2003 tournament a rousing success

By Ivan Sanders
STAR STAFF
isanders@starhq.com

   As thunderous booms brought about the concern that this year's Dino Senesi Golf Classic was in danger of being washed out, the good Lord showed compassion on a man and a wonderful group of volunteers who have worked diligently for many years to help ensure that the Elizabethton Boys & Girls Club's operating expenses could be met.
   Even though a few sprinkles did hit the beautiful greens and fairways of the Elizabethton Golf Course, all of the nearly 120 golfers finished the 18-hole, par-72 course without having to grace the doorstep of the clubhouse due to the threatening weather on Monday.
   "We were worried about the weather, especially the way the last few weeks have unfolded with all the rain," said tournament namesake Dino Senesi Sr. "All the sponsors have been so generous, and we could not pull this tournament off without the sacrifice of all the volunteers who make this thing happen."
   The tournament was played as a captain's choice, best-ball select-shot format which made for very fierce competition. Winners were named in four different flight categories.
   In the first flight, the team of Tom Whitehead, Michael Morrell, Joe Humston and Adam Shanks fired a blistering 18-under par in shooting a 54 over 18 holes. The team of Brent Dugger, Dewey Warren, Chris Guy and Carroll Boone were four strokes off at 14-under par, registering a 58-stroke round for the tourney.
   University of Tennessee defensive coordinator John Chavis made another visit to the Elizabethton course, teaming with Dave Rider, Roger Frazier and Skip Burleson to record a 9-under par 63 to take the second flight. Chavis was thrilled to be able to come and take part in such a worthwhile cause.
   "I really enjoy coming out and playing with these guys to help support the Elizabethton Boys & Girls Club," stated Chavis. "It means a lot to help keep programs going for the kids of the various communities in the state, and getting together with other golfers for a great day of golf just makes it that much more fun."
   Heading up flight three was the threesome of Dennis Ford, Hugh Howard and former major league umpire Dale Ford, who looks as imposing on the course as he did the diamond. The trio carded a six-under par 66 for the tournament.
   Rounding out the fourth and final flight was Dino Senesi Jr., Joe Sorah, Haymond Thompson and Ed Temple, whose round of one-under par 71 was good enough to take first in the flight.
   The tournament wasn't really about winning, it was about helping to raise funds to support the work of the Elizabethton Boys and Girls Club. The local club provides over 1,500 kids the opportunity to participate in sports such as T-ball and pitching machine baseball and softball in the spring and summer, football in the fall, and basketball in the winter.
   After school programs and summer activities offered by the club also are important reasons that cause these golfers to come out year after year to support Senesi's efforts in making this tournament a success.
   "This year's tournament looks like it will bring in between $25-30,000 after all the expenses are taken care of," quipped Senesi. "That represents somewhere around 20 percent of the Club's yearly budget."
   As the golfers collected the last of the door prizes that included such things as U.T. memorabilia, E-Twins season passes, and other great prizes donated to this year's tournament, plans were already being made for the 2004 Senesi Classic.
   Added Senesi: "The kids are the winners here. These guys are just so awesome to come out and help make this event so rewarding. Hopefully, next year's tournament will be even bigger and better."