won the state’s senior title three times while teaming with Jack Hall to win the state’s Four-Ball the last three years. He has won numerous individual awards including Player of the Year honors in 2012 and 2013.

This will be his fourth Hall of Fame induction ceremony, having made it into the Northern Ohio Golf Association, the Kent State Sports and the Georgia Golf halls of fame earlier this year.

Snow is a legend of Ohio golf. At age 72, he won his 21st Dayton Country Club championship.

Previously, he won the Ohio Golf Association Senior Amateur in 1998 and 2001, and then again in 2009 at age 66. He won the Super Seniors in 2009 and 2011.

Since retiring from his accounting position after 14 years of service to the firm, he has been invited and accepted invitations to play in many prestigious events. That includes the British Amateur twice. He has been an entry in the Plum Brook event for many years, on many occasions playing in the final pairings.

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