By Ed Greif
"You don't how I'm excited to be here," said Matt Vanderpool, executive director of the Tennessee Golf Association, last Wednesday morning at the annual media day luncheon to announce the return of the Crossville Women's Open and the Tennessee Senior State Open to Stonehenge Golf Club.
The two tournaments will highlight the 100th anniversary of the TGA, which was founded in Memphis in 1914.
The State Senior Open is May 12-13, while the State Women's Open will be July 31 and Aug. 1-2.
"A lot of the celebration will take place in Crossville," added Vanderpool, who announced that Stonehaus Winery has developed a commemorative wine in honor of the TGA's 100th anniversary.
Ron Ramsey, owner of Stonehaus Winery, announced that $1 from every bottle of the wine sold will go the TGA.
Vanderpool added, " We always look forward to coming here because the level of support is second to none."
Vanderpool, TPGA Tournament Director David Olinger and Director of Women's Golf Tracy Parsons recognized the following for their continued support of the tournaments — Crossville Mayor J.H. Graham III, City Manager David Rutherford, Parks and Recreation Director Steve Hill, City of Crossvile Marketing Director Billy Loggins, Parks secretary Tammy French, Fairfield Glade Director of Golf Steve Kraft, Stonehenge golf professional Warren Huddleston, Fairfield Glade greens superintendent Sean VanHoose, General manager for the POA Bob Weber, Fairfield Glade Community Club president Phil Gover, Fairfield Glade Community Club vice president Bob Stackhouse and Fairfield Glade Director of Marketing Mary Jo Paige, representatives from Cumberland Medical Center (Covenant Health), the media - Crossville Chronicle, Napier Media, PEG Broadcasting, WIHG Radio, WCTE Cookeville and Fairfield Glade Directory, County Commissioner Jeff Brown and Flynn Outdoor Advertising.
Lake Tansi POA President Ferrell Odom and Tansi professional Matt Phipps were also recognized for their support of TPGA and TGA tournaments hosted at their club.
Vanderpool also announced Stonehenge will be hosting a two-day high school golf tournament, pitting the top three boys teams and two girls teams from all four classifications Aug. 16-17. These teams will be selected based on their 2013 finish.
Olinger announced the field for the Tennessee State Senior Open has been reduced to 102 players and 24 in the Super Senior Division from the record field of 143 last year.
The tournament is open to all professionals and amateurs with a 10-handicap or better who live in the state of Tennessee and are a member of the TPGA. Players must be 50 years or older by May 12, 2014.
Early registration is under way through April 7 for players who qualify for early registration.
Qualifications for early registration are:
All TPGA section members and apprentices;
Winners of the Senior State Open championship the last 10 years;
Top 10 and ties from the 2013 State Senior Open;
Top 20 from the 2013 TGA player of the year list;
Winner of the TGA Senior Match Player championship the last five years;
Winner of the TGA Senior Senior Amateur championship the last five years.
If spots still remain, registration will open the general public on April 8 (championship division only). Super Senior Division will be on a first-come, first-serve basis. The entry deadline is 5 p.m. May 7.
Defending champion Bill Breen was in attendance last week.
"I really enjoyed it last year," said Breen. " This is the highlight of my playing career. The community really goes overboard to make this tournament special. I really fell honored being here."
This is the 16th year for the State Women's Open championship and 11th in Cumberland County. Bear Trace Cumberland Mountain hosted the tournament from 2004-'08, and it has been at Stonehenge since 2009.
"Thank you for your support," said Parsons. "The host families come out and support the tournament. It is important we continue this relationship."
There were 104 players, 62 professionals and 42 amateurs representing 18 states, including Nevada, California and Hawaii, and three foreign countries, South Africa, Australia and Scotland.
"Thank you for everything and for celebrating the centennial of the TGA," concluded Parsons.