TROY – Four players have been added to the Troy Bicentennial Golf Classic set for Monday, August 4 at the Troy Country Club. Long-time Piqua Country Club pro Mark Robart and Troy Country Club pro Kyle Courtright, along with Troy Country Club champions Gareth Johnston and Michael Walker, will join the featured pros for the event.
Three-time U.S. Open champion Hale Irwin and two-time tour winner Frank Lickliter are the pros being featured. Other area amateurs will be added later to each play nine holes with the pros.
Robart has been the director of golf at Piqua for 30 years. He grew up in Fort Wayne, Ind. and began his career as an assistant at Pine Valley CC in Fort Wayne. He’s a good player and a top teacher.
Courtright came to the Troy CC as an assistant in 2006 and took over the golf shop operations when long-time director of golf Paul Fobian retired in 2012. Courtright is outgoing, a good player and instructor and a Callaway staff pro.
Johnston has won the TCC’s women’s title 24 times over a 50-year-plus period. She first won as a junior player in 1963. Her 24 victories put her among the leaders in the country. Gareth won the city title 17 times and is well-established as the best female player ever in Troy. She honed her game practicing behind her late father’s vet office north of Troy near the fairgrounds.
Walker has won the TCC men’s championship 12 times, two more than the late John Lorms of Ohio State, the 1945 men’s NCAA champion. Michael played in every tournament all four years while in college at Ohio, winning twice. He was a 2-time Academic All-American, first-team All-MAC, team captain and the MAC long drive champion (342 yards) his senior year. He teamed with Brad Via to win the ESPN national team challenge in Las Vegas in 2006 and played in the 1997 U.S. Amateur at Cog Hill in Chicago, won by current tour star Matt Kuchar.
Irwin and Lickliter will conduct a clinic at 1 p.m. After the clinic, the four pros will play 18 holes of golf with selected amateurs who each will play nine holes. Pairings will be announced when the field is complete. There will be two foursomes on each nine so fans will have a chance to go back and forth and see all the players.
Troy grad and national award winning golf writer Dave Shedloski will be the emcee.
Fifty years ago in Troy, the sesquicentennial golf exhibition featured grand slam champion Gary Player and the 1964 PGA champion Bobby Nichols.
The event is open to the public. Tickets at $20 are on sale at Troy CC, Piqua CC, Miami Shores in Troy, Echo Hills in Piqua, Hole Hunter Golf in Troy, Troy Sports Center and For All Seasons Boutique in downtown Troy. Tickets will also be available at the gate. Proceeds will go to Hospice of Miami County.
There will be limited parking at the Troy Country Club and additional parking at the now-closed driving range on Swailes Road beside the sixth tee. This is just one of many events celebrating the city’s bicentennial.
Joel Walker, former publisher and editor of the Troy Daily News, is chairman of the bicentennial golf committee. Other members include attorney Jim Utrecht, Jr., whose father was chairman of the ’64 committee; Paula Marko, president of the Troy Country Club; Nate Combs, Troy Country Club manager; retired TCC pro Paul Fobian, Susan Walker-Hemm, director of marketing and development for Hospice of Miami County, attorney John Maxa and award-winning, national golf writer Dave Shedloski. This event is being sponsored in part by WPTW Classic Hits 98.1 FM and 1570 AM.
Should schools start later in morning?