Director Judd Silverman has high hopes for tournamentWritten by Fred Altvater | | BackNine@toledofreepress.com
After taking a year off to accommodate the U.S. Senior Open, the Jamie Farr Toledo Classic returns Aug. 6-12 at Highland Meadows Golf Club in Sylvania. Longtime tournament director Judd Silverman talked with Toledo Free Press about some of this year’s new elements.
TFP: How did you get started with Toledo native and actor Jamie Farr as the tournament host?
Judd Silverman: Back in 1983 when the first Jamie Farr Classic was beginning to take shape, I had the idea of asking Mr. Farr to be involved. Through the efforts of a high school classmate, Don Michel, we were able to contact Jamie. The first tournament was for the benefit of the Ronald McDonald House. Jamie was delighted with the idea and agreed to come on board. We have been thrilled with his involvement over the years. He seems to truly enjoy his continuing connection to his hometown and has been a great ambassador for the tournament.
TFP: How has new sponsor Hollywood Casino Toledo helped the Jamie Farr Toledo Classic?
JS: The Hollywood Casino has become the title sponsor of the Hollywood Casino Gala Dinner & Show to be held Tuesday evening, Aug. 7, at the SeaGate Centre; 1,600-1,700 people will attend a night of dinner and top-flight entertainment. Comedian Tom Dreesen, who has been on “The Tonight Show” and performed with Frank Sinatra, will headline the evening’s entertainment. Tickets can be obtained by contacting the Jamie Farr Toledo Classic tournament office at (419) 531-3277. We at the Jamie Farr are very thankful for their active support and look forward to a continuing relationship with the Hollywood Casino.
TFP: What is Friday at The Farr?
JS: Friday at The Farr offers an excellent opportunity for the Toledo business community to network in a relaxed and fun atmosphere on the Friday afternoon and evening of the Jamie Farr Classic. Entertainment will be provided by Nine Lives at the After Play Party around the par-3 14th hole. The Jamie Farr Classic is continually seeking ways to make the golf tournament enjoyable for the business community. Friday at The Farr will hopefully become an annual event for Toledo-area business people to experience the tournament and stick around for some fun and entertainment after play has ended for the day.
TFP: What is the total purse for this year’s tournament?
JS: The total purse for the LPGA Jamie Farr Toledo Classic will be
$1.3 million with about $200,000 going to the winner. This has increased from a total purse of $175,000 for the inaugural Jamie Farr Classic in 1984. Natalie Gulbis, Na Yeon Choi, Paula Creamer, Cristie Kerr, Christina Kim, Stacy Lewis, Michelle Wie, Morgan Pressel and Se Ri Pak are just a few of the big names that have committed to play in the 2012 Jamie Farr Classic.
TFP: How much will be donated to area charities this year?
JS: Our goal for the 2012 event is $300,000-$350,000. We won’t know the exact number until after the conclusion of the event and all the expenses are paid. We were able to donate $275,000 to area charities from the 2010 tournament, and we feel that we should be able to increase that for this year.
TFP: How excited were you to see the 2010 Jamie Farr Classic champion Na Yeon Choi win the 2012 US Women’s Open?
JS: It was great to see her get the major win. She just continues to improve and get better. I was personally very happy for her and look forward to her coming back to Toledo to play in this year’s event.