ATLANTIS, Fla. - (Dec 30, 2004) Indiana club professional Denny Ford was a double winner for the second time in a pair of events dominated by the first tournament appearance at Atlantis Country Club & Inn for European Ryder Cup captain Bernhard Langer, a two-time former Masters champion.
Ford, pro-leasee of two municipal courses in Indianapolis, Pleasant Run and Sarah Shank, and son Ryan were low in the pro division of the Leon "Pop" Sikes Memorial Father-Son Championship. They shot 75-72-147 (Dec. 27-28) in the alternate shots format. Ryan Ford is the head professional at The Legends of Indiana in Franklin.
The following day (Dec. 29), Denny and daughter Danah, shot the low gross score in the Parent-Child, a tournament record par-72. Earlier this year, Danah, a spring graduate of Indiana University, won the Big 10, Indiana Women's Amateur and Indiana Women's Open championships. She has qualified to play on the Futures Tour in 2005.
In 2001, Denny and Ryan won the same Father-Son flight with 145, Denny and Danah the first Parent-Child with 77. "It was amazing three years ago when we found out that it was the first time anyone had won two divisions the same year," said Denny Ford. "To set a tournament record this year is just awesome."
Langer, 47, a native of Amahausen, Germany, has his American home in nearby Boca Raton. With son Stefan, 14, he had the low net score in the pro division, 71-74-145 on a gross of 73-76-149. Langer and daughter Christina, 11, had a net score of 71 in the Parent-Child. That tied for first. They were awarded second on a match of cards.
"We have nothing like this in Germany or anywhere else in Europe," Langer said. "We were excited to have the opportunity to play." Bernhard and Stefan played in the last three Office Depot Father-Son tournaments in Orlando without winning. "Considering the handicaps of Stefan and Christina, we played well all three days."
Other division winners were Duke Butler, III and IV, of Ponte Vedra Beach, Father-Son, amateurs, gross, 151; Larry Rule Jr. and Trey Rule, Palm Beach, Father-Son, amateurs, net, 125; and Debbie and Conor Richardson, West Palm Beach, Parent-Child, net, 71.
The Butlers earned their first title on their fifth try. "It's only the second year we've played in the amateur division," said Duke IV, 23, a senior member of the University of Florida golf team. "Dad is a re-instated amateur. And we may be back in the pro division next year. I'm not sure when I'll turn pro after I graduate next spring."
Duke III is the vice president of tournament business affairs for the PGA Tour. They are not related to Kevin Butler of West Palm Beach, who won the Father-Son six times with three different sons between 1988 and 1997. Kevin Butler has recently succeeded Leon Sikes Jr., 75, of Fort Lauderdale as tournament chairman.
There were 55 teams in the 51st annual Father-Son, 30 in the Parent-Child, begun in 2001 and evolving from the Father-Daughter, which started in 1977. The Parent-Child allows any family combination except Father-Son, including Father-Daughter, Mother-Son, Mother-Daughter, grandparents and grandchildren.
The approximate yardages played: male pros, 6,600; male amateurs, 6,400; men 70-and-older and lady pros, 6,000; lady amateurs and boys and girls 12 and under, 5,400. The prize winners (fathers listed first):
Amateur Division, Gross
151 - Duke Butler, III and IV, Ponte Vedra Beach, 74-77.
153 - Robert and David Currey, Jupiter, 78-75.
157 - Dann and Kodi Merrell, West Palm Beach, 81-76. Glen and Buddy Davis, Orlando, 76-81 (Merrells third on match of cards).
158 - Kerry and John Schwencke, Boca Raton, 80-78. John and Joseph Latowski, Port St. Lucie, 79-79 (Schwenckes fifth on match of cards).
Amateur Division, Net
125 - Larry Jr. and Trey Rule, Palm Beach, 60-65.
134 - Ross and Evan Berlin, Ponte Vedra Beach, 71-63.
136 - Steve and Garett Sabac, Boynton Beach, 65-71.
138 - Bill and Billy Harvey, Wellington, 66-72.
139 - Ken Lietz, Sr. and Jr., Boynton Beach, 70-69.
Pro Division, Gross
147 - Denny and Ryan Ford, Indianapolis, Ind., 75-72.
154 - Doug and Scott Ford, Palm Beach Gardens, 78-76.
155 - Terry and Ryan Howison, Jupiter, 77-78.
Pro Division, Net
145 - Bernhard and Stefan Langer, Boca Raton, 71-74.
149 - Gerald and John Webster, Wellington, 73-76. Gary and Dane Wiren, North Palm Beach, 73-76 (Websters second on match of cards).
Gross - 1, Denny and Danah Ford, Indianapolis, Ind., 72. 2, Norman and Perry Swenson, Boynton Beach, 76. 3, Chuck Workman, Delray Beach, and Jean Bartholomew, Palm Beach Gardens, 79.
Net - 1, Debbie and Conor Richardson, West Palm Beach, 71. 2, Bernhard and Christina Langer, Boca Raton, 71. 3, Mike and Amanda Steele, Jupiter, 71 (ties broken by matching cards).