Thursday, July 27, 2000

LOCAL GOLF NOTEBOOK


UC's Herman enjoying status as amateur

By Carey Hoffman
Enquirer contributor

        The University of Cincinnati's Jim Herman has proved he is the first star of Cincinnati golf in 2000.

        He won his first Greater Cincinnati Golf Association Metropolitan Amateur at Coldstream last month and then defeated a select field of 15 local club pros and 14 other top local amateurs to win the inaugural Fifth Third Bank Celebrity Classic July 15-16 at the Golf Center at Kings Island.

        After his most recent victory, Herman said he was pleased about bringing honor to the amateurs.

        “The amateurs take a lot of pride in this and the Pro-Am Matches that are coming up (Aug.11 at Traditions),” Herman said. “We don't like losing to the pros, so it's nice in that regard.”

        The St.Xavier High graduate was on the winning side last year in the Pro-Am Matches. The amateurs have defeated the pros for three straight years, but the local pros sill lead the series 25-6-1.

        Between the Met and the Celebrity Classic victories, Herman finished 12th in the Ohio Amateur in Columbus.

        “I played fair up there,” Herman said. “I couldn't get anything going. It was frustrating, coming off how I played in the Met.”

        He said the Celebrity Classic victory won't affect his plans to wait until the winter, at the earliest, to turn professional and possibly try the nerve-wracking PGA Tour Qualifying School.

        Runner-up Paul Hobart was low pro and received an $8,000 check from the $15,000 purse.

        “It's a great consolation prize,” Hobart said.

        Herman, 22, and Hobart can test themselves against the top pros and amateurs from Dayton and Columbus at the inaugural $20,000 Huntington National Bank Southern Ohio PGA Open Sept.18 at the Heritage Club and the Four Bridges Country Club in Mason.

        Celebrity Classic II: The Fifth Third Bank Celebrity Classic raised more than $200,000 for Children's Hospital Medical Center, said organizer Cris Collinsworth, who promised they will be back again next summer.

        “I think so,” he said. “Everyone was happy with how it happened and a little overwhelmed with how well it happened.”

        “This whole experience was absolutely incredible,” pro Steve Nelson said. “This is the greatest thing to happen to local golf ever.”

        The winning team in the two-man amateur competition was Max Meyers and Thomas Johnson.

        Jack Murray contributed to this report.

       



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