Starting up a charity golf tournament is no easy task these days, but Mesa businessman Kelly Townsend is committed to cultivating the Lien Watch Open to benefit Alzheimer’s research.
The four-man scramble, which has an 8 a.m. shotgun start on Saturday at Las Sendas Golf Club in Mesa, could use some players and maybe another sponsor or two.
"At the moment we’ve got about 10 foursomes, and we’ve worked hard to get those,’’ said Townsend, the CEO of Liens & Bonds Services, a loss-prevention agency whose goal is to protect the construction industry. "This is a long-term commitment on our part, and we hope that eventually we’ll be able to raise some serious money to help combat Alzheimer’s disease.’’
Townsend’s goal is of a very personal nature, as three generations of his family have been struck down by the disease, which devastates the brain’s nerve cells and impairs memory, thinking and behavior. According to the Alzheimer‘s Association, an estimated 4.5 million Americans have the disease.
Townsend certainly loves the game. He got into the sport at Torrey Pines High School in San Diego, where a football injury led him to the golf team. An alumnus of Arizona State and Western State University in San Diego, he currently is a member at Chaparral Pines in Payson, plays "a lot of golf’’ at Las Sendas, and lives on the golf course at Augusta Ranch.
"I’d love to be able to play the game more, but I’ve got a very busy schedule that limits me to about one outing a week,’’ said Townsend.
In the meantime, he needs some players to join him Saturday for the Lien Watch Open. Foursomes are $500, and besides several driving and putting contests, there also are hole-in-one contests for a new Chevrolet Z71 and $10,000, as well as a silent auction and raffle. To register or be a sponsor, call (480) 505-2170 or visit www.lienwatch.com. The deadline is noon Friday.
DEVILS TO DEFEND
The Arizona State women travel to Stanford this weekend, where they will defend the title they captured last year in the Stanford Pepsi Intercollegiate. The 54-hole tournament is Friday through Sunday at the Stanford Golf Course, and the field includes the majority of the Pac-10 schools, as well as Texas and Duke.
ASU MEN IN FLORIDA
The Sun Devil men will make their first appearance in the Isleworth-UCF Collegiate Invitational on Sunday and Monday at Windermere, Fla., a suburb of Orlando. Also in the field opposing 10th-ranked ASU are such national powers as Wake Forest, Stanford, Duke, Clemson, Georgia and Oklahoma State.
Five players with East Valley ties have advanced from the first stage of PGA Tour qualifying school, which took place last week at La Quinta, Calif. Those moving to the second stage include Mesa’s Jesse Mueller, a former Arizona State player who finished third; Gateway standout John Douma of Scottsdale, who tied for sixth; Scottsdale’s Tom Stankowski, the recent Cingular Wireless Arizona Open winner, who tied for 10th; former ASU player Jin Park of Tempe, who tied for 15th; and Chandler’s Greg Bruckner, a former Nationwide Tour player who also tied for 15th.