Mad Anthonys Pro-Am Kicks Off Week of Golf At Hotel Fitness Championship (VIDEO)

By Tommy Schoegler - 21Alive
By Eric Dutkiewicz - 21Alive
By Stephanie Parkinson - 21Alive

August 27, 2013 Updated Aug 27, 2013 at 3:11 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (21Alive) - The partnership between the Web.com Tour and the Mad Anthonys has created a new era for what has been Northeast Indiana's premier golf event.

"When Bruce Dye stepped up three years ago to sort of help us with our new branding for the Children's House Hope House, this just seemed a natural to join the Web.com." Jim Johnson, Mad Anthonys board member, says. "It just made a lot of sense to buy out monday and have our pro-am followed by their pro-am on wednesday and the tournament."

Mad Anthonys Pro-Am was held Monday at Sycamore Hills Golf Club as a forerunner to the Web.com's Hotel Fitness Championship later in the week. The professional golfers playing in the Hotel Fitness Championship already understand the significance of the entire week at Sycamore.

"I think it's a learning process for all of us," professional golfer Steve Wheatcroft says. "We're trying to figure out how to do this, and how fresh you should be coming in. When do you take weeks off? When do you not? But you want to be ready to go for this first week, because you want to get off to a first start. If you come out and you win or finish 2nd or 3rd, you have a pretty good chance of locking up your card."

Twenty-six teams played the course raising money for the Children's Hope House.

The team of Bob Chase, John Didier, Grant Daily and Matt Hesterman won the pro-am, shooting a 46 (-26).

The team of 21Alive sports director Tommy Schoegler, Wheatcroft, John Ferguson, J.T. Croy and Seth Keirns finished second with a 49 (-23)

But the real winners are the kids at the Children's Hope House, an organization now in the spotlight more than ever.

"Mom and dads come in with a 1.7-ounce baby," Mad Anthonys Children's Hope House executive director Cindy Atkinson says. "To know that they're going to be with us until at least their due date, we really get to know these families, sometimes they're with us for three or four months."

"For so many years, the Mad Anthonys have been committed to the charities here in Fort Wayne," Mad Anthonys board member Greg Stephens says. "This is a new format for us, and we think this is a new dawn for golf in Fort Wayne. And we're glad to be a part of it."

21Alive's 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. newscasts will be live from Sycamore Hills Golf Club on Thursday and Friday.

21Alive sports will also broadcast special editions of Sound Off from the Hotel Fitness Championship from 7:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday; and from 7 to 8 p.m. on Sunday.

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