Eight teams teed off on a crisp, breezy morning around 8:30. The weather warmed slowly to a mild and sunny day that was perfect for golf. By one o’clock, all teams had completed their rounds, including the Longest Putt and Closest-To-The-Pin contests. Unfortunately, no one was able to claim the $10 thousand prize for a hole-in-one. Tournament championship trophies were claimed by Woody and The Gang with a winning score of 55. Team members for Woody and The Gang were Coach William Woodruff (retiree of Carver High School), Coach Robert Crawford (retiree of Carver High School), Greg Odom and Jerry Cap Butler.
While the golfers were out, organizers were out on the clubhouse deck playing Bid Whist and Spades while listening to R & B hits, including everything from Marvin Gaye to Mary J. Blige.
The tournament honored the late Ida Ballard Simon, former graduate and Vice President of Advancement at Lincoln University and graduate of Carver High School. “Ida was a champion of education, said event planner and sister,” Cheryl Ballard. “She encouraged me and all my siblings to pursue an education beyond high school.”
After graduating from Carver in 1967, Ida Ballard left Memphis and went to Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Missouri. “Ida came to LU with no money and graduated with honors,” said former classmate, Joe Johnson. “She passionately wanted to give back.” The tournament raised $7 thousand for the Ida Ballard Simon Memorial Scholarship Fund, which was presented to the current Vice President of Advancement at Lincoln University, Arthur Brooks.
“Our first tournament was a very successful event and I am very proud. It will be even better next year,” said Cheryl Ballard. Organizers are targeting the last Saturday in April for the 2009 tournament.
For Flight One, Woody and the Gang ranked number one for the overall tournament first place title with a score of 55. Flight One runner up team was Firefighters Local 1784 also with a team score of 55. Members for Firefighters Local 1784 were Fred Cotton, Richard Johnson, Mike Coughlin and Davis Alsbrook. The second runner up team for the championship was Pioneer Black Fire Fighters with a score of 57. Team members for Pioneer Black Fire Fighters were Ervin Smith, Ronald Mitchell, Ronald Braden and Antonio Smith.
Second place trophies went to Memphis Willie’s Team placing first in Flight Two with an overall score of 60. Team members for Memphis Willie’s were Willie Gregory, Marvell Mitchell, Ben Watson and Malcolm Hunt. Flight Two runner up team was Yates and Company with John Pro, Myron Miles, Dennis McKey and Cornelius Yates. The second runner up team was The 4 R’s. Team members for the 4 R’s were Raphael Smith, Ron Rodgers, Randy Ford and Ron Rone.
The third place trophies were presented to Team Olives who placed first in Flight Three. Team members for Olives were Tyrone Blanks, Stephanie Blanks, DeAundre George and Mr. Dingle as a last minute stand-in for Charles Jackson. Following Team Olives was The Pasley Team with Charles Ballard, Mario Ballard, Arthur Brooks and Fred Johnson.
Raphael Smith won the Closest-To-The-Pin contest by hitting just 6ft and 5 inches out followed by Randy Ford (7ft and 2 inches out) and DeAundre George (8ft and 3 inches out).
Cornelius Yates’ ball landed just 12 inches from the hole making him the winner of the Longest Putt contest followed by Mr. Dingle (14 inches from the hole) and Raphael Smith (26 inches out).
2008 Sponsors of the Ida Ballard Simon Memorial Golf Tournament
Platinum Plus – The Telein Group
Ronald and Bernice Stuart, Victor and Pamela Pasley and The Ballard Family
Gold – Stanley Blue, Dr. Sharonda Peete
Silver – Memphis Fire Fighters Association – Local 1784
Beverages – D Canale Beverages, The Floyd Family, MLGW