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Archive for Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Senior Open huge hit in Hutch

July 11, 2006

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The tournament is over, and Allen Doyle repeated as champion of the U.S. Senior Open.

Between the opening meeting of the Golf Course Management Turf Team on July 2 and Doyle accepting the champion's trophy on Championship Sunday, the week was a fast-paced adventure. The years of planning and preparations culminated into a world-class event down to the last detail. The U.S. Senior Open scored a hole-in-one.

As one of nearly 2,100 volunteers who worked at the Senior Open, the rewards of being a small part of something great will be the one memory that will stick out the most.

From the parking attendants who reported to their posts at 3:45 every morning to the vendors who finished their duties well after dark, the event could not have happened without the thousands of volunteers who gave their time and talents. The space limitations of this article cannot begin to address each area of responsibility and the multiple roles of the volunteers, but each one was a piece of a large and complex puzzle that fit together perfectly.

In his championship acceptance speech, perhaps the fitting summary was heard when Doyle began to recognize the many volunteers "who did whatever we asked of them." The large gallery began to applaud before he could even finish his statement.

The city and citizens of Hutchinson are to be congratulated for playing host to such a magnificent golf event and for the warm hospitality freely provided to all. Economically, the tournament is estimated to have brought in $20 million to the South-Central Kansas area.

Every cent was earned. Everywhere patrons or volunteers of the event went, they were greeted by wonderful people, friendly help and genuine kindness. It's what makes Kansas, Kansas.

- Ray Buckingham is a curriculum specialist for the Lawrence-based Golf Course Superintendents Assn. He was a volunteer at the U.S. Senior Open, which concluded Sunday in Hutchinson.

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