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Turning Stone Pro-Am a hit with amateurs, fans

By By PAT BAILEY

VERNON, N.Y. (WKTV) - 126 local amateur golfers paired up with 42 professional golfers in this year's Turning Stone Resort Championship Pro-Am event.

Justin Hummel, of Herkimer, played with PGA pro-George McNeill, and as a group, shot pretty well for the day.

"I've been fortunate enough...I have come the last four years to the tournament with my wife, and watched it," Hummel said. "I got a call last week to play, and obviously the answer is pretty easy, to come out and play for the day."

Many amateurs used the time with the pros Wednesday to not only have fun, but to try and learn something from them.

However, not every pro golfer was able to help.

"I'm not a very good teacher," joked Michael Letzig, a seven-year pro. "It's easy for me to do it, but it's harder for me to explain how to do it. I'm probably not much help."

While the amateurs say the Pro-Am event is a day of fun, several pros say it's a little bit different for them, saying it's a little more about business.

"It's a practice round for us," said PGA Pro Brad Faxon. "There is only 48 guys that play in the Pro-Am, and it leaves over a hundred guys who don't get to play the course today."

The most popular pairing Wednesday included Syracuse Basketball Coach Jim Boeheim and former Buffalo Bills players Jim Kelly and Steve Tasker. Adam Delaroche was just one of hundreds of fans who followed the group throughout the day.

"I think it's great so far," Delaroche said. "It's a better sporting event than I ever thought it would be. I gave it a chance and lucked out so far."

The Pro-Am is the last event before the actual Turning Stone Resort Championship tournament starts on Thursday.

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