Championship Challenge at the Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS Raises $20,000 for Pittsburgh Charities
June 26, 2012
By Jeff Szklinski, Special to Together.PGATOUR.com
PITTSBURGH-- It didn’t take very long to warm up the crowd gathered around the short-game facility at Fox Chapel Golf Club for the “Championship Challenge” on Tuesday of the Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS Championship week.
The event began with Champions Tour professional Tom Lehman being erroneously introduced as the 1966 British Open Champion (he is the 1996 champion). The 2011 Charles Schwab Cup and 2011 Champions Tour Player of the Year Award winner proceeded to do his best elderly impression turning his wedge into a cane and walking around very gingerly to mock the accidental mistake. Everyone in attendance burst out laughing.
Fellow Champions Tour stars Jay Haas and John Cook joined Lehman for the event. Each professional was paired with one Pittsburgh great from a championship Pittsburgh Penguins, Pirates or Steelers team from decades past, as well as a local media celebrity.
The three teams of three, each decked out in their appropriate black and gold team jerseys, competed for a $20,000 purse that all went to charity, with $10,000 being awarded to the winning team’s foundation, and $5000 to the other two team’s foundations.
The “Steel City” squads dueled in a laid back golf-style version of the basketball game HORSE, and John Cook’s Steelers team, including four-time Super Bowl champion safety Mike Wagner, and Bob McLaughlin from 105.9 the X Morning Show, won the challenge-- and bragging rights.
“It’s great to be a part of this community this week,” said Cook. “Pittsburgh is a great sports town, and I know they love their sports. They come out and support everything that we do and what their teams do.”
Haas paired with two-time Stanley Cup champion Phil Bourque and Rob King, who covers the Penguins for ROOT SPORTS in Pittsburgh. Lehman joined World Series champion pitcher Kent Tekulve as well as Paul Alexander, who covers the team for 93.7 The Fan, the Flagship radio station for the Pirates. Throughout the competition there was plenty of banter, with the Champions Tour players and retired Pittsburgh athletes certainly knowing a thing or two about winning.
“There’s really a neat buzz around Pittsburgh right now regarding this tournament,” said Borque. “By no stretch of the imagination are we anywhere near as good as these professionals, but it was kind of cool that they were as intrigued about what we do as we are with what they do.”
Proceeds from the “Championship Challenge” will benefit the Pittsburgh Steelers Charities, the Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation and Pittsburgh Pirates Charities.
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