Thursday, February 22, 2018
Golf

'Guinness World Records' recognition sought for free golf tournament

LAND O'LAKES — When it came to this year's Justin Inversso Memorial Golf Tournament, Bill Schroder wanted to shake things up.

In an attempt to draw more participants and sponsors, Schroder turned this year's tournament into a free event with a twist: a place in Guinness World Records for largest free golf tournament.

"It was a way to try and get interest in the tournament," Schroder said. "There are all kinds of entries under golf tournament in the Guinness book of world records, but nothing under free golf tournament."

The tournament, staffed by volunteers and sponsored by various local businesses, drew about 250 golfers to six different courses on Saturday. Guinness World Records is considering whether to create a category that recognizes the event, and organizers hope to hear a decision within a few weeks.

"We could have accommodated more players, but I thought it was a success," Schroder said. "We had no idea how it would go, but we were looking to really catch the eye of the businesses around here and have them use it as a promotional tool. Our goal is to raise a lot more money than we have with this so far."

This year's event raised about $8,000 for the Justin Inversso Scholarship fund, in memory of the young Adventure Island lifeguard and Dade City native who was struck by lightning while at work in 2011.

"I think we did all right last year and this was a fun way to do the tournament for this year, but it won't be free again next year," Schroder said. "It was a one-time deal trying to create this Guinness world record. We want to give as much as we can to the charities we work with, so next year we're going to try and work with sponsors to match what we raise."

Participants like Scott Dedmon enjoyed the quality of the golf on a sunny Saturday morning and were pleased to see Schroder bring back the Inversso event after its inaugural iteration last year.

"I think it's a big deal what Bill (Schroder) is doing with this tournament in having the money go to the scholarship fund and helping kids pay for school," Dedmon said. "Naming it the World's Largest Free Golf Tournament certainly grabs your attention, so I hope it continues to grow. You have to love coming out here on a beautiful Saturday like this and playing golf on a course as nice as what they have here at the Groves."

The participating courses were Hernando Oaks Golf and Country Club, the Groves, Silverado, Tampa Bay Golf and Country Club, Sherman Hills and the Abbey at Saint Leo. The winning foursomes from all six courses will compete this weekend in a playoff round at Tampa Bay Golf and Country Club.

The event was a nice way for the golf courses to get involved with local charities, but Pete Sands, head professional at Hernando Oaks, also saw it as a good way to show off the quality of the golf course and attract potential clients.

"These tournaments are always good for us from a marketing perspective to have people out on the course that may not normally play here," Sands said. "Of course we're always open to having charity tournaments on the course so that we can help out by giving them a location as well, but we want to welcome new players to the course whenever we can. Overall, this was a successful event for us here at Hernando Oaks."

Comments

Dustin Johnson, Ted Potter Jr. tied for lead at Pebble Beach National Pro-Am

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. — Dustin Johnson overcame a sloppy back nine in the stiffening breeze by making a 10-foot birdie on the 18th hole at Pebble Beach for 2-under 70 that gave him a share of the lead going into the final round of the Pebble Beach Nat...
Published: 02/10/18
Tiger Woods at the Valspar Championship? Maybe

Tiger Woods at the Valspar Championship? Maybe

PALM HARBOR — Every year at this time, Valspar Championship officials release a list of players committed to the tournament, those likely to commit and those who have not definitively said no. For the first time since it became a PGA Tour event in 20...
Published: 02/08/18
Gary Woodland rallies to win Phoenix Open in playoff

Gary Woodland rallies to win Phoenix Open in playoff

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Gary Woodland was surprised to see infant son Jaxson with wife Gabby late Sunday afternoon at the Phoenix Open. "My wife kind of surprised me with him," Woodland said. "I didn’t think he was going to be there. I thought it would j...
Updated one month ago
Record crowd watches Rickie Fowler take Phoenix Open lead

Record crowd watches Rickie Fowler take Phoenix Open lead

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Rickie Fowler birdied the last three holes in front of the largest crowd in golf history Saturday to take the lead in the Phoenix Open. Fowler shot 4-under 67 to reach 14 under with a round left at TPC Scottsdale’s Stadium Course,...
Updated one month ago
Fowler back in contention in Scottsdale

Fowler back in contention in Scottsdale

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Rickie Fowler took a share of the lead into the weekend in the Phoenix Open. He knows from experience the party is just getting started. "Just keep the gas pedal down," Fowler said. Fowler has had a lot of success at TPC Scottsdal...
Updated one month ago

Bill Haas takes first-round lead at PGA’s Phoenix Open

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Bill Haas’ 9-iron landed to the right of the pin and spun left, settling 3 feet away for birdie on the par-3 16th in the Phoenix Open. "I just tried to play the hole like I would any other hole, even though it’s not like any other...
Updated one month ago
Jason Day wins playoff at Farmers Insurance Open

Jason Day wins playoff at Farmers Insurance Open

SAN DIEGO — Jason Day calmly sank an 18-inch birdie putt at 8:17 a.m. Monday in front of empty grandstands on No. 18 at Torrey Pines for his first PGA Tour win in 20 months. There were no roars, just cheers from Day’s family and a handful of mates. I...
Updated one month ago

Seminole’s Brittany Lincicome defends title at Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic

PARADISE ISLAND, Bahamas — Brittany Lincicome beat darkness — with help from floodlights Sunday on the Ocean Club’s 18th green — to win the Bahamas LPGA Classic for the second straight year. The Seminole resident birdied the final two holes and four ...
Updated one month ago

Nine-time European champion Alex Noren takes lead at Farmers Insurance Open

SAN DIEGO — A nine-time winner on the European Tour, Alex Noren of Sweden gave himself a chance to make his mark in America with 3-under 69 Saturday for a one-shot lead going into the final round of the Farmers Insurance Open. Noren finished strong, ...
Updated one month ago
Ryan Palmer leads Farmers Insurance Open; Tiger Woods barely makes cut

Ryan Palmer leads Farmers Insurance Open; Tiger Woods barely makes cut

SAN DIEGO — Ryan Palmer is the 36-hole leader in the Farmers Insurance Open. Jon Rahm is right behind, poised to reach No. 1 in the world. And for the first time in 29 months, a PGA Tour event will feature Tiger Woods on the weekend. Palmer finished ...
Updated one month ago