FORT WAYNE – The final precursor to todays Hotel Fitness Championship was the Chick Evans Memorial Pro-Am.
There were two fields at Sycamore Hills Golf Club.
In the morning, the team of professional Kevin Tway, Stan Ziherl, former NFL player Jason Fabini, Justin Imel and Tommy Schoegler won the shamble (a scramble-like format) with a 26-under 46.
In the afternoon, the team of Danny Lee, Dane Bere, IPFW basketball coach Tony Jasick, Tim Alexander and Tom Shepherd won with a 50 in a scorecard playoff.
The winning pros get a cash prize for their efforts.
The pro-am – and the whole championship – raises money for the Evans Scholarship program. That is the nations largest privately funded college scholarship program, according to Duke Butler IV, the Hotel Fitness Championships tournament director.
Through its history, more than $30 million in college scholarship money has gone to caddies from the Hoosier State alone, Butler said.
Currently, 15 scholars are from Fort Wayne and more than 50 former scholars live in the area, according to the PGA Tour, adding that there have been strong relationships with Sycamore Hills, Fort Wayne Country Club and Orchard Ridge Country Club.
There are currently 100 Evans scholars at Indiana and Purdue universities.
For the first time, there are Evans scholars at Notre Dame – two of them.
The pairings for the first two rounds of the Hotel Fitness Championship were determined by a random computer draw. That computer chose wisely.
The best group tees off at 12:31 p.m. today with 2008 Masters champion Trevor Immelman; Ryo Ishikawa, who is No. 141 in the PGA Tours FedExCup rankings and has earned $1.4 million before his 22nd birthday; and Web.com Tour standout Jim Renner.
At 7:52 a.m., the top two players on the Web.com Tour, Michael Putnam and Ben Martin, are playing with Robert Streb.