Masters champion Fuzzy Zoeller already has said yes, and it's possible that the Golden Bear, Jack Nicklaus, will be among about 50 golf professionals playing in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes Pro-Am Sept. 10 at Country Club of Fairfax.
John Montgomery, president of Executive Sports, who stages the Inverrary and Doral tournaments among others, is directing the event here and is good friends with Nicklaus.Montgomery has approached Nicklaus about playing here.
"We are still trying to get Jack Nicklaus, and I would say our chances are 50-50 right now," tournament chairman Ralph Bogart said.
"I think that's a good estimate. We're very careful in the way that we have approached Nicklaus," Bogart said.
"We don't want him to turn someone down very quickly, without giving it much thought. He has not said yes and has not said no. He has the date marked off on his calendar, we know that."
The FCA tournament of 200 amateurs and 50 pros was a brainstorm of Bogart and Bill Lewis, a retired Navy captain formerly of Annapolis now residing in Jacksonville, Fla.
Lewis, a reformed alcoholic and drug addict, gives counsel and prayer meetings to both the PGA and LPGA tourists as director of golf for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
"It's amazing how they come to him. He's really captivating," Bogart said. "Especially the women on the LPGA tour. Nancy Lopez is one of his closest confidants."
There will be a $5 charge for spectators at the pro-am. Spots are still open to play with the pros for $500 per amateur.
Among other PGA pros entered are Washington's Lee Elder and Jim Thorpe, Andy Bean, Jim Dent, Bob Gilder, Bill Kratzert, Gil Morgan, Larry Nelson, Ed Sneed and Evan (Big Cat) Williams.
The format will be fivesomes of four amateurs playing scrambles and a pro playing for his own score. The pro purse will be $10,000 and the winner will receive $1,600.
Middle Atlantic PGA pros invited are host pro Melvin Rowe, Larry Ringer of the Naval Academy last year's Middle Atlantic PGA player of the year and the winners of the upcoming Maryland Open, Virginia Open and Middle Atlantic PGA.