As we wrap up another shuffleboard season, we run down the top finishers in the pro division of the Southwest Coast District 2017 Masters, which were held at Palmetto in late March.
Jim Miller, a retired farmer from northern Indiana, is a perennial winner and he delivered. Miller and his wife, Jo, who is a tournament director, make a huge contribution to both the district and Bradenton Shuffle Club.
Past district President Mike Marquis placed second. Mike chairs fundraising efforts in the district, and his wife, Joyce, is a tournament director.
Third place went to Lowell Williams, a recent past president of Palmetto Shuffle Club, and fourth went to Larry Taylor, who, along with his wife Judy, have traveled extensively within shuffleboard.
Fifth went to Tom Putnam, of Kingston, Mich., and Trailer Estates. Putnam is the first vice president of Trailer Estates, meaning he works endless hours on court and disc care. Tom and his wife, Cheryl, who will join the pro division in October, work together to keep shuffleboard humming at Trailer Estates and, in summer, at Caro, Mich.
Phil Booher of the Bradenton Shuffle Club finished sixth. Some readers may remember his mother, Dora Booher, who was a prominent player a generation ago. Booher is a farmer near Lafayette, Ind.
Seventh went to Ed Leonard of Tropic Isles. Eighth went to Ron Nurnberger, who is the immediate past president of the district after three years of stellar leadership. John Roberson served as alternate, and although he did not play, he refereed every day of the Masters.
Lois Wegner of Tri-Par won the Ladies Division. Convinced by her late husband, Al, to try shuffleboard, Wegner is the first member of Tri-Par to be inducted into the Southwest Coast District Hall of Fame.
Pat Tomko, who finished second, plays out of Bradenton Shuffle Club, where she is an officer. The L.L. Bean retiree from Freeport, Maine, is a mentor to new shufflers.
Adriana Cramton, who finished third, grew up on a farm near Grand Rapids, Mich. She came to Florida as a widow and began shuffling in 2004 at SeaBreeze about the time she married Jim.
Fourth went to Arlene McCague of Palmetto Shuffle Club. A snowbird with her husband, Roger, since 2002, she played golf for six years before taking shuffleboard.
Linda Wallingford, who lives at Sea Breeze but plays out of Bradenton, finished fifth. She made gained instant pro status in the National Singles in 2009, and accepted it in October 2010.
Sixth went to Evelyn White of Ridgewood. White, who was the senior player among the ladies field at this Masters, is the widow of Raeburn White, was was also a shuffler in his day.
Bonnie Walker, a retired special ed occupational therapist, who lives at Ellenton Gardens finished seventh and Heather Godson, of Bradenton Tropical Palms, placed eighth.
This column will resume in October. Until then, happy shuffling.
Florida Masters, at Spanish Lakes CC: Men- 1. Allen Dronsfield; 2. Earl Ball; 3. Jim Miller*; 4. Dean Myklejord; 5. Ron Nurnberger*; 6. Dave Kudro*; 7. Ray Buck; 8. Michael Seyfert. Ladies- 1. Terri Smith*; 2. Pam Nurnberger*; 3. Diana Allen; 4. Sharon Upson; 5. Allie Enos; 6. Joyce Smith; 7. Joan Cook; 8. Glenda Brake.
* Southwest Coast District members