Heavy rains that lashed the North Suncoast this past weekend came at an especially bad time for Seven Rivers Golf and Country Club in Crystal River, where the 23rd annual Lollypop Invitational begins today.
The course was unplayable Monday and the normal practice round leading into the longest-running amateur women's tournament in the area was canceled.
"Holes 13, 16, 17 and 18 have water where they've never had water before, and the retention pond between 10 and 18 has spilled over its banks," Seven Rivers head pro Ross Kuntz said Monday. "The only time I can recall us having anything like this was Labor Day in 1988 when we had 22 inches of rain in less than 24 hours."
Kuntz said 14 inches of precipitation fell Saturday and Sunday. When eight members of the club's board of directors, the tournament board of directors and the club superintendent toured the course Sunday afternoon, it was apparent some changes would have to be made for the Lollypop.
Those changes likely will include the shortening of four holes as follows: 334-yard, par-4 No. 10 reduced about 100 yards into a par-3; 434-yard, par-5 No. 13 reduced about 200 yards into a par-4; 345-yard, par-4 No. 16 reduced to about 120 yards and par-3, and 308-yard, par-4 No. 18 reduced to about 100 yards and par-3.
In addition, the 9 a.m. shotgun start today will be moved back to 11 a.m. The final round Wednesday should begin at 9 a.m.
Glen Lakes' Shirley Henry is the pre-tournament favorite. She finished ninth with a 175 score last year, but plays to a 3-handicap.
The championship flight also includes Seville's Barbara Ragan, Silver Springs Shores' Judi Meador, Gainesville's Dee Dee Roberts and Brandon's Carlene Carlin. Other golfers with single-digit handicaps are Tarpon Springs' Peggy Ephraim, Leesburg's Nancy Brown and Brandon's Molly Mahoney.
Meador won the Lollypop Invitational in 1990 and tied for second with Roberts at 163 last year. Crystal River's Marge Hopkins, the 1991 champ with a 159 total, will miss the event as she continues to recover from an arm injury.
Luau tournament attracts 60 golfers: About $3,500 was raised for youth education programs in Hernando County as a result of the Rotary Club of Spring Hill's Hawaiian Golf Classic held Sept. 26 at Glen Lakes, according to tournament chairman Ed Franklin.
There were 60 golfers at the four-person scramble, and 120 people attended the luau dinner that followed.
"The winners got trophies and gift certificates for $300 ($75 per golfer), second place was worth $200 ($50 per golfer) and third place received $100 ($25 per player)," Franklin said. "The last-place team, which will go unnamed, received free golf lessons (one per player) from (Glen Lakes pro) Craig Carman."
David Craighead, Ralph Glover, Gary Glover and Vince Oliva were tournament winners with a net score of 51. Dale Lindhorst, Becky Lindhorst, Terry McAdams and Kevin Coogan took second with a net 53. The show team with 54 was Harry Henwood, Rob Henwood, Emory Alexsuk and Richard Lavigne.
Benefit set at Plantation: Sjogren's Syndrome is a disease that attacks the body's fluids, beginning with the eyes and spreading to the sweat glands. If untreated, blindness will occur, then death.
Those two sentences near the top of a flyer found in pro shops at courses in Citrus and Hernando counties tend to make a person stop and think about vision, one of the five senses normally taken for granted.
The flyer goes on to say the disease is recognized and treatable in Europe, but not in the United States.
Area residents can help raise the level of awareness here by competing this Saturday in the 1992 Sjogren's Syndrome Golf Classic at Plantation in Crystal River. The tournament is a four-person handicapped scramble with shotgun start at 8:30 a.m. and an entry fee of $40 per player.
"There are 100,000 people in the world that have Sjogren's Syndrome out of billions," tournament director John Hartong said. "There's a treatment for it, but not a cure.
"All proceeds from the tournament will go to two doctors from Europe to come over and lecture on the disease itself and the treatment. We'll try to get them either to New York City or Gainesville."
Golfers may arrange their own foursomes. All participants should arrive at Plantation by 8 a.m. Saturday.
Gift certificates will be awarded to the top four teams as follows: $400 for first place, $300 for second , $200 for third and $100 for fourth.
A Beat-the-Pro putting contest ($1 donation) will be held on the main putting green after the tournament. There also will be a barbecue after play concludes.
Golfers may sign up in the Plantation pro shop (795-7211) or contact Hartong at 795-6168 for more information.
Rotary tournament: The Brooksville Rotary Club will have its annual golf tournament Oct. 21 at Brooksville Golf and Country Club, but entries must be submitted by this Saturday.
Golfers may enter singly or in groups of two, three or four until a field of 100 is filled out. A full field means first place would be worth $300, second $200, and third $100 in gift certificates.
A shotgun start at 1:30 p.m. is planned for this scramble event, and all teams will be handicapped. There will be closest-to-the-pin and longest-drive contests, plus a donation raffle for a set of Ping irons.
The $45-per-golfer entry fee includes dinner. Money raised goes toward local charities that benefit from the work of the Brooksville Rotary Club.
Also, a custom-made set of Ping irons, valued at $720, will be raffled following the tourney. Proceeds benefit community charities. Tickets costing $1 can be purchased from any Brooksville rotarian. For more information, call 799-2265. Entry blanks may be picked up at Brooksville Golf Club and other area courses and mailed or delivered to Jerry Sheffield at Hernando County Bank.
Midstate special: Time runs out Oct. 15 for golfers to get in on the special offered by the Midstate Golf Association.
Players may join for a $25 membership fee that permits them to play the balance of the 1992 season and all of the 1993 season (April '93-Jan. '94). A bag tag and computerized handicap will be included once golfers have played in enough tournaments to establish one.
The entry fee for each event is $25, with golf, cart and prizes included.
Call association director Bob Ahern at (904) 382-3980 for more information or to sign up. Evenings are the best time to call.
Rainout rescheduled: A tournament of the Midstate Golf Association was rained out this past Saturday at Pine Ridge and is rescheduled for this Saturday. It's for members only and the same two-man quota format will be used.
Friday's regularly scheduled event at Spring Hill is still on. There also will be a two-man, best-ball gross and net tournament Oct. 17 at Inverness at which members may bring a guest.