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Tyrone’s Zimmers keeps building his resume

Commentary

Tyrone native John Zimmers’ name was in the headlines once again last week.

This time, it was for his fine work in preparing the prestigious Inverness Golf Club for competition during last week’s LPGA’s Drive On Championship in Ohio.

Zimmers, the former superintendent at Oakmont Country Club, came to Toledo’s Inverness Club two years ago as one of the most highly-respected superintendents in the country.

The Inverness Club has hosted four U.S. Opens and two PGA Championships since opening in 1903. The club initially reached out to Zimmers to help restore the club to its original glory and to prepare it for next year’s prestigious Solheim Cup competition.

However, this year’s scheduling changes brought the chance for a newly scheduled LPGA event.

Zimmers and his crew were up to the challenge, even if the event came on short notice.

“The course is immaculate, and the greens are perfectly smooth,” the LPGA’s Lee-Anne Pace said. “If you hit a good putt, it’s definitely going in.”

Zimmers, who was inducted into Tyrone’s Golden Eagle Monogram Club in 2017, continued to receive praise for his work throughout the competition.

“We could host a major right now,” Inverness board member John Swigart said. “It is epic out there. It literally is perfect.”

History makers

Last weekend, the dominating duo of Artie Fink Jr. and Anthony DeGol once again displayed their prowess on the golf course by shooting an incredible 14-under-par, 58, during the final round of the Summit Invitational two-ball event.

I caught up with Fink on Wednesday and got a quick recap of the round.

“We had two eagles and 10 birdies for the day,” he said. “The eagles came on 13 and 16, and the six pars were on 2, 4, 8, 12, 15 and 17.”

While some low two-ball scores are the result of partners playing “in and out” during the course of the round, both Fink and DeGol scored well throughout the entire day on Sunday.

“We took a look at our individual scores after the round,” Fink said. “We would have shot scores of 64 and 65 on each of our balls for the day.”

The incredible best-ball score 58 was a historic milestone.

It was the first sub-60 score shot in local tournament competition. The only occurrence similar to this was a pre-tournament qualifying round of 59 shot by Ty Grove and Sean McLanahan at the 2001 Park Hills Classic.

Outside of our local area, a 59 was shot at the Standing Stone two-ball event on at least two occasions.

Start of major stretch

As golf fans, we’ve been pretty fortunate to enjoy live, TV coverage of golf events during the past couple of months.

With that said, it will be even more exciting this weekend as the PGA Championship will be contested at San Francisco’s Harding Park — golf’s first major championship in over a year.

With the entire golf schedule pushed back due to the ongoing pandemic restrictions, CBS Sports anchor Jim Nantz has called the next 11 months “The greatest stretch of golf in the history of the game.”

He’s referring to the fact that by next July, seven major championships will be decided.

“To have a stretch of golf, you get four in a year, usually. We’re going to have seven in 11 months,” Nantz said. “There’s tonnage of championships, massively important events.”

Other than an exciting finish, the two things I’m most looking forward to at this weekend’s PGA Championship are prime-time coverage (since the tournament is being held on the west coast) and the amazing scenery of the stunning Harding Park layout.

Ken Love covers local golf for the Mirror. He can reached at gltr777@atlanticbb.net.

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