WHITTINGTON – It may have been the Silver Anniversary of the Rend Lake College Foundation Golf Tournament, but the Championship Flight winners Thursday afternoon at Rend Lake Golf Course did not have many graybeards in their midst.
Two RLC Sports Hall-of-Famers, Bryan Drew (Benton) and Brandon Auld (Nashville), helped power a championship squad which included two other “youngsters” in Jeff Luechtefeld (Nashville) and Mark Horn (Herrin) and a couple of wily veterans in Chuck Zueck (West Frankfort) and Mike Morgan (Herrin).
Drew and Auld were teammates on the first Warrior golf team to finish as Division II runner-up in the National Junior College Athletic Association Men’s Golf Championship in 1995.
That group claimed the 25th annual scramble event with an 18-hole score of 54, 18 under par. Their Silver Anniversary gifts for winning . . . a complete set of PowerBilt Grand Slam clubs and an Izzo bag for each participant.
A total of 29 teams and 169 golfers participated in the fund-raiser for Rend Lake College student scholarships. Co-sponsors along with the RLC Foundation were the Rend Lake College MarketPlace and its cornerstone store, the Rend Lake College Golf Outlet, in Mt. Vernon.
Two teams tied for second in the Championship Flight, just one stroke behind the pacesetters. Second at 55 thanks to a scorecard playoff was a team captained by Marsh Sheffer (Herrin), with Shannon Smith (Farina), Kerry Russell (Edwardsville) and a trio of players from Altamont, David Frederking, Mark Schlichte and Jerry Hoffmeister.
Settling for third overall in Championship Flight was the Rend Lake College contingent of Steve Holman (Benton), first-year Lady Warrior Golf Coach and former Rend Lake Golf Course Assistant Pro Craig Zinzilieta (Benton), Dr. Sarah Ochs (Energy), Jennifer Tarantino Linsin (Herrin), Donnie Millenbine (Dahlgren) and four-time NJCAA Cross-Country and Track “Coach of the Year” Brent McLain (Benton).
A-Flight champions, and also recipients of PowerBilt clubs and Izzo bags, was the ARDL Team from Mt. Vernon comprised of former RLC Foundation Director and RLCF Open Golf Tourney Sponsor Dr. Val Gibbons, Dick Curtin, Rob Dismang, Todd Gentles, Dan Gillespie and Randy Jenkins. All are from Mt. Vernon.
ARDL’s championship came via a scorecard playoff, also, after shooting an 11-under par 61, the same as the second-place State Farm team of RLC Foundation Director Robert Bornheimer (McLeansboro), Bruce Barkau (Okawville), Tim Smith (McLeansboro), Tony Wielt (Mt. Vernon), Jody White (Belleville) and Dennis Ivers (Mt. Vernon).
Third in A-Flight at 62 was a team made up of Rend Lake College Vice President of Finance and Administration Bob Carlock (Mt. Vernon), RLCF Board members Wayne Asberry (Mt. Vernon) and Steve Lawrence (Mt. Vernon), Don and Karola Beahringer (Springfield) and Wendy Smith (Marion).
Individual prize winners were: Closest to the Pin – Women, Dorothy Feira (Sesser) and Men, Ken Darnell (West Frankfort); Longest Drive – Women, Sabrina Wheatley (Mulkeytown) and Men, Dave Mitchell (Benton).
Serving as co-chairs once again for the charity event were Rend Lake College Foundation CEO Pat Mitchell and RLC Dean of Instruction Lisa Payne. Presenters following the day’s activities were Rend Lake College President Mark S. Kern and Vice President Carlock.
Typically, according to Mitchell, the Foundation Open Golf Tournament will put approximately $10,000 into student scholarships. The past year around 250 Rend Lake College students received a record $350,000 from institutionally awarded funds, including the Allied Health “loan forgiveness” program.