FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 19, 2007
Contact: K.E. Schwab
SRU volunteers lend hand at U.S. Open Golf Tournament
SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - The recent U.S. Open Golf Championship Golf Tournament at nearby Oakmont County Club came off without a flaw - and three Slippery Rock University sport management majors along with faculty, staff and retirees were part of the behind-the-scenes operation. Argentina's Angel Cabrera took top honors with a 285 score in the four-day tournament that ended Sunday. Cabrera bested Tiger Woods and Jim Furyk at +5 as it came down to the last hole and Tiger, the last golfer!.
Melissa Lazar, a May sport management graduate, began working for the tournament in January when granted an internship for the then-upcoming event. SRU students joining in as volunteers last week were Ed Snyder, a senior from Natrona Heights, who served with the ticket office, and Micah Hawbaker, a junior from Mercersburg, who worked with tournament operations. Brian Crow, associate professor of sport management, spent time at the tournament helping with the "Missing Persons" operation, while Cynthia Dillon, assistant to the provost, lent a hand at one of the concession stands raising money for Pittsburgh's Crisis Center North. Duncan Sargent, retired director of graduate studies, and George Force, retired professor of political science, and a number of alumni also volunteered.
"We worked to reunite lost children, and others, as part of the operation. It doesn't happen very often, but with 45,000 people on the course, we were there to lend a hand when it does," Crow said. Crow credits the event with helping teach sport management students the intricacies and inner-workings of a mega-event.
Lazar said she got involved because "I live near Oakmont and some of my neighbors, who are club members, told me to apply. I did, and after an interview was hired for the summer." She and a crew of two others handled the 5,300 volunteers needed to pull off the tournament.
"We held 50 training sessions for volunteers. During the open, we made the rounds to make sure all of the volunteers were up to speed and on the job," Lazar said. "The work ranges from everything from staffing information booths, to having volunteers prepared to evacuate the course in the event of bad weather or other problems."
Other volunteers staffed the leader board to keep visitors informed of scores, hosted hospitality sites and helped with parking.
"I had a fantastic time," Lazar said, "But I could have used more sleep." Her position with the U.S. Open continues through August.
Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.