The Southwest Coast District Masters took historic new form March 23-26 at Bradenton Shuffle Club. We have always had the beginners (District Amateurs) and Pros. In 2016 we added the mlddle level State Amateurs. Six Tournaments in all, 1. Ladies District Amateurs, 2. Men District Amateurs, 3. Ladies State Amateurs, 4. Men State Amateurs, 5. Ladies Pros, 6. Men Pros. The top 8 in each division played each of the other seven three games of 12 frames each. Each player played two opponents each day for 3 ½ days for a total of 21 games. Each division had an alternate in case any player could not continue. Some Alternates were needed. You may play in the District Amateur Masters only once in a lifetime.
Ladies District Amateur First Place was won by Doris Mularz of Midland, Michigan – now full time at Golf Lakes. A former curler, she has fit in beautifully at Golf Lakes and won this her very first Amateur Masters.
Second place went to Shirley Pendergrass of Tropic Isles who only began shuffling after her husband had passed away. After caring for her stepmother until she moved into assisted living, Shirley began shuffling at Tropic Isles and appreciates sincerely the help offered by the club, her partners, and all those who enable these District Tournaments all season.
Third place was won by Janice O’Sullivan of Seabreeze, having played in leagues, and now succeeding nicely in competition.
Fourth place Linda Irwin, president of Mt. Vernon, who experienced a great first season in amateur play, meeting many great shufflers.
Fifth place Carol Maxwell of Peterborough, Ontario plays out of Bradenton Tropical Palms. She and her husband Ken are members of a club on the move, as noted in this column last week.
Kay Thoreson placed sixth. Now of Seabreeze where she learned to shuffle, she has honed her skills at Bradenton, playing single-mingles, and getting introduced to District Tournament play, discovering friends and competition which seem to be her new way of life.
Seventh place is held by Cindy Slaughterbeck of Bluffton, Ohio and Trailer Estates. Cindy is also a skilled computer worker in the medical field and travels extensively in her work. She also has three sons and four grandchildren along with her husband Steve.
Eighth place is held by Barbara Young of Beaverton,Michigan and Trailer Estates . She is retired from Saginaw Newspaper Co., and loves to fish at her lake home in Summers, a parent of three, she loves Florida in Winter.
First place District Amateur man is Steve Slaughterbeck of Trailer Estates who is also an auctioneer and realtor. Steve will serve Trailer Estates Shuffle Club as Co-President next Fall. He is winning tournaments, playing very well, indeed.
Second place is shared by Arnie Congdon and Rick Hall. Arnie, a Michigan native came to Florida in 1983 but has only shuffled for two seasons. Experiencing an eye event the first day, he allowed Alternate Rick Hall to complete the Masters. Rick of Grove City, PA and Terra Ceia was a golfer and was a race car driver for 40 years on dirt tracks. A member of Bradenton Shuffle Club, he played quite well for 2 ½ days last week.
Gary Lindsay, third, a retired police officer from Adrian, MI plays out of Palmetto. A former Navy diver and explosive ordnance disposal officer, he has only shuffled for one year.
Fourth place, William Hickman of Pennsylvania and Ellenton Gardens shuffled with his wife, whose passing last summer was noted in this column. Bill needed the many friends he has made this year as he is nice to everybody.
Fifth place went to Jim Clark and Ken Maxwell. Ken played only on Saturday but Jim played gamely for three days, although he did not feel well physically. Both proved worthy opponents.
Sixth place went to Ned Fogarty, stabilized by a cane, but playing quite gamely. He and Pat have four children, thirteen grands and five great grandchildren with another expected soon. He will likely encourage them all to consider this great sport.
Seventh place Larry Belsley, a retired radiology technician from Ann Arbor, MI, plays out of Venice Shuffle Club. He thanks those who encouraged him to try tournament play.
Eighth place Bill Bierema, formerly of Englewood moved to Golf Lakes two years ago where he learned to play competitively. His wife now supposes he and his many friends are addicted to shuffleboard!
Due to space limitation, next week’s column will present the facts about State Amateurs and Pros.
FL P-25 at Lakeland, March 21, Ladies Main: 4 Judy Taylor and partner. Men: Consolation: 4. Ron Nurnberger-Gene McCullough.
Today is the second day of FL P-26 Tournament of Champions at Clearwater. Next Monday, April 4 at Briny Point in the Southeast Coast District is the Florida Masters.
. Word has been received of the death of Clare Mitchell, of Tri-Par and Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. Clare Shuffled here for about 25 years and had many friends in the District. He has also been in the Canadian Armed Forces for a previous 25 years. His passing was sudden as a broken hip led to discovery of cancer having spread. Mercifully he did not linger.