PHOTOS: Christmas Island Style Golf Tournament

Santa cause finds a generous field of golfers

Seventeen foursomes took to the greens on Saturday afternoon at Eagle Creek’s golf course in Naples to raise funds for 2011 Christmas Island Style events on Marco Island.

“It’s the first afternoon tournament we’ve held,” said Steve Stefanides, chairman of the Christmas Island Style committee, “and I think with the good weather and excellent course, everybody had a nice time.”

This was the third year Eagle Creek hosted the tournament, but the first afternoon start. Some players liked the idea, especially those in the restaurant business who were able to “sleep in” on Saturday morning. In addition, players remarked that the course appeared dryer without the usual accumulation of morning dew.

“With the cooler and dryer weather, the course is at its best,” said Eagle Creek’s professional, Jeff Jackson, who outlined challenges for the day’s play.

“This course has a lot narrower tree line than most, and water hazards and wet greens could slow the speed of play, but not today,” Jackson said. “Everything is dry and the course should be fast, although the steady breeze could prove to be a challenge.”

Jackson’s pick of holes were 17 and 18 where long fairways and water hazards tested golfers and added to the difficulty of play. The 8th hole was designated for the “hole-in-one” grand prize, but no golfer claimed victory there.

Tournament rules established play as a best-ball scramble with no handicaps and two mulligans per players. Mulligans are purchased chances to do over disappointing shots.

The tournament committee and clubhouse staff added touches of Christmas to ditty bags and the scoreboard. The après golf happy hour buffet featured a carving station, cheese selections and hot and cold hors d’oeuvres.

Door prizes and a 50-50 raffle preceded the announcement of tournament winners.

Scoring a low of 55, the team of John Acunto, Jerry Guidish, Ryan Richardson and Loren David took first place. Second at 59 was the team of Scott Gibbs, Marc Canady, Sean Shea and Brian Day.

Coming in at a very close third with a score of 60 was the team of Steve Josselyn, Chris Evenson, Mike Wesson and Al Cahoon.

In the ladies’ division, Jennifer Shanahan won closest to the pin and Jacquie Koon made the longest drive. For men, Frank Linkenberg won closest to the pin and Scott Gibbs made the longest drive.

“All proceeds will help defray the $20,000 cost of events sponsored by Christmas Island Style like the tree lighting ceremony that costs $4,000 annually and the street parade that costs $6,000,” Stefanides said. “Also, we have added a new event at the historical church by the cemetery that will honor Marion Blomier this year.”

Major Christmas Island Style activities include Santa’s arrival at Shops of Marco, 6 p.m. on Nov. 25; the annual tree lighting and community celebration at Veterans’ Community Park, 6 p.m. on Dec. 3; the Christmas Island Style Holiday Gala at Bistro Soleil, 6 p.m. on Dec. 4; the holiday concert and salute to veterans at Marco Island Charter Middle School, 6:30 p.m. on Dec. 7; the annual boat parade, 6 p.m. on Dec. 10; and the annual street parade along San Marco Road starting at 6:30 p.m. on Dec. 17.

© 2011 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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