Ninety-two amateur golfers joined event patron, Bishop L. Jonathan Holston of the South Carolina Conference , for the 2017 Bishop's Africa University Golf Tournament.
The tournament, now in its fourth year, took place on September 25th at the Cobblestone Park Golf Club in Blythewood, SC.
Organizers noted that this year, more than half of the golfers were new to the tournament, but very enthusiastic about the cause. Players and sponsors gather from all over South Carolina and from neighboring states. Their participation in the event raises thousands of dollars annually for student scholarships and other needs at Africa University.
Both newcomers and tournament veterans had an excellent day. A four-person team comprised of John Sease, Charles Smoak, Thomas Walling, and Bert Sanford won in their first outing at the tournament.
Second place went to the team of Tom Leonard, Randall Gaston, Chris Watson, and Charles Stembridge. The team comprised of Mike Barnes, Brad Greenstein, Robert Harper, and Shawn Boyin placed third.
Prizes for the 'closest to pin' went to Matt Stewart on the men's side, and to Diane Martin for the women. Thomas Walling won the prize for 'longest drive' among the men and Ada Simmons was the winner for the women.
A major highlight of the day was 'a hole in one' made by Mrs. Jeanette Pope at hole #2, a par 3 on the black course. Mrs. Pope says she didn't start playing golf until she was in her mid-50s. Now, almost two decades later, the game is a favorite pastime for her and her husband Tom.
"It was my very first hole in one but my husband had one in 2005," said Mrs. Pope. "It was exciting."
The Popes worship at Salem United Methodist Church in Ballentine, SC. Their congregation was represented at the tournament by two teams.
"We play to support our church and the university. Our nephew, Rev. Daniel Burbage, visited the campus as part of the Bishop's trip in 2014 and came back with many wonderful stories about the students and the impact of Africa University," said Mrs. Pope.
"We are delighted to have the Bishop's golf tournament players all hitting the ball on the same team for Africa University," said James H. Salley, associate vice chancellor for institutional advancement.
"Thanks to the players, sponsors, volunteers, and all who teed up for AU. We expect to see them again September 24, 2018," said Salley.
Andra M. Stevens, Director, Communications, Africa University Development Office
A World Service Special Gift is a designated financial contribution made by an individual, local church, organization, district or annual conference to a project authorized as such by the Connectional Table. Current World Service Special Gifts projects include the Africa University Endowment Fund, the Leonard Perryman Communications Scholarship for Ethnic Minority Students, the Methodist Global Education Fund, the National Anti-Gambling Project and the Lay Missionary Planting Network.