Location: Tiffany Green Golf Club, Kansas City, MO
Dates: July 11-14, 2017
Reported by Mike Finneran
The 9th United States Deaf Golf Championship came to an end with the following champions:
Open Dano Aldaz hails from Colorado and is employed as a construction worker shot 71, 74, 74 but the pressure increased in the last round and he shot 83 for his final score. He won one stroke over EJ Brumm. Brandon Babineaux of Texas and Bill Roberts of Missouri came in third with three strokes behind. All three will go to the World Deaf Golf Championships (WDGC) which will be held in Ireland, along with Doreen Granberry of Arizona and Michael Mabashov of Maryland.
Women’s Patty Lopez of Arizona started with 75 then 85, 80 and 83 won by narrow number of strokes over Susan Zupnik of New Jersey who got her first ACE ever. Lauri Ponikiewski of Michigan, Melissa Stockton of Utah and Mary Bachtel of Ohio will plan to join Patty and Susan to the WDGC.
Tim Dapp of Maryland (soon Florida) shot his best career round with 68 then 75, 71 and 73 won by wide number of strokes over John Rush of Colorado. The following senior golfers who will go to WDGC are: Scott Davidson of North Carolina, Keith Worek of New York and Darrell Hovinen of Michigan.
The Super Seniors division was created at the meeting two years ago for golfers who are above 65 years old. Seven golfers competed in this division for the first time. Mike Finneran of California who shot 83, 88, 83 and 78 tied with Gerald Isobe of Hawaii who shot 90 (with 13 on first hole), 81, 83 and 80. Both went ahead to play an extra hole and Mike won with a par. Dennis Berrigan, Jim Hynes and Wayne Miller will join them to WDGC.
There were some exciting events beside the golf championships. A putting contest was held on Tuesday after the round. Gerald Isobe won 1st place. On Wednesday evening 17 folks participated in a poker tournament and Dano Aldaz won. Then on Thursday, there were skill challenges for two top division leaders. Patty Lopez outdid all the men. Congratulations, Patty!
Thanks to the wonderful chair, Bill Roberts, who made this tournament successful along with his hard-working committee. He is a pro in this area similar to his golf skills. His personality is something that we can relate to.
The banquet was a wonderful affair which included a buffet. Recognitions were made as follows:
Susan Zupnik, Bill Roberts and Keith Worek attended all 9 USDGC tournaments. We hope they will continue to do so for many more years.
John Rush and John Vaughn were inducted to the USDGA Hall of Fame. They deserve every bit of this honor with their past accomplishments. One impressive feat about both honorees is that they started GOLF while they were young.
The winners were given special mementos. Travel trophies were given to each division winner. Thanks go to Jerry Mabashov for his incentive on this to ensure the women, seniors and super seniors winners also got their awards.
The new board members and incumbent members were given oath into office:
Brandon Babineaux – term ends July 2021
Bernie Brown – 2019
Timothy Dapp – 2021
Michael Finneran – 2021
Jerry Mabashov- 2019
Bill Roberts – 2019
Jeremy Warshaw – 2021
Keith Worek- 2019
Susan Zupnik – 2021
Mike was voted to be President. Susan, Jerry and Bernie were selected to be vice president, secretary and treasurer respectively. The board as a whole is looking forward for a stronger organization with more young golfers and women golfers with some innovative plans to expand these arenas.
Massachusetts won the bid for 2019 USDGC tournament led by John Vaughn along with Bay State Deaf Golf Association. We look forward to visiting New England in 2019.