Inaugural MGA Senior Series visits for two tourneys

Friday, July 13, 2007

The over-50 set played at Cape Country Club on Thursday and visits Bent Creek today.

The Missouri Golf Association's Senior Series is such a big hit, one wouldn't blame executive director Scott Hovis for taking all the credit.

But Hovis, in his second year as the executive director, said the idea came from the Kansas Golf Association, which has had a senior series for 11 years.

"These guys are loving it," Hovis said Thursday when the series stopped at Cape Girardeau Country Club. "They're wanting more events next year."

The inaugural MGA Senior Series has 12 events and a series championship tournament, which is scheduled for Oct. 2 and 3 at Meadow Lake Acres Country Club near Jefferson City. Each tourney has five age divisions for golfers 50 and over, and the series schedules events on back-to-back days in a 24-hour span. After playing at Cape Country Club on Thursday afternoon for the sixth event on the circuit, the seniors will tee it up this morning at Bent Creek in Jackson.

"This is a good thing for us old farts," said Darrel Huisinga, a Fenton resident who shot a 72 to lead the 50- to 54-year-old men. "This is the best thing the MGA has done for seniors in the five years that I've been a senior golfer. This gives us a chance to compete without all the flat-bellies, and this is a fun group, too."

Following their rounds, several golfers lingered for jokes and golf stories over drinks at the Cape Country Club's 19th hole.

Others, such as David Hohler of Cape Girardeau, exited quickly.

"I had to get to the driving range to work out my issues," said Hohler, 57, who shot an 87 Thursday. "I'm not much for sitting around after. I didn't play well today, and I go to do well."

Hohler, like Huisinga, has played every event on the tour so far. But unlike Huisinga, who could trace his playing days against some in the field back 15 and 25 years, Hohler said he knew just one other player on the senior series, which has exceeded Hovis' expectations by drawing 260 members.

"I've met a lot of people from all over the state," Hohler said. "Some of these guys can play. "

Leading the charge Thursday was Jerry Waitulavich, a Chesterfield resident who shot a 4-under-par 66 to top the 55-59 division.

Points are awarded in each division toward making the field in the year-end championship, and golfers under 65 and over 65 are awarded pro shop prize money based on both gross and handicapped scoring.

Huisinga, playing on Cape Country Club for the first time, was impressed with the course.

First-year Cape Country Club pro Steve Harris hopes to have the seniors back next year.

"It's fun to show your place off," he said," and these guys play golf. That's what's neat about it. They enjoy this golf course because it's a good course for an experienced player. It's short with small greens so you're not always standing on the tee with a driver every hole and you've got to know where to put the ball on the green."

Hohler also enjoyed it because it's close to home after previous stops in Kansas City, Springfield and St. Louis.

"I was joking with the guys that it was such a short trip, I drove to the far end of town and back so I would feel like I was traveling," he said. "It's Bent Creek [today], and I can hardly wait to get there."

Scores

50-54

PlayerGrossNet
Darrel Huisinga, Fenton7268
Mike Dallmeyer, Jefferson City7372
Paul Lane, St. Louis7472
Mike Goff, Huntsville7673
Craig Hardcastle, St. Louis7777
Charles Kidney, St. Louis8078
Tom Nichols, Ballwin8378
Gary Johnson, Jefferson City8572

55-59

PlayerGrossNet
Jerry Waitulavich, Chesterfield6666
Ed Davis, St. Louis7370
Stephen Slaughter, Jefferson City7368
Terry Tessary, Collinsville, Ill.7372
Jim Vastyan, St. Louis7371
Jerry Wall, Springfield7470
Bruce Robert, St. Louis7671
William Womack, Rocheport7669
Larry Zimmerman, Jefferson City7767
Charlie Blackwell, Mountain Grove7875
William Wunderlich, High Ridge7973
Steven Arndt, Sikeston8076
Randy Rahlmann, Poplar Bluff8379
Tom Rainwater, Bloomfield8377
Danny Lansdown, Bucyrus8475
David Samp, Moberly8576
Jim Evans, Nixa8676
Tom Hollis, Bolivar8679
David Hohler, Cape Girardeau8779
John Fogerty, St. Charles9179

60-64

PlayerGrossNet
Ed Ewing, St. Louis7769
Wally Obremski, O'Fallon7773
Rocky Walther, St. Louis7774
Fred Steeg8172
Carl Benbrook, Chesterfield8280
Danny Buckler8375
Steve Duke, Dexter8580
Thomas Gura, St. Louis8575
Ron Glover, Columbia8780
Richard Morris, St. Louis8875
Duran Duggan, Lee's Summit9077

65-69

PlayerGrossNet
Jerry Freeland, St. Louis7471
Henry Hartle, Lebanon7472
Bob Iglehart, Columbia7667
Jerry Kirksey, Bolivar7673
Gene Kemna, Jefferson City8269
Norton Balber, St. Louis8373
Donald Francis, Springfield8376
Gary Mears, Manchester8377
Ned Gregory, Manchester9183
Gary Hovis, Jefferson City9479

70 and older

Grant Scharnhorst, St. Charles7973
Gene Olson, Jefferson City8372
Guy Jones, Columbia9075
Tony Nigro, Jefferson City9881
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