Greatest debuts HBK Shootout Thursday at Tippe
Long drive, Par 3 shows will light up Tippecanoe on Thursday evening
The best shots in golf can be big and small, and those will be put on showcase Thursday night when the HBK Shootout Under the Lights at Tippe tees off.
More than 40 of the most skilled golfers in the Mahoning Valley will be on display at Tippecanoe Country Club, bombing drives more that 330 yards and dropping iron shots from 130 yards to nearly in the hole.
The event is a celebratory part of the Greatest Week in the Valley presented by Covelli Enterprises.
The fun night sets up the Friday start of the 54-hole Farmers National Bank stroke play tourney. For the 7th straight year, more than 275 golfers are signed up to play.
Thursday’s field in the long drive consists of many familiar faces who will be competing for part of $1,000 in prizes provided by Golf Headquarters.
Patsy Daltorio is a 2016 champ and he said the night is a perfect blend of competition and camaraderie.
“The atmosphere of people in the golfing community coming together to enjoy a night that doesn’t happen but once a year in the area is a lot of fun,” Daltorio said. “I like the competitive side of things.
“But the camaraderie makes it that much better. Seeing a lot of the same faces who are competing and spectating makes it a great event to be part of.”
Defending champs Ryan Monahan (men) and Rocco Gennaro (seniors) lead a list of past champs making their return, including Felicia Drevna and Jason Pridon.
Monahan fired a 324-yard laser last year to best Boardman’s Scott Hoff (321) and Columbiana’s Jared Wilson (315).
“This was the first time that I have ever participated in the longest drive competition and my goal was not to embarrass myself too much,” Monahan said last year. “There was so much pressure on everyone in the first-round, just making it to the finals kind of eased up on the pressure so we could actually enjoy the finals.”
The long drive starts at 6 p.m. About 25 players will compete for men, women and senior titles.
New this year to the event is a Par 3 shootout under the lights. When the long drive ends, construction lights will brighten the No. 9 hole, and 20 of the best Greatest Golfers will play for Golf Headquarters prizes.
The No. 9 shot is one of the toughest par 3s in the valley: All carry, over water, a typical facing wind ... and on Thursday night, a crowd of about 200 people.
Mike Porter, Greatest’s first Men’s Open champion, plays host to the event, along with brother Scott and father, Tim.
The field includes past champs Jonah Karzmer, Brandon Pluchinsky, Toni Notaro, Bob Leonard, 2018 champ Joey Cilone and more.
All players will get three shots in a qualifier round. The three closest shooters will come back at the end for three shots to decide the champ.
The HBK-sponsored event is free admission. The restaurant will be open to the public.
LONG DRIVE ROSTER
PAR 3 ROSTER