Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Olin and Palmer Team Remembered in Silver

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Olin and Palmer Team Remembered in Silver

Article excerpt

Forty-one years ago, a friendship was formed at Greenbriar Hills Country Club when Arnold Palmer teamed with Spencer T. Olin to win a pro-am tournament. That friendship will culminate this week when Spencer T. Olin Community Golf Course in Alton, which was designed by Palmer, plays host to the U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links Championship.

To honor the event, USGA vice president F. Morgan "Buzz" Taylor, Jr. will present management with the original silver plate Spencer Olin and Palmer won at Greenbriar back in 1955 during a dinner at the clubhouse Monday evening. Taylor, whose wife is Barbara Olin Taylor, is a son-in-law of Olin, who died last year after a long illness.

"It's pretty special," said Spencer T. Olin director Jon DePriest. "It's going to be a pretty emotional presentation."

It's also a fitting start to what figures to be a special tournament - the 20th playing of the WAPL. Past champions include players who progressed to the LPGA Tour such as Tracy Hanson, Heather Farr, Tracy Kerdyk and Pearl Sinn. The defending champion, Jo Jo Robertson, who plays at Oklahoma State, returns to defend her title and participate in her seventh WAPL. Robertson, 20, first played in the event at the age of 13.

In keeping with that tradition, this year's field will include Jody Niemann, a 14-year-old from Rigby, Idaho, who advanced to the first round of match play during last year's WAPL at Hominy Hills Golf Course in Colts Neck, N.J. DePriest had just gotten off the phone with Niemann's mother as he spoke.

"Her mother basically was requesting I find a caddy who knows the course very well and who could sort of watch out for her and act like a father figure for her," DePriest said. "Dean Lovelace, of our staff, is going to be her caddy. Dean knows the course and he has a young daughter who is a very good player, so he'll be perfect for that role."

St. Louisans to watch include Belleville standout Jill Gomric, who is headed to the University of Arizona, and Jo D Blosch, the defending Metropolitan Amateur Golf Association champion.

Tournament week includes practice rounds on Monday and Tuesday. The competition begins with qualifying medal play on Wednesday and Thursday. The field will be trimmed to 32 for match-play rounds Friday through Saturday. The championship flight then conducts the 18-hole match-play final at 12:30 p.m. Sunday.

The tournament is open to the public for the entire week and admission is free. …

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