By Ward Clayton
Farr naming a rarity
This week's Jamie Farr Toledo Classic presented by Kroger, Owens Corning and O-I is a rarity in American professional golf - a tournament with a celebrity as a title sponsor. The Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open on the PGA Tour is the only other tournament with a celebrity leading the name of the event.
Farr, the former actor on the TV series M*A*S*H, started the tournament in 1984 in his hometown of Toledo, Ohio and it has been played annually on the LPGA since then except for 1986 and last year. Farr turned 78 on July 1.
The Farr tournament could soon become the longest-running celebrity-titled event in the history of the LPGA. Actress Dinah Shore, a World Golf Hall of Famer, lent her name to the first major of the year, now called the Kraft Nabisco Championship, from its inception in 1972 until 1999.
Having a tournament named for a current or former player is a longtime tradition on the LPGA, with 15 players having tournaments named for them since the Betty Jameson Open debuted in 1952 in San Antonio, Texas. The Lorena Ochoa Invitational is the only tournament on the 2012 schedule named for a player
Here's a look at tournaments that have been named after celebrities and LPGA players:
|Betty Jameson||Betty Jameson Open||1952||San Antonio|
|Betsy Rawls||Betsy Rawls Open||1953-54, '59||Spartanburg, S.C.|
|Barbara Romack||Barbara Romack Open||1953||Sacramento, Calif.|
|Babe Zaharias||Babe Zaharias Open/
Babe Zaharias Invit.
|1953-67, '76||Beaumont, Tx./
Chagrin Fall, Oh.
|Damon Runyan||Damon Runyan Cancer Fund Tournament||1954||Landover, Md.|
|Opie Turner||Opie Turner Open||1958-59||Burneyville, Okla.|
|Mickey Wright||Mickey Wright Invitational||1961-69||San Diego|
|Bill Brannin||Bill Brannin's Swing Parade||1961||Albuquerque, N.M.|
|J.E. McAuliffe||J.E. McAuliffe Memorial||1962||Plainfield, N.J.|
|Mary Mills||Mary Mills Mississippi Gulf Coast Invitational||1963-64||Ocean Springs, Miss.|
|Clifford Ann Creed||Clifford Ann Creed Invitational||1964||Alexandria, La.|
|Louise Suggs||Louise Suggs Delray Beach Invitational||1966-67||Delray Beach, Fla.|
|Shirley Englehorn||Shirley Englehorn Invitational||1966-68||Caldwell, Idaho|
|Patty Berg||Patty Berg Classic||1969, 1975-80||Sutton, Mass.;
St. Paul, Minn.
|Dinah Shore||Colgate-Dinah Shore||1972-99||Rancho Mirage, Calif.|
|Bing Crosby||Bing Crosby International Classic||1974-75||Guadalajara, Mexico|
|Jerry Lewis||Jerry Lewis Muscular Dystrophy Classic||1976||Springfield, Ill.|
|Kathryn Crosby||Kathryn Crosby/Honda Civic Classic||1977-78||Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.|
|Jamie Farr||Jamie Farr Toledo Classic||1984-85, 87-2010, 12-||Toledo/Sylvania, Ohio|
|Pat Bradley||Planters Pat Bradley Invitational||1988-90||High Point, N.C.|
|Kathy Ireland||Kathy Ireland LPGA Classic||2000-1, 05-06||Murrells Inlet, S.C./
|Nancy Lopez||Chick-fil-a Charity Championship hosted by Nancy Lopez/Florida's Natural Charity Championship hosted by Nancy Lopez
|Amy Alcott||The Office Depot Hosted by Amy Alcott
|Betsy King||Wachovia Classic Hosted by Betsy King
|Annika Sorenstam||Ginn Tribute Hosted by ANNIKA||2007-08||Mt. Pleasant, S.C.|
|Lorena Ochoa||Lorena Ochoa Invitational||2008-12||Guadalajara, Mexico|
Lewis goes back to birthplace
Stacy Lewis has been on a roll this season, winning twice and currently holding the lead in the Rolex Player of the Year and Season Earnings standings. Getting a bit of a hometown crowd this week should help even more. Lewis was born in Toledo and moved to Texas when she was age 2. Two years ago, she was followed by the "Lew Crew," a group of friends and extended family who still reside in Toledo. This will be her fourth Farr appearance and she is searching for her first top-10 finish. Lewis' best finish was a T17 in 2008 when she made her Farr debut as an amateur.
