Sunday, February 20, 2000

Kroger names French tournament director

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Margie French, tournament coordinator for 11 years, has been promoted to tournament director of the $1.4 million Kroger Senior Classic Sept. 11-17 at the Golf Center at Kings Island.

        She replaces Don Schumacher, who was relieved of his duties in mid-October after one year

        No reason was given for Schumacher's departure. According to French, a decision was made to keep the job “in-house between Kroger and a veteran tournament staff.”

        French will be responsible for the day-to-day operations and sales and marketing of the Kroger Classic.

        “Margie's years of experience with the tournament has enabled her to acquire a vast knowledge of details, which makes her a natural to produce this Senior PGA Tour event,” said Robert J. Hodge, president of the Kroger Cincinnati/Dayton marketing area. “Her leadership will be instrumental in the continuing development of this great event.”

        Following the 1998 Kroger Classic, Schumacher replaced Burch Riber, who served as tournament chairman for PGA Tour (Ohio Kings Island Open), LPGA Tour (LPGA Championship) and Senior PGA Tour (Kroger Classic) events at Kings Island for a quarter century. French had served under Riber during those years.

        “I am thrilled to have the support of the Kroger Company, which has been extremely supportive in putting on such a great tournament for golf fans in the area,” French said. “I am determined to make this tournament one of the premier sports and entertainment events of the year in the Greater Cincinnati area.”

        French plans an inaugural nine-hole junior pro-am Sept. 11. There will be 10 teams. Each team will have one senior pro and three juniors (ages 14-18) who have 2.5 grade point averages.

        “Gil Morgan, our defending champion, has enthusiastically said he wants to participate in the junior pro-am,” French said. “We also want to set up an Expo-type festival with 35 booths around the course for the spectators. We want to shake this thing up and make it fun.”

        French has commitments already from TV golf analyst and two-time senior winner Gary McCord, and TV golf analyst and two-time U.S. Open winner Andy North, who turns 50 March 9, to this year's 54-hole Kroger Classic field.

        The Kroger Classic has raised more than $1.5 million for the Kroger Scholarship Fund and other charities.


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