The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

Sports

June 29, 2014

SPORTVIEW: John Cook here Monday for First Tee; other celebs on July 11

OPINION — THE RETURN of Tiger Woods to a PGA event sparked a lot of interest this past week. The return of John Cook to Buhl Farm Golf Course Monday will do the same locally.

Cook, a standout on the Champions Tour and outstanding TV golf analyst, will conduct a clinic at 11 a.m. Monday at the course to help celebrate the 15th anniversary of The First Tee of Sharon program.

It is open to the public at no charge.

Cook, a nephew of long-time First Tee of Sharon Director Carole Barker, first appeared here at the opening of the program locally in 1999.

The First Tee of Sharon building was one of the first in the country and a prototype for many more in the national program that helps youngsters learn the game of golf the correct way as well as life skills that go along with the sport.

Cook, who is competing in the Senior Players Championship this weekend at Fox Chapel Country Club, Pittsburgh, will also sign autographs after the clinic. The anniversary celebration will also include congratulatory remarks by special guests as well as a private get-together after the event.

ä Celebrities always help boost any golf event and there will be several heading into the Shenango Valley for a pair of scrambles on July 11.

The annual Cleveland Browns Alumni Scramble, which benefits the Marvel Flint Scholarships, is hosted by former Farrell High and Browns standout Judson Flint. Several former Browns players come into town each year to join the players in the scramble at Tam O’Shanter Golf Course for a 10 a.m. shotgun.

That afternoon (3:30 shotgun) the Sharon Football Boosters scramble will be held at Avalon at Buhl Park. Special guests include Lloyd Carr, Teryl Austin, Marlin Jackson, Chad Voytik, Tyler Boyd and a notable Pittsburgh Steeler. Sharon High football Coach Jim Wildman will be the host.

ä OK, Tiger Woods failed to qualify for weekend play at the Quicken Loans National Tournament, but his return to the game after back surgery certainly created a buzz.

Many thought Woods wouldn’t even be back to play this season, but since this tournament funded his own charities, he felt he should participate.

While he wasn’t up to his usual playing ability — understandable after three months off — he was happy to be back

“I hate to say it, but I’m really encouraged by what happened this week,” he said after missing only his 10th cut in 299 events. “I missed the cut by four shots — that’s a lot. But the fact that what I was able to do physically, and the speed I had and the distance that I was hitting the golf ball again, I had not done that in a very long time.”

Welcome back Tiger. But one has to wonder how many more events he’ll play this season. His appearance at any tournament always boosts the attendance as well as the TV viewership.

 

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