Sugarcreek native James Troyer (above) and the late Tuscarawas District Golf Association secretary Warner Kopp will be honored during the Zoar Memorial Amateur Championship this coming Saturday and Sunday, May 26-27.
The annual 36-hole tournament is open to any low-handicap amateur in Ohio and surrounding states. Golfers ages 50 and over compete in the senior division. Aaron Crewse won the 2017 Open division, while Brad Baker captured the Senior division championship.
In addition to competition, the tournament serves to remember and honor the significant contributors to the local and regional golf scene.
In Honor: James Troyer
This year the tournament’s “In Honor” recognition goes to Troyer, 80, who started playing golf when he was just seven years old. Troyer owned, managed and served as superintendent of the Sugarcreek Golf Course from 1977 through 1997. The course, now Willandale, is Ohio’s eighth oldest.
During the course of his playing career, Troyer won 110 events, including the Tuscarawas County Amateur Championship three times. He was a regular contender in the Tuscarawas District Golf Assn. annual competition, which featured seven tournaments on seven different courses: Big Bend, Green Valley, Hickory Flat, River Greens, Sugarcreek, Wilkshire and Zoar.
During a particular successful year, Troyer won all seven events.
While at Sugarcreek Golf Club, Troyer started a junior golf clinic and tournament, which served as entries into the sport for many young athletes.
One of his fondest memories was playing in the Ohio Jaycees Tournament in Columbus. Paired with Jack Nicklaus in the final round, he finished in second place at even par. Nicklaus, who was 15 at the time, beat Troyer by nine shots. Troyer said it was obvious Nicklaus was destined for greatness.
Troyer and his wife, Pat, worked as volunteers for the PGA at the Energizer Senior Players Championship at the Dunes Club in Myrtle Beach, S.C.
In Memory: Warner Kopp
Kopp, this year’s “In Memory” recipient, served as secretary of the TDGA for 30 years. As part of his duties, Kopp organized, scheduled, recorded scores, kept handicaps and “ran a good ship.”
Zoar Village Golf Club, a widely acclaimed public course, is located in northern Tuscarawas County at 8229 Dover-Zoar Road just off Rt. 212.