MORNING CUP OF JOE (FEB. 19, 2012)
By Joe Klimas
Kenny Perry has roared back with a 10 under 62 to sit at 18 under (126) to wrest the number one spot from first round leader Larry Mize after 36 holes at the 25th Annual Ace Group Classic at The Twin Eagles Club. Tom Lehman sits in third, with defending champion Bernhard Langer fourth heading into Sunday’s third and final round. Competition in the one point six million dollar tournament on Sunday will begin an hour earlier at 9:15. Tickets for the final round are available. The tournament leaders will hit from the first tee on Sunday at 11:15, so set that alarm clock an hour earlier.
As the Silver Anniversary, The 25th Annual ACE Group Classic, gets ready for it’s final round on Sunday, there are still several memories from years past. One of the best is a little story about Jack Schirmer, a member at Countryside. He was a security guard when the event was played at Quail West. I happened to pass by him on my way into the clubhouse and he reminded me of a character in a television show popular back in those days. As a result, from that day on, myself and many others referred to him as the school teacher in that series, Harvey Lipschitz.
My good friend and long time former sports editor of the Naples Daily News Tom Rife, has been involved in covering local sports for over 30 years and was there from the tournaments inception. One of the early volunteer chairmen was Randy Gaffney, a banker in town who was connected with the Conservancy. He was always appreciative of the volunteers, and worked very hard to show his and the Conservancy’s thanks. Steve Klee, the General Manager of the Vineyards, was extremely organized and was a gracious host for the event when it was held there.
Sunday should prove to be an exciting conclusion for this 25th Anniversary of The ACE Group Classic, so come on out and enjoy. I’ll see you there.