Highland Meadows' finish
Designed by Scottish architect Sandy Alves in 1925, Highland Meadows Golf Club has a dramatic finish with consecutive par 5s. The 17th is a reachable par 5 at 513 yards and the finishing hole is a true three-shot hole at 532 yards. There is only one par 3 on the back nine, the 14th; therefore, players come home on a par-37 nine. The front nine plays to par 34 with three par 3s and one par 5.
Highland Meadows, located in Sylvania, Ohio, has been the site of an LPGA event since 1966 when the Glass City Classic, a one-year event, was won by Sandra Haynie. When the Jamie Farr Classic debuted in 1984, Glengarry Country Club in Toledo was the site until 1988. Highland Meadows became the Farr site in 1989.
In 2010, the last time the Jamie Farr Classic was played, Na Yeon Choi won in a playoff against three players whose last name is Kim - Christina, Song-Hee and In-Kyung. Choi aced the eighth hole in the third round, slam-dunking a 9-iron from 134 yards, and birdied the 72nd hole to join the playoff. All four players parred the first playoff hole, the par-5 18th. None of the Kims could make birdie on the second playoff hole, the par-5 17th, and Choi made a 30-inch birdie putt for her third career victory.
Organizers are hoping to turn the long par-3 14th hole into a loud hole on Friday of tournament week, a scaled-down version of the par-3 16th hole at TPC Scottsdale for the PGA Tour's Waste Management Phoenix Open. "Friday at the Farr" will be staged around the perimeter of the 14th green at Highland Meadows with extra bleachers set up to accommodate up to 400 spectators in an area called "Klinger's Club" - a tribute to tournament namesake Jamie Farr.
Paula Creamer has a deep appreciation for Highland Meadows Golf Club. When she won the tournament in 2008, Creamer opened with a 60 that included birdies on nine of her last 11 holes and an incoming 27 (tied the LPGA record) on Highland Meadows' par-34 front nine. She began her strong finish with birdies on the par-5 17th and 18th holes - her eighth and ninth holes. Creamer has also shot 64 and 65 at Highland Meadows and has finishes of T5 and third in 2005 and 2006, respectively.
Se Ri Pak has won the Farr five times, tied for the most wins in a single event in LPGA history. Her most recent win came in 2007.
Here are the LPGA records for most wins in an event, the nine-hole and 18-hole marks (Highland Meadows records in bold):
Most wins at the same tournament
5, Mickey Wright, Sea Island Open (1957-58, 1960, 1962-63)
5, Kathy Whitworth, Orange Blossom Classic (1965, 1968-70, 1974)
5, Annika Sorenstam, Samsung World Championship (1995-96, 2002, 2004-2005)
5, Annika Sorenstam, Mizuno Classic (2001-2005)
5, Se Ri Pak, Jamie Farr Toledo Classic (1998-99, 2001, 2003, 2007)
27, Jimin Kang, Seaview Marriott Resort & Spa, Bay Course, Galloway Twp., N.J., 2005 ShopRite LPGA Classic, par 35; she shot 62
27, In-Kyung Kim, Highland Meadows Golf Club, Sylvania, Ohio, 2007 Jamie Farr Toledo Classic, par 34; she shot 65
27, Paula Creamer, Highland Meadows Golf Club, Sylvania, Ohio, first round, 2008 Jamie Farr Toledo Classic, par 34; she shot 60
59, Annika Sorenstam, 2001 Standard Register PING, Moon Valley CC, Phoenix, Ariz., par 72
60, Meg Mallon, 2003 Welch's/Fry, Dell Urich Golf Course, Tucson, Ariz., par 70
60, Jung Yeon Lee, 2004 Welch's/Fry, Dell Urich Golf Course, Tucson, Ariz., par 70
60, Anna Acker-Macosko, 2004 Longs Drug Challenge, The Ridge GC, Auburn, Calif., par 71
60, Paula Creamer, 2008 Jamie Farr Toledo Classic, Highland Meadows GC, Sylvania, Ohio, par 71