Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Final Pits Players from Public, Private Courses

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Final Pits Players from Public, Private Courses

Article excerpt

Bob Beckmann will meet Jerry Waitulavich in Sunday's final of the 75th St. Louis District Golf Association Championship at Bellerive Country Club.

The match, scheduled for 36 holes, begins at 8 a.m. Beckmann reached the final by beating Jim Mason 2-up Friday in the morning quarterfinal round, then eliminating Andy Frost 1-up in an afternoon semifinal.

Waitulavich defeated Joe Malench 2 and 1 in the morning and ousted 1993 District winner Scott Thomas 1-up in the afternoon. Beckmann and Waitulavich will be making their first appearance in the District title match.

Sunday's final will be notable for a reason other than the commemoration of the District's 75th anniversary event. It will mark the first time a public course player and a representative from a private club will play for the championship.

"That's what I was hoping for," said Larry Etzkorn, District secretary and tournament director.

The District changed its championship format four years ago in an effort to give depth to its field by including public players who met certain eligibility standards. Previously, only members of private clubs could play.

For decades, the District was the metropolitan area's most prestigious amateur event. Complaints that a true metro champion was not being determined because of the exclusionary policy resulted in the birth of the St. Louis Metropolitan Championship.

Beckmann, 34, a stockbroker, is a member at Norwood and won the 1993 Missouri Amateur title. He played the professional mini-tour circuit in Florida and Texas from 1983-85, regaining his amateur status in 1988. He's in his first District tournament.

"When I was growing up I couldn't play in the District because my family didn't belong to a club," said Beckmann, who joined Norwood three years ago.

Waitulavich, 43, a Ping sales representative, is in his fourth District. …

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