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Notebook: First Tee, offering chance at a million bucks

| Sunday, Aug. 28, 2005

Labor Day weekend has become a circle-the-day-on-the-calendar weekend for the First Tee of Pittsburgh.

And so it will be again this year, when the annual Hole-in-One weekend is held at the Schenley Park Golf Course.

There will be a cocktail reception from 7-10 p.m. Friday which includes a silent auction, for which a putting contest and a golf bag autographed by Luke Donald will be up for bid.

On Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and on Monday from 8 a.m.-noon, golfers can take swings in an attempt to qualify for a chance at a million dollar hole-in-one.

Those who qualify will participate in a shootout from noon-1 p.m. Monday, and the million-dollar shots will be taken between 1:15-2 p.m. At 2:15 p.m., a helicopter ball drop will be held, culminating the weekend's activities.

Golf balls can be purchased for $20, or three for $50, to secure a chance at prizes during the Labor Day fundraiser.

For more information, call 412-622-0108 or go to www.thefirstteepittsburgh.org.

Local champion

Marcus Ranii-Dropcho, 12, of Wexford, won the under-13 division of The Professional Disc Golf Association Amateur Disc Golf Championships in Flagstaff, Ariz., earlier this month.

The youngster not only won his division, he ran away with it, outdistancing his nearest competitor by 46 strokes.

Ranii-Dropcho, who will be an eighth-grader this fall at Pine-Richland Middle School, has been playing disc golf for eight years. He has won local tournaments in Pittsburgh, including the Ironwood Open and the Pittsburgh Scholastic Disc Golf Championship.

District representation

Thirty-eight players from western Pennsylvania will be among the nearly 4,000 golfers who will compete this week in the PGA Tour Superstore World Amateur Handicap Championship in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

The four-day, 72-hole flighted tournament is open to any amateur golfer with a verified USGA handicap or the foreign equivalent.

The 22nd annual event will be played on 66 courses in the Myrtle Beach area.

In its 21-year history, the event has attracted over 60,000 golfers.

Previous winners' handicaps have ranged from a low of 3 to a high of 34 and have included men, senior men and women.

Historic hole-in-one

Any hole-in-one is great, but some are greater than others. Libby Powers, 17, of Sewickley will attest to that.

With Carole Semple Thompson, the most decorated woman in amateur golf, looking on, Powers recorded the first-ever ace at the Woodlands Foundation's "No Handicap" Golf Club.

Powers, who has spina bifida, a disability that makes walking difficult, was participating in the Woodlands Mazeroski Sports Camp for youth with disabilities when she made history.

Thompson had come to the Woodlands, located in the North Hills, to help conduct a golf clinic for youth with various physical and cognitive disabilities.

Sunnehanna Seniors

Sunnehanna Country Club in Johnstown has hosted one of the premier stroke play tournaments for amateurs for more than 50 years, the Sunnehanna Amateur.

In a few weeks, Sunnehanna will host the inaugural Sunnehanna Senior Invitational Tournament, an individual 54-hole stroke play event for amateurs age 55 and over. It will be held Sept.12-14 and will feature 84 of the country's most distinguished senior amateur golfers.

With a few weeks left before the actual event, Sunnehanna has accepted applications from eight of Golfweek's top 10 senior amateurs. Players from 22 states are scheduled to play.

An interesting aspect to the senior event is that there will be some seniors competing who competed in the Sunnehanna Amateur in the past.

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