Only woman in GBO has Maine ties and is on comeback trail

Posted July 26, 2014, at 10:24 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine —- Tovie St. Louis of West Palm Beach, Florida, didn’t play the way she wanted to at the Greater Bangor Open.

The only woman in the 108-player field shot a 77-79-156 and missed the cut on Friday.

But the 27-year-old daughter of Orono native Danny St. Louis has just returned to golf recently after being sidelined for two years due to tendinitis in her elbow.

Her dad shot a 71-74 and also missed the cut.

“I didn’t play well,” said Tovie St. Louis, who made her professional debut in the 2006 GBO.

But all is not lost.

“We’re going to a family reunion,” said St. Louis who thankful for the opportunity to return to playing golf after her long hiatus.

St. Louis is a latecomer to the sport.

She didn’t start playing until she was 15. She played at Royal Palm Beach High School and at Barry University in Miami before turning pro.

Her dad is the director of golf at Breakers West in West Palm Beach and she said “I didn’t want to do the same thing my dad did but now I am doing exactly what he does.”

She works at the Fountains Country Club in Lake Worth, Florida, and is in the process of becoming an assistant golf pro.

Tovie and her dad loved playing in the GBO and she is hoping to someday play golf for a living on the LPGA Tour.

Reynolds recalls Muni opening

Bob Reynolds was driving a golfcart and updating the scores of the three leaders, David Chung, Mike Van Sickle and Jesse Larson, during the GBO.

Reynolds would put their scores on a board on the back of the cart so fans could monitor their scores.

Bob was also one of the people who teed off to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Bangor Municipal Golf Course. He has been a member for all 50 years.

He said when the course opened there wasn’t a lot of turf and the ground was hard.

“But it was still a nice course. The greens were good,” recalled Reynolds, who plays three to four times a week even at the age of 87. “They couldn’t use the back nine the first year because the grass was still growing on it.”

He said the membership fee the first year was $40.

“It was pro-rated because it opened in July. It was $60 the next year. Now it’s $630,” he said.

Reynolds said they have made a number of improvements over the years, including the upgrading of the irrigation system and significantly trimming the grass and bushes between the 17th and 18th holes.

“It used to be a jungle in there. Now you can find your ball in it,” he said. “They’re always working on it. They’re always trying to improve it.”

His only gripe is “they don’t have ball washers on every hole.”

Hacker takes name in stride

His name isn’t ideal for the game of golf.

But Scott Hacker, a teaching pro from Georgia who played in the Greater Bangor Open, takes it all in stride.

“I’ve heard it all,” grinned Hacker, who has gotten used to the good-natured jokes.

“I was definitely self-conscious about it when I first started playing,” admitted Hacker. “It was a factor. I had a complex.”

But he has won several tournaments and just shrugs it off these days.

Hacker shot a respectable 73-71-144 over the first two rounds but missed the cut.

Van Sickle enjoyed GBO

Van Sickle, who finished as the runner-up at the GBO when he lost on the fourth playoff hole to David Chung, said there were some reasons behind the fact he and Chung set the GBO record with 16-under 191s, three shots better than Shawn Hawley’s previous mark set in 2010.

“The weather was perfect all week. If you get some good players and put them on greens that roll half-decent and you get perfect weather, we’re going to do what we do,’ said Van Sickle.

Van Sickle said winning the longest drive contest with a drive of 353 yards on Wednesday set the stage for him. He set the course record with a 60 on Thursday.

“I built some momentum going into the weekend and that was nice,” said Van Sickle who was playing in his first GBO as was Chung.

He said if he isn’t on a tour next year, he will return he said.

“It was a fun week. It was a fun course. The people couldn’t have been nicer. I’d love to come back,” said Van Sickle whose father, Gary, accompanied him and shot a 224 while competing in the amateur bracket.

 

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