Pioneer Open Breaks Records for Scholarships

News Story: June 1, 2011
Pioneer Open 2011 at the
Patterson Club in Fairfield

Nearly 100 golfers couldn’t have asked for a more spectacular day as they competed in Sacred Heart University’s 22nd Annual Pioneer Open on Tuesday, May 31st.  As the sun shone, the players enjoyed 18 holes of golf at the Patterson Club in Fairfield, Connecticut, while raising over $230,000 for SHU’s Scholarship Fund, which is the most money ever raised at the Pioneer Open. The event was co-chaired by SHU trustees Lawrence Foley of Southport, Conn. and James Morley of Newtown, Conn.

Each year, proceeds from SHU’s Pioneer Open directly benefit students with financial need. Nearly 90% of SHU students receive some form of financial assistance, without which, the dream of higher education may not be possible. The monies raised by this event support SHU’s Fairfield County Tuition-Free Plan for Low-Income Students. This plan offers all students admitted to SHU from Fairfield County with family incomes below $50,000 a tuition-free education.

The winning foursome - from left are Hank Holder, Justin Finnicum,
Marc Izzo and Mike Melanophy.

The day of camaraderie on the golf course concluded with dinner and an awards presentation. For the first time in tournament history there was a tie for 1st place with the lowest team gross of 49.  The tie-breaking factor was the teams’ scores on the back nine.  The team that pulled ahead by only one less stroke was the foursome of Marc Izzo, Justin Finnicum, Hank Holdner, and Michael Melanophy.

Coming in at second place with the same score of 49 was the foursome of Kevin Blaney, Noel Jones, Mike Edgar, and Toby Chenette.

Other awards also included longest drives and individuals that were closest to the pin. Phil Corbo and Charlene Laniewski won the longest drives in the men’s and women’s categories. The two winners of the closest to pin competitions were Robert Cirinna with 5’9” and George Geignetter with 2’11” on holes 3 and 14 respectively.

Official tournament sponsors included The Lawrence and Megan Foley Family Foundation, Chartwells, Lanese Construction, Inc. and Pavarini – The Structure Tone Organization.

To watch a photo slideshow from Pioneer Open 2011, CLICK HERE.