2006 Soller Memorial Golf Outing

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Four Way Playoff Turns Into A Birthday Gift!

2006 Soller Memorial Open Champions
Joe Soller, Jim Snider Jr., David Soller, Jim Snider Sr., Lee & baby Hoelscher

The tightest tournament in Open history turned into the sweetest birthday gift for Jimmy Snider. On a beautiful, sunny day at the lush Wilson Rd. golf course, 13 teams battled it out for the coveted prize. The scores were the most competitive in recent memory, with 10 of the teams within 3 strokes of the winners.

Befitting the prestige of the event, four teams were tied at the end of regulation. First to putt in the playoff was the surprising team of Tom and Peggy Soller, Gary Predmore and Joel Brown. In 15 previous Opens, this was by far their best finish. Tom and Gary set the benchmark at 5 putts. Next up was the team of Becca Lane, Ben Soller, Charlie Hoertz and Evan Horton. Unfortunately for Ben, early signs of lockjaw from a dog bite the day before affected his swing and he and Charlie took 6 putts, dropping them out of contention. Next up was the last minute combination of Chris Flickinger, Dave Rangler, Rich Leonardo and Steve Leonardo. Steve has been battling a severe back problem but his stroke was as smooth as ever. They stayed in the hunt with 5 putts.

Last to putt was the team of David and Joe Soller, Lee Hoelscher and Jim Snider Sr. and Jr. Joe and Lee were past champions and this team was picked as one of the favorites. Jim Snider Sr. was a multiple winner of the Marysville Country Club Championship so he was no stranger to the winner's circle. David had been playing in the Columbus Area Junior Golf Circuit and he won the award for most improved junior. The one that no one expected much from was Jimmy...Boy, were we wrong about him.

After announcing today was his 51st birthday, a certain optimism permeated the team. Always upbeat and personable, this year Jimmy displayed an air of confidence that presaged good results. That feeling was solidified when he chipped in for birdie on the first hole, creating a lead they never lost. In the playoff, Jimmy calmly lagged his putt within one foot of the hole and tapped in. Lee, feeling the pressure of 100 eyes on his backstroke, left his first putt a knee-knocking five feet from the hole. He recovered his composure and calmly guided his stroke for the winning putt to the cheers of his team, wife Sue, and twin babies!

At the winner's presentation, Jimmy took a moment to regale the crowd with his athletic prowess over time and his satisfaction at defeating his sporting nemesis -- Marty. The crowd was so enamored of Jimmy that they serenaded him with a rousing rendition of Happy Birthday. To further cap his day, Jimmy also won the award for Closest to the Pin on #2.

Award Winners:

Besides the aforementioned Jimmy Snider, who won the Closest to the Pin Award on #2, George Promenschenkel won Longest Drive - Men on #6  with a Brobdingnagian blast of about 275 yards and Yvonne Vermillion won the Longest Drive - Women. Brian Vermillion won the Longest Putt on #9 with a 20 foot effort.

Thanks to everyone who played. A special thanks to Joe for donating the wonderful trophies (how nice is that - buying yourself a trophy!) and everyone who was kind enough to donate prizes. A gigantic thank you to our hospitality crew who gave up their chance at a trophy to serve food and drinks -- Annie and Rachel Lane, Mary, the Raffle Lady and the Queen of the Grill - Linda Soller!

The biggest winner turned out to be Adventures for Wish Kids with a donation of $1,000, our biggest donation ever. Thanks everyone and see you next year on June 23rd!




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