Call-for-Entries: 2020 Ohio Senior Open and Ohio Open Championship
The Northern Ohio PGA will strictly adhere to all COVID-19 Responsibly Restart Ohio Guidelines for non-contact sports while managing all events, per Governor DeWine’s announcement that non-contact sports can reopen on that date. Please review the NOPGA Section and Junior Tour Tournament Playbooks for details.
Some highlights of the upcoming 2020 NOPGA season:
June 10-11, Firestone Country Club, West Course
Don’t let their age fool you. These guys can still play.
Don’t think so? Then, how does one explain Dublin’s Bob Sowards knocking eight strokes off par over 36 holes to win last year with rounds of 69-63? The 51-year-old, a three-time winner of the Ohio Open, came from behind in his Senior Open debut and did not make a bogey on the final day until the final hole.
Clevelander Walt Roberston and Silver Lake’s Jim Durr both went under par in the final round last year before Robertson won his second Super Seniors title by making a 15-foot birdie putt on the first playoff hole.
The seniors return to the challenging West Course at Firestone Country Club in late May for the most prestigious senior event in Ohio, sponsored by Michelob Ultra (the House of LaRose).
The event, which annually draws approximately 100 entrants who carry handicaps of 8.0 or lower, has had several multiple winners. Most are well known names in Ohio golf, such as four-time champion Gary Robison and Jim Logue, who owns the distinction of being a three-time winner in the Main Division and a three-time Super Seniors champ.
Gary Trivisonno, who won the Main Division in 2008 and 2011 and was the 1979 Ohio Open champion, will compete in the Super Seniors (players 60-and-over) in 2020.
June 29-July 1, Weymouth and Fox Meadow Country Clubs
It is the grandest of the NOPGA’s calendar of events, won by such icons as Jack Nicklaus, Byron Nelson, Herman Keiser, Frank Stranahan, Denny Shute, Billy Burke and Bob Shave Jr.
Think of it as the U.S. Open for Ohio residents.
The 72-hole event with a cut to the Top 50 scores and ties after 36 holes, is open to any Ohio resident, professional or amateur, as long as they have a handicap of 4.0 or lower. Approximately 200 players compete every year.
For the fourth year in a row and for the sixth time since 2011 the Open will be played at Weymouth Country Club and Fox Meadow Country Club, ideally located a few miles apart in Medina County.
Pyramid Treating, and Mark Vaughn are the gracious sponsors.
Delaware’s Stephen Gangluff has an opportunity to join an elite group as a three-time winner following his come-from-behind playoff win last year and his one-stroke, wire-to-wire victory in 2018.
Another victory would make Gangluff, 44, the 10th three-time winner, joining Al Espinosa (1932, 1933, 1936), Nelson (1940, 1941 and 1942), Stranahan (1948, 1960 and 1961), Shave Jr. (1958, 1962 and 1963), Bob Wynn (1970, 1971 and 1972), Rob Moss (1999, 2001 and 2005) and Bob Sowards (2002, 2004 and 2010).
Shute and Burke remain the only 4-time winners.
Shute, who would go on to win three major championships and join the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2008, won in 1930, 1931, 1932 and then returned to win again in 1950.
Burke, who had won the U.S. Open in 1931 and was a two-time Ryder Cup member, won in 1938, 1939, 1945 and 1955.
September 14-15, Belmont Country Club
Along with the Ohio Open, and of course The Memorial, the Toledo Open owns a rightful place on Ohio golf prestige meter.
Its list of former champions includes Byron Nelson, Frank Stranahan, former PGA Tour player and current Kent State head coach Jon Mills and current PGA Tour player Ryan Armour.
The all-time king, however, remains Toledo’s own Val Chiaverni, who won six times from 1939 to 1953.
The event moves to Belmont Country Club this fall and will be contested over 36 holes. Unlike the Ohio Open, there is no residency requirement. It is open to all professionals and amateurs with handicaps of 4.0 or lower. Like the Ohio Open, there is a Senior Division for players 50-and-over.
Non-Ohioans have won the last two years as Beau Breault (Howell, Mich.) and Kyle Rhodes (Plymouth, Mich.) prevailed in the Regular Division, with Breault defeating Kentuckian Ashton Van Horne in a one-hole playoff last year. Breault, a former Mid-American Conference Golfer of the Year out of Eastern Michigan, birdied his 36th hole to force the playoff.
About the Northern Ohio PGA
The Northern Ohio Section of the Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) exists to promote the enjoyment and involvement in the game of golf within the Section, and to contribute to its growth by providing services to professionals and the golf industry. The Northern Ohio PGA has more than 390 members and 75 apprentices in Northern Ohio. Visit www.thenorthernohiopga.com for additional information.
Additional story contributions by David Griffith and Lynne Plaisance