WHITTINGTON -- A team of Pipefitters/Plumbers from Southern Illinois showed they know a little bit about golf, too, winning the 23rd annual Rend Lake College Foundation Open Golf Tournament Thursday afternoon over a field of 31 teams.
It took a 16-under par 56 total to claim six leather PowerBilt bags as the Championship Flight winners under wet conditions at Rend Lake Golf Course. Members of the first-place team were Frank Bonham, Paul Davis and Scott Hoague, all of Herrin, along with Johnston City contributors John Imhoff, Damian Imhoff and Jan Jansco Jr.
The runner-up squad in the flighted event matched the victors’ 56 tally while representing RLC’s grant-funded Child Care Resource and Referral "Project CHILD." The team was comprised of Tim Brockhouse, the husband of Project CHILD Director Tranae Brockhouse, and Jeff Meyer, both of Mt. Vernon, Pinckneyville’s Dwight Bigham and the West Frankfort trio of Rob Jent, Mike Henson and John Wright.
Third in Championship Flight was Team PowerBilt, just one shot off the low round. Company reps Bob Lauder and Cheryl Fink (Louisville, KY) and Bill Welch (Naperville) were joined by RLC Golf Outlet reps Tom Smith (Odin), Corey Phillips (McLeansboro) and Krys Fisher (Mt. Vernon).
PowerBilt served as an unofficial co-sponsor of the fund-raising event by discounting 40 golf bags through the official co-sponsors, The Rend Lake College Golf Outlet and the RLC MarketPlace in Mt. Vernon. In just its second year of operation, the RLC Golf Outlet is PowerBilt’s largest account in the Illinois region served by Welch, according to National Sales Manager Lauder. Fink is the Marketing Director for the Louisville-based company.
In addition to the golf bags, PowerBilt officials surprised RLC President Mark S. Kern and RLC Foundation Chief Executive Officer Pat Mitchell by presenting the college with eight custom-engraved Louisville Slugger wooden bats manufactured by their sister company, Hillerich and Bradsby Co.
"We have found a great partner in Mt. Vernon with the Rend Lake College Golf Outlet," Lauder commented.
"We are proud to be a part of this tournament," he added, vowing continued support in the future.
Fifteen teams were placed in the Championship Flight by Rend Lake Golf Course officials.
The first-ever first-place winner in the First Flight -- the six-player scramble has been handicapped in previous years -- was a team captained by RLC Physical Plant Director Randall Shively (Wayne City) and Ross Zeidler (Pinckneyville) of Johnson Controls.
Also contributing to the First Flight Championship were RLC Men’s Golf Team standout John Major, a freshman from Hillsboro, RLC employees Gregg Minor (Sesser) and Dorothy Feira (Sesser), who was playing in her first tournament, and Curt Crossley (St. Louis, MO). They carded a 63.
Second, also at 63, was the team headed by Warrior Athletic Director and Men’s Basketball Coach Tim Wills (Benton) and including Burton Wills (Benton), another son-father combination of Clark Dixon (Benton) and Bill Dixon (Benton), Joe West (Centralia) and Darrell Jacobs (Danville), the husband of Danville Area Community College President Alice Jacobs.
Third in First Flight with their 64 round were Rend Lake College’s own Steve Holman (Benton), Donnie Millenbine (Dahlgren), Dave Wilson (Mt. Vernon), Jerry Case (Benton) and Wendy Smith (Marion), plus Corey Best (O’Fallon).
Golf bags likewise were awarded to the winners of four skills contests on the course -- "Closest to the Pin," Brenda Crocker (Mt. Vernon), Women, #4, and John Drew (Benton), Men #8; "Longest Putt," Krys Fisher (Mt. Vernon), Women #18, and "Longest Drive," Scott Gamber (Mt. Vernon), Men #11.
Rend Lake College Dean of Instruction Lisa Payne again served as tournament director, assisted by RLC Foundation CEO Mitchell.
Proceeds will benefit Rend Lake College Foundation activities, primarily student scholarships.
Numerous items for a silent auction which likewise benefitted the RLC Foundation were donated by one of its newest members on the Board of Directors, Wayne Asberry.