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Cancer Can’t Tucker Us Out golf tournament set
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Updated: 02/14/2013 08:00:24AM

Cancer Can’t Tucker Us Out golf tournament set

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Larry Jewett

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Bob Murphy can play golf anywhere he wants, anytime he wants. He has earned that through his illustrious career in the sport.

Bob Murphy wants to play at the Bartow Golf Course on March 9. Once again, he will be a part of the Cancer Can’t Tucker Us Out Charity Tournament. The event, which is a two-man scramble, has a shotgun start at 12:30 p.m.

Tournament organizer Gerald Tucker put out the entry blanks at the Bartow Golf Course a few days ago. It didn’t take long to generate an interest. The tournament is limited to 132 players and there are still spots available. There’s no guarantee that will be the case a week from today as this tournament generally sells out.

There are a number of reasons for its popularity. The 11th annual event is held primarily to raise funds to find a cure for cancer, a disease that touches so many lives. Tucker has lost two wives to the disease and many friends. More than a quarter million dollars has been raised over the course of the tournament with all money going directly to the cause. Donations spur Tucker’s ability to post those funds where they do the most good. It is the team’s dominant fund-raiser for his American Cancer Society Relay For Life team. The Relay For Life is coming April 12-13 in downtown Bartow.

While there is no diminishing the idea that the tournament supports a good cause, ask anyone who has played in the past and they will cite the fun as another great reason to be involved. It doesn’t have the allure of first place taking all of the prizes and the average golfer who wants to succeed may be able to win something. If helping a good cause isn’t enough of a motivating factor, there’s always the possibility you can win something.

The winning may not have anything to do with your golfing abilities. There are top end raffle prizes donated for tournament participants. Each year, the list of prizes gets stronger and stronger and this year is no exception.

Did we mention the food? JFD’s will be supplying the oyster bar, which is a popular aspect of the tournament. In the middle of the course, a tiki hut doubles as a sausage stand for the golfers. They have also added the monstrous hot dog stand that will be open before the event. When the tournament concludes, all of the golfers receive a BBQ chicken dinner prior to the awards ceremony.

The news of the return of Murphy (who contacted Tucker about this year after being involved in last year’s event) and the return of the tournament itself says something about the commitment level. Many good golf tournaments that benefit good causes tend to fade away after a few years. This one has crossed the decade mark and only appears stronger for it.

Individual cost is $75 for those who want to play. Many opportunities are available for local businesses. A two-tiered sponsorship program allows companies to join up as hole sponsors to get their name in front of a supportive crowd while also benefitting a worthy endeavor. Entry forms are available at the Bartow Golf Course pro shop. Sponsors are encouraged to contact Tucker at 863-698-4617.

BHS wrestler goes to state

Bartow High School senior wrestler Brian Pennington rolled through regional competition and has earned a berth in the Florida High School Athletic Association state tournament. Pennington has compiled a 35-1 record with the Yellow Jackets, coached by Vince Tolley.

The state tournament will begin Friday at the Lakeland Center. Pennington will face off against Zach Hudson, a senior from Merritt Island, in his first round match-up. Hudson has a record of 31-11 this season. The 132-pound weight class has 16 qualified wrestlers competing in a single elimination tournament.

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