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Seniors Players Championship to tee off in Fox Chapel

| Wednesday, June 18, 2014, 9:00 p.m.
Jan Pakler | for The Herald
Signs and maps are going up at the Fox Chapel Golf Club preparing for the upcoming Senior Players Tournament.

In just under a week, thousands of spectators will descend on Fox Chapel to watch some of the country's best golfers compete in the Constellation Senior Players Championship.

The tournament, in its third year at the Fox Chapel Golf Club, will host a field of 81 players vying for the title that Kenny Perry took home in 2013. Practice rounds begin Monday, with a pro-am and competition for the $2.7 million purse continuing from Tuesday through Sunday.

A portion of Fox Chapel Road will close intermittently to accommodate the event.

Tentatively, the road will be closed from Squaw Run Road East to Indian Hill Road from 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, from 5:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday and from 5:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. from June 26 to 29.

Fox Chapel Police Chief David Laux said the closings are required so golfers and spectators can move safely on and off of Fox Chapel Road during the event.

“The police department is aware that the road closure for the tournament adversely affects the motorists who use Fox Chapel Road,” Laux said. “Our goal is to educate and inform the motoring public of the duration and reason for the closure and to assure them that we will reopen the road as soon as it is safe to do so.”

Laux asked for everyone's patience during the closures and welcomed phone calls from those with questions. He said the closures are based on each day's golf play and are subject to change.

Fox Chapel Road will remain open during practice rounds Monday.

The tournament in the last two years has drawn more than 10,000 people a day.

Inconveniences have not come without benefits.

In its first two years in Fox Chapel, the Constellation tournament has donated $1 million to local charities.

There's more to come this year, said Will Alexander, Constellation communications representative.

“Eight local nonprofits will receive money to support their programs,” he said.

They include Tickets for Kids, an Aspinwall-based group that aims to enrich the lives of low-income children and their families by giving them the chance to participate in cultural events.

Other groups to receive money will be the YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh, First Tee of Pittsburgh and Habitat for Humanity. The groups were chosen because they help boost education and youth development or offer affordable housing or family support services, Alexander said.

“The most rewarding aspect of this Championship is being able to leave a charitable footprint in the Pittsburgh community,” said Joe Rotellini, executive director of the Constellation Senior Players Championship. “All of the hard work our volunteers and partners put into the tournament is ultimately to support these wonderful causes.”

Tawnya Panizzi is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-782-2121, ext. 2, or at tpanizzi@tribweb.com.

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