Just eight players turned out for Saturday's Sjogren's Syndrome Golf Classic at Plantation Inn in Crystal River, but increased awareness of the rare disease that robs the body of fluids made up for the small field.
"We've had calls from Sjogren's patients because of the tournament asking for medical help, so I consider it a success," said Betty Latiff of Crystal River, who is afflicted with the ailment.
The tournament was a four-person scramble conducted to raise funds for a trip to America for Dr. Jan Prause of Denmark, an immunologist and opthamologist regarded as an international expert on Sjogren's Syndrome. Latiff has made annual trips abroad for the past four years to see Dr. Prause for treatment; the disease has no cure.
Prause's trip might bring him to Gainesville, where he would lecture on Sjogren's Syndrome.
Sam Latiff, Roscoe and Marcie Miller, and Rebecca Weisenburger combined for a net 62 score and won the scramble.
"With Plantation being the first club (to hold a benefit tournament), I hope other resort areas across the country will follow their example," Latiff said.
"I think we had such a small turnout because the Lollypop Tournament was on and our timing was bad. The Rotary Club also had a fishing tournament this past weekend with 200 entries so that hurt us, too."
Latiff said anyone wishing to make donations, which are tax-deductible, may contact the National Sjogren's Syndrome Association (NSSA) at 800-395-NSSA.
Team event this weekend: More than 20 teams are registered and more are welcome for the fifth annual Crystal Chevrolet Two-Man Team Championship coming up this weekend. Entry fee is $150 per team, with a portion of that going to the Crystal River Boys and Girls Clubs.
The two-day event begins Saturday at Citrus Hills where a best-ball of twosome with 90 percent handicap format is planned. Golfers travel to Plantation on Sunday and play a Ryder Cup-style alternate shot format in the final round.
To register, call the Citrus Hills pro shop at 746-4425 or Plantation pro shop at 795-7211.
Brennan foursome wins senior tourney: Plantation head pro Jim Brennan teamed with Shirley Dilmore, Marcie Walker and Mickey Wright for a 129 net score last Thursday. That was good enough to win a North Florida PGA Section Senior Pro-Lady tournament.
The two best-ball of foursome event drew 10 teams to Plantation.
Seven Rivers pro Ross Kuntz headed two teams that finished second and third. Fran Morris, Dot Mason and Cathy Clarke were with Kuntz on a squad that shot 130 and came in second, while B.J. Dulaney, Ann Spotts and Juliette Robitaille joined Kuntz on a team that finished third at 133.
Other senior pros to participate were Seville's Tony Jurkewicz, Citrus Springs' Harry Bono, Rainbow Springs' Ralph Jones, and Palm Coast's Bud Burkley.
Browning, Guilliam win member-guest tourney: Robert Browning and Mike Guilliam combined for a net 56 score and won Sunday's Red, White and Blue Tournament at Plantation Inn.
The event attracted 26 teams. Club members and their guests played an alternate-shot format. In addition, players teed off from the red tees on the first hole, white tees on the second hole, and blue tees for the third hole, then repeated that cycle for the remainder of the day.
Dick Laxton and son Rick came in second with a 61.5 score. They were followed by Bob and Betty Bleakley in third with 62.6, Gary Pane and Nick Benvenuto in fourth at 65.6, and Bob and Dee Reynolds in fifth with 67.
Barry Reynolds defeated Bob Reynolds in a chipoff to win the 0-9 handicap division in a pre-tournament shootout. Vance Austin topped Larry Carlson for honors in the 10-and-up handicap bracket. Mickey Wright parred the last hole to beat Marcie Miller in the women's division.
Plantation lessons: LPGA teaching pro Marion Walker will offer Adult Short Game and Adult Intermediate classes for four weeks beginning Oct. 31. The remainder of the lessons are scheduled for Nov. 7, 14 and 21.
Adult Short Game will cover pitching, putting, chipping and bunker play. It's planned for 10-11:30 a.m., and is limited to nine individuals.
Adult Intermediate Class meets in the afternoons from 12:30 to 2. The cost for either class is $45.
To register, call the Plantation pro shop at 795-7211.