Privateers’ Whitey Horton golf tourney a blast
by Kevin Cassidy
Fantastic weather, a lot of fun and some good golf marked the Anna Maria Island Privateers' 11th annual Whitey Horton Memorial Golf Tournament Sunday, May 15, at the El Conquistador Golf and Country Club. Though the turnout was less then the Privateers had hoped for, the longtime service organization still raised more than $5,000, which will go directly towards its scholarship programs.
From a player's perspective, having 72 players on the course made for a thoroughly enjoyable day because there was no waiting to finish out the holes.
First place went to the team of Ernie Cotton, Chuck Whitfield, C.J. Whitfield and Jason Hogan, who combined to shoot a 12-under-par 60 over the par-72 course. Second place went to Team Islander with an impressive 11-under 61 behind the strong play of Ed Conk. Other team members include Matt Bowers, Bill Romberger and this erstwhile writer/golfer. (Notice: writer comes first?) Third place was captured by the team of Chris Kiernan, Alan Britcher, Mitch Stoop and Bob Darrough on a combined score of 62.
Defending champion, Team V.O., came into the tourney without Roy Hampton and Scott Van Ostenbridge and struggled to a 67 in the breezy conditions, while the team of Greg “Shiprek” Davidson, John Swager, Stanley Weyman and Mike Miller was dubbed “most honest” after finishing in last place with a 78.
Other winners included Jason Hogan, who captured the long-drive contest with a 285-yard drive on number 18, and Bob Neilson, who won the closest-to-the-pin contest on hole No. 3.
Bob Darrough was honored as the shortest-drive winner after one of his tee shots hit a tee marker and bounced back to hit him, giving him a net drive of zero yards, while Lee Tanner captured the putting contest, though he didn't make the 60-foot putt that would have netted him $5,000.
The big raffle winner on the day was Ed Conk, who captured the 50-50 drawing to walk away with $225.
Everyone in attendance had a great time on the course and an even better time at the awards banquet where the El Conquistador staff put out a meal fit for a king. Delicious prime rib, baked ziti and tons of other food made for a good finale.
In the end, the winners will be the students who reap the financial rewards of the scholarships that the Privateers will award later this year. Recipients of the scholarships will be invited to ride on the Privateer pirate ship during their Island-long July 4 parade.
The Privateers said to thank all of their sponsors of this year's tournament and announced at the banquet that the 12th annual Whitey Horton Memorial Golf tournament will again be held at El Conquistador, so plan now to play next year. And congratulations to all of the winners!
Other scores from the tourney: