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PSU courses holds Coaches versus Cancer event

by on June 07, 2018 9:02 AM

STATE COLLEGE — It is rare when an athletic arena such as a golf course can play host to something more important than sport. 

This was the case over the weekend at the Penn State Golf Courses, with the 22nd annual Coaches vs. Cancer of Penn State Golf Tournament. More than 300 participants hit the course to raise both funds and awareness for the American Cancer Society.

Originally founded by former Penn State men’s basketball coach Bruce Parkhill in 1995, Coaches vs. Cancer of Penn State has raised more than $2.8 million for cancer research throughout the local community, with the $3 million mark expected to be hit this year.

Current Nittany Lions coach Pat Chambers took over the philanthropic endeavor in 2011 and has continued to grow the chapter. The Coaches vs. Cancer program itself began in 1993, raising more than $100 million for the American Cancer Society since that time.
Special guests took part in the proceedings, including former Lions basketball star Talor Battle, as well as other former Lions men’s basketball and football players. An online auction in conjunction with the tournament brought even more star power, with bidding taking place on signed items from Cael Sanderson, Franco Harris, Lenny Moore and Sam Ficken.

One special auction package was “Coach for a Day,” with the winner getting to sit on the bench with Chambers during a Lions basketball game next season.


Highlighting recent play at Mountain View was the Ryder Cup Tournament, a mixture of multiple forms of partners play, held May 26 and 27 at the club.

The team of Mike Braniff and Justin Ondik was victorious in gross scoring, shooting a 182 at 4-over-par. Net scoring champions were the pair of Dave Ellenberger and Tom Bruce, beating out Bob Stonebraker and Bill Fleckenstein by one stroke.

The duos formats chosen for the tournament, played in four different nine-hole rounds, were scramble, best ball, alternate shot and total score of partners. With such variety allowing for tactical, efficient scoring, some competitors made holes look easy. On Day 1, the championship duo of Braniff and Ondik hit a double eagle on the third hole, part of 11 total eagle holes by the field during the two-day affair.

Braniff and Ondik took the gross scoring title by three strokes, besting the team of Todd Horner and Tom Cable, which shot a 185 at 7-over-par. Two duos tied for third place, both shooting a 188 at 10-over-par.

Several impressive hole-in-ones have also taken place at Mountain View during the spring season. Frank Slenker, on April 17, as well as Neil Jones, on May 15, nailed the precarious shot on the ninth hole from 140 yards out.

Two more followed in one three-day stretch, beginning with Dan Swanson on May 24, finding the second hole from the tee 110 yards away. Christy Miller also hit on the ninth hole on May 26 from 110 yards out, the first in her career.


June’s top competition for Nittany Country Club takes place Saturday, June 9, with the one-day Nittany Open tournament. The tournament two-man better ball event will attract potentially 20 to 30 teams, according to course representatives.

Qualifying for the club’s Wednesday, July 4, tournament continues this week, with the last day to qualify being Sunday, June 24. If needed, a playoff will be held Tuesday, June 26, to determine final entrants into the field.


Partners play was in full swing at Centre Hills with the return of the annual Memorial Tournament. The top duo of the weekend was championship flight victors Steve Hurvitz and Fred Farber.

Other triumphant teams were on display during the event. The first flight went to the pair of Paul Tomczuk and Ray Marcon, while the second flight champions were Paul Nelson and Sam Auker.

This story was produced by the staff at the Centre County Gazette. It was re-published with permission. The Centre County Gazette is a weekly publication, available at many locations around Centre County every Thursday morning.
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