The Northern Ohio Golf Association (NOGA) took a huge step over the winter to make the 87th playing of Northeast Ohio Amateur Championship a return to past glory.
To bring back that championship feel, NOGA decided to host the event at one of the area’s top tournament golf courses, StoneWater Golf Club in Highland Heights – a Golf Digest’s Top 30 and former host site to the Cleveland Open on what is now the web.com Tour.
NOGA also scheduled the 54-hole event to be played on three consecutive days in June, running Saturday through Monday to maximize the number of players who entered. No more Monday/Thursday/Monday weekday-only rounds with starts, stops and weeks in between.
Both great ideas.
But there was one problem that became clear after the new NEO Am tournament structure was firmly set: the NEO Am’s starting Saturday of June 10th conflicted with another big Northeast Ohio amateur tournament. One with a 17-year history of playing on that very same date. The Ungvary Memorial at Good Park.
In sports parlance, this was a blown call.
One of NOGA’s biggest goals for the NEO Am was to bring all of Northeast Ohio’s best amateur players together – public course players and private club members – to re-establish a top-caliber championship event for the region. But starting off that effort by scheduling the new-and-improved tournament on top of a long-running amateur team event that typically draws 80-100 players was a massive oversight.
Meetings were called. Ideas were discussed. Hands were wrung. And then a solution.
NOGA Executive Director Robb Shulze (left) reached out to Ungvary tournament director and ADGA chief Tim Davis (right) last week with a thought: since the Ungvary starts at 8 a.m. and the first round of the 2017 NEO Am doesn’t begin until 12:30p, what if a scheduling effort was made to accommodate players who wished to play in both?
It was agreed.
So take note NEOH amateur golf stars: any player who wants to participate in both of these big events on Saturday, June 10th can do so now, with ease.
Players who want a 36-hole day will be scheduled in the first few groups off at Good Park for the Ungvary in the morning, then in the last few groups off at StoneWater for the NEOAm in the afternoon. There will be plenty of time in between. Just make sure you note this tee time requirement when registering for both events.