Teeing off for Special Olympics

A team of golfers from Land Pro Data take on the 18th hole at Scotch Pines Golf Course during the Special Olympics Idaho Golf Tournament on Saturday. Proceeds from the tournament provide training and opportunities for local special olympians to play and feel included in the community

PAYETTE — Even with the challenges of COVID-19, the inaugural Special Olympics Idaho golf tournament still teed off at the Scotch Pines Golf Course on Saturday, Oct. 3.

A total of 24 teams signed up to take part in the Saturday morning competition. Each team represented an area business, community organization or emergency services department.

According to Krist Kraft, director of special events for Special Olympics Idaho, five local special olympics athletes participated:

• Chris Ardiac, Ontario

• Bill Eusing, Vale

• Jacob Walten, Ontario

• Shabe Wright, Fruitland

• Jeff Greene, Orofino, Idaho

“Our athletes, their perseverance usually inspires us to keep going,” said Kraft during the tournament. “They have limited opportunities. If we don’t provide sports and training then many of them face isolation or limited opportunities to get into the community and stay healthy.”

In addition to playing 18 holes, participants could shop several booths present at the tournament, as well as purchase a raffle ticket to win a Toyota Tacoma pickup truck, furnished by Steve’s Hometown Toyota.

Kraft said that teams were ranked in a scramble format, based on the player from each team with the best score. Awards were given to the top teams. Following is a list of the top performers in this inaugural tournament.

Flight one

• Hometown Toyota won first place in flight one, with a score of 59 strokes

• Shane’s Par T took second with a score of 60

• The Caldwell Fire Department came in third, with 66

Flight two

• Engineering Northwest came in first in the second flight, with 73 strokes

• Tied for second place with 74 strokes each were Malheur County Gold Production, and Nick Thompson and Adam Jacobs from the Ontario T-Mobile store.

Kraft expressed gratitude to local law enforcement agencies for their help and participation. The drawing for the Toyota will be made Oct. 8.

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