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Golf: Fuhrer Invitational plans purse increase

Sunday, July 21, 2002

By Gerry Dulac

Frank Fuhrer has never had a problem pulling money from his pocket to enhance golf in Western Pennsylvania. He did it when he ran the Family House Invitational, especially in the early stages, and he's doing it now with the tournament that bears his name -- the Frank B. Fuhrer Invitational.

Fuhrer already puts up a $100,000 purse for the three-day, 72-hole event, which carries a $20,000 first prize. It's one of top purses for any section of the PGA of America in the country.

But he doesn't want to stop there. He plans to increase the purse $25,000 for next year or 2004, which would bump the winning payout to $25,000.

Also, Fuhrer wants to trim the field from 78 to 60 players, making it more difficult to gain a spot in the event.

"We want to make it the Masters of our area," Fuhrer said.

Fuhrer, though, will continue to invite the top amateurs in Western Pennsylvania to his event. Because amateurs cannot accept money, Fuhrer has instituted a silver cup that he will present each year to the low amateur in the event.

The cup will be named after his son, Frank Fuhrer III, a former Walker Cup team member who once was ranked the No. 2 amateur in the country. Frank Fuhrer III won 11 West Penn Golf Association championships and two Pennsylvania Amateurs during his career.

"We want to give the amateurs something to remember," Fuhrer said.

Trivia question

In 1986, the same player led each of the four major championships after 54 holes. He won only one -- the British Open. Who was it? Answer at end.

Berteotti's game OK

Missie Berteotti does not know how it happened. But she wants everyone to know -- her game isn't as bad as some erroneous score might indicate.

Berteotti, a former LPGA Tour player, played in the Mario Lemieux Celebrity Invitational last month at Nevillewood, and her first-round score was listed in several papers, including the Post-Gazette, as 100.

But Berteotti did not play in the first round. For some reason, the computer that charts all the tournament scores gave her 100.

Berteotti did play on the weekend and shot 70 and 72 in her only two rounds in the celebrity event.

"I want everyone to know my game isn't that bad," Berteotti said.

Window smashing

It was bad enough that Scott Davis had to smash the passenger-side window in his car after he accidentally locked his clubs -- and his keys -- in the trunk during a rain delay at the West Penn Open.

But, during the nearly three-hour drive back home to Sissonville, W.Va., Davis had some more bad luck.

It rained.

"I'm driving down Interstate 79 and I'm just praying, don't rain, don't rain," said Davis, head pro at Edgewood Country Club in Sissonville. "Then it just started coming in sideways through the window. I got soaked, the front seat was soaked."

Davis had to smash his window with a sledgehammer to retrieve his clubs because the rules of golf prohibit a player from using another set of clubs once he starts a round.

Was it worth it?

"I finished the tournament," Davis said.

Quotable

Davis Love III, on the unruly galleries that caused him to lash back at the crowd during the Western Open two weeks ago: "I don't like doing that, but it gets worse every year and it's really gone overboard since the U.S. Open."

Dissa and data

Justin Smith of Franklin has been named first recipient of the West Penn Golf Association's Frank Fuhrer III Award, presented to the outstanding collegiate golfer in Western Pennsylvania. Smith, a Moon High School graduate, helped lead Minnesota to the NCAA Division I championship, finishing fourth individually. Smith won the PIAA boys' championship in 2000.

The $13,000 Tam O'Shanter 5-Amateur Scramble is July 27 at Tam O'Shanhter in West Middlesex. Entry is $75 per player. Call, 724-981-3552.

TravelGolf.com, publishers of the world's most-read chain of online golf and travel publications, has purchased Canadian-based WorldGolf.com from Global Images, golf's oldest, continually updated publication.

The fourth annual Gerry Dulac Charity Golf Classic, benefiting Parkway West Rotary Club charities, is Sept. 23 at Seven Oaks. Call, 724-947-1234.

Marion Manor's 2nd annual Charity Golf Classic is Sept. 23 at Chartiers. Call, 412-563-2763.

Diamond Run Golf Club, the Gary Player-design in Sewickley, will re-open its expanded and refurbished clubhouse Friday. The project features a 1,740-square feet expansion of the locker rooms, a new pro shop and a 1,600-square feet expansion of the mixed bar and grille area.

The fourth annual Shop 'n Save Golf Classic to benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) is tomorrow at Edgewood Country Club.

Bob Murphy, who spent millions to transform Quicksilver Golf Club into a course that once was the host for a Senior PGA Tour tournament, has sold the 18-hole facility and clubhouse to a New Castle family that owns three other golf courses. Chuck and Ed Long purchased Quicksilver for an undisclosed sum to add to their stable of courses -- Castle Hills and Green Meadows in New Castle and Jackson Valley in Warren, Pa.

A set of four Tiger Woods bobblehead dolls, commemorating his Tiger Slam (holding all four major championship trophies at the same), is being sold in limited supply to help raise money for the Make A Wish Foundation. The four figurines, each about 7 inches in height, sell for $69.95. The only way to purchase them is by calling 1-800-345-2868 or visiting the Web site at http://www.nikcosports.com. The money raised from customer orders from Pittsburgh will go to the local MAW chapter.

Dave Mahalko has been named director of golf at Hickory Heights GC in South Fayette.

Trivia answer

Greg Norman had the lead heading into the final round of all four majors that year. He finished second at the Masters and PGA, and 12th in the U.S. Open.

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