VIENNA -For the handful of golfers who didn't know Dave Couch, a dear friend of his took a few minutes to put his life in perspective during the awards ceremony of the 13th annual Dave Couch Golf Tournament to Benefit ALS Friday afternoon at Parkersburg Country Club.
Frank Northrup noted how this year marks the 50th since Couch graduated Parkersburg High School, and how beloved he was not only by his family but also by his community.
Couch died in December 2001 following a two-year battle with what is otherwise known as Lou Gehrig's Disease.
Photo by Kerry Patrick
Scott Bibbee watches as his birdie putt work its way to the hole on No. 9 during Friday’s 13th annual Dave Couch Golf Tournament to Benefit ALS played at Parkersburg Country Club in Vienna. Bibbee’s foursome, which included, Brad Ullman, Floyd Shuler and Luke Nicely, placed runner-up in the A flight after shooting a 77.
"Kindness is the greatest human virtue and that's what Dave was all about," Northrup said. "He cared about so many people. I think about him all the time and anybody who knew him thinks about him also.
"When he was diagnosed (with ALS), for two years I never heard him say, 'Frank, can you believe this card I was dealