Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Classic Golf

The Buccaneers and Publix Super Markets find a fairway to help the United Way: the Buccaneers Golf Classic

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RB Warrick Dunn knows a thing or two about hitting the hole

As the fifth and sixth leading rushers, respectively, in Tampa Bay Buccaneers history, Mike Alstott and Warrick Dunn have proven they can find the hole. While that quality brings joy to Buccaneer fans on fall Sundays, this spring Tuesday it helped to brighten lives through the United Way.

Alstott and Dunn were on hand Tuesday for the second annual Buccaneers Golf Classic, where they stalked the 18 holes at Lone Palm Golf Club in Lakeland, Florida. In all, thirty-one teams of six participated in a scramble-format tournament, with each team featuring a prominent Buccaneer representative. The event was presented by Publix Super Markets, a Buccaneers Pewter Partner, and it was designed to raise considerable funds for the United Ways of Central Florida, Hillsborough County and Pinellas County.

Though the final proceed figure was not immediately available, the inaugural Buccaneers Golf Classic in 1999 raised $173,250. The Classic's Executive Committee, which brought together an impressive array of community leaders, were determined to arrange another hugely successful tournament, and they were delighted to have the services of such prominent Buccaneers as Head Coach Tony Dungy (also the Committee's Honorary Chairperson), Alstott, Dunn, QB Shaun King, LB Derrick Brooks, G Randall McDaniel, CB Donnie Abraham, T Jason Odom and many more.

The scramble format of the tournament resulted in winners in two categories: low net score (handicaps included) and low gross score (handicaps not included).

The winning net score team was led by a favorite Buc returning to the fold in 2000, RB Jerry Ellison, who was re-signed this year after spending 1999 with the New England Patriots. Ellison's group consisted of Lane Mickell, Doug Schilling, Malcolm Griffith, Ruth Disrude and Dave Bridges.

The low gross score was compiled by Odom's team, which included Wayman Snuggs, Tom Herman, Jack Harrell, Buddy Register and Steve Snuggs.

There were also competitions to see which participants could hit the longest drive (won by Cindy Keeble), the most accurate drive (Kevin Mooney) and the tee shot closest to the pin on four different holes (Ron Heinrich, Ron Salzman, Robert Day and Mike Thomas). In addition, any golfer that managed to sink a Hole-in-One on the fourth hole was in line to win a 2000 Dodge Durango, though nobody managed the feat on this day.

Everybody in attendance left a winner, of course, as all were thrilled to be helping the United Way. The Buccaneers were thrilled to be able to continue a long and rewarding relationship with the United Way that dates back to the team's inception in 1976. Through the United Way, countless Buccaneer coaches, players and representatives have devoted countless hours to assist those in need. Publix was just as excited to be instrumental in staging the tournament, as the United Way has been embraced as its corporate charity.

The Executive Committee for the Buccaneers Golf Classic consists of Buccaneers Executive Vice President Bryan Glazer and General Manager Rich McKay, Publix' Howard Jenkins, WTVT's Chip Carter, Florida Coca-Cola Bottling Company's John A. Jiga, Bernie Little, Sr. of Bernie Little Distributor's, Inc., the Tampa Tribune's Tom McEwen, Pepin Distributing Company's Tom Pepin, CBS Radio/WQYK's Tom Rivers, University of South Florida's Lee Roy Selmon, Adelaide A. Sink of NationsBank, Miller Brewing Company's Harry White and Gold Star Dodge Dealer Association's Bob Wilson.

Nearly 40 sponsors combined to make the second annual Buccaneers Golf Classic a huge success and a day of fun and excitement for all.

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