2009 has certainly been a difficult year for so many people, but once again the Invitational gave us the opportunity to celebrate Life and golf with our students’ laughter, friendship and golf. And quite a celebration it was.

Opening-Dinner

The Bird Golf Invitational Opening Dinner

As our tradition demands we were honored to have the event begin with Carey Mumford (Clear Key) giving us another of his wonderful presentations. Carey is 80 years young this year, and his insights and thoughts were, as always, a highlight of the Invitational.

The ninth Invitational was particularly special because it came with the unveiling of Bird Golf’s “Walk of Honor”.

Walk-of-Honor

Bird Golf’s Walk of Honor at the Whirlwind Golf Club.

“The Walk of Honor is dedicated to celebrating people who have spent their lives devoted to this grand pursuit. In doing so they have been selfless in their commitment to helping others; generous of their spirit and they have upheld the traditions of the Greatest game. Each year at The Bird Golf Invitational, a new inductee will be introduced and honored. Bird Golf is the result of a dream that came true. That dream was made possible by all the wonderful students and friends who have supported us. Each stone in this Walk represents our students who are the very foundation of Bird Golf.

There can be no greater glory in this life; than leaving it better than you found it. To those who we honor, know with absolute certainty, that you have accomplished just that”.

Our first two inductees into the Walk of Honor are the incomparable founding teaching professionals of Bird Golf; Jim Samsing and Sharon Miller .

Jim-&-Sharon-WOH

Jim Samsing and Sharon Miller – first inductees into the Bird Golf Walk of Honor

The first day of the tournament was a scramble format that was filled with superb golf. Three teams were tied for first place at day’s end, all recording a splendid score of 53. Jan Harris, Cody Learmonth, Jeff Goodrich and their professional, Shirley Furlong. The “family” team of sisters, Margo Doyle and Patti Mattimore and Margo’s daughter, Kelly Doyle with their professional Tim Peightal; and Michael Wachs, Bill Booth and Sheryl Heffernen-Smothers with their professional, Jason Sanders. Sheryl Heffernen-Smothers deserves special recognition because she was a last-minute replacement and is new to golf, so being a big contributor to her team under these circumstances was, remarkable.

Friday afternoon’s putting contest was another hotly contested affair giving us a playoff for both the Men’s and Ladies Divisions. The Men’s Champion was Jon McMahon who edged out Don Christensen in a sudden-death playoff and the Ladies Champion (this is her second Putting contest win) was Sandy Cable who just beat out Pat Gustafson in their playoff.

invitational-2009-1

Putting Tip / So Close!

Saturday’s second round produced even more great golf. In this two low net format (the best two scores, with handicaps, of each team) which puts the bulk of responsibility on our students, who were more than up to the task. Shooting a remarkable score of 23-under par, 121, were the day’s winners, Dennis Britten, June Coljee and Don Christensen with professional, Heath Morden. On this day they were two shots better than the teams of Warren Dyer, Stephan Strasser and Tom Cark and professional Steve Haagenson and the Harris/Learmonth/Goodrich team who played with Jason Sanders. By virtue of their great play over the first 2 days, the Harris/Learmonth/Goodrich team became the over-night leaders heading into Sunday’s final round.

invitational-2009-2

Team Pink / Irish Dream Team

Sunday’s, low-gross/low-net (one best ball of 4 with handicap, the other best ball, without handicap) produced an amazing performance by the day’s winners. Deb Green and Roland and Pat Gustafson (it has been a year of extraordinary golf for Roland and Pat, to read about their accomplishments, please see this LINK (to Gustafson “Super student shots”) paired with their professional, Heath Morden, they shot an incredible, 21 under par, to win by six shots. The day’s second place team were the Harris/Learmonth/Goodrich team with pro Steve Haagenson and in third place were the team Dyer/Strasser/Clark with Jim Samsing.

The 2009 Invitational Champions are Jan Harris, Cody Learmonth and Jeff Goodrich and it was a richly deserved victory. As you have read, they were in the Top 3 teams on each day of the event and their consistently brilliant play made them very worthy Champions. Congratulations to them, and to all the 6 other teams in the money (see below); and to all our very special participants. Thank you for making Bird Golf possible, and thank you for the lasting memories and joy that you allow us to share with you.

The final cumulative results were:

CHAMPIONS: Jan Harris, Cody Learmonth, Jeff Goodrich
RUNNERS-UP: Roland and Pat Gustafson, Deb Green
3rd PLACE: Warren Dyer, Stephan Strasser, Tom Clark
4th PLACE: June Coljee, Don Christensen, Dennis Britten
5th PLACE: Don and Barb Raymond, Isamu Iwahara
6th PLACE: Margo Doyle, Patti Mattimore, Kelly Doyle
7th PLACE: Larry Kirk, Hub Donald, Ken Koopman
PRO CHAMPION Heath Morden

 

3RD PLACE

3rd-Place

RUNNERS UP

Runner-Up

CHAMPIONS

Champions

PROS

Pros

The dates for next year’s Invitational will be November 11-15, 2010 at Wild Horse Pass Resort and Spa. We will be honoring, Mary Mills and Carey Mumford, with their inductions into the Walk of Honor. Come join us for the fun!

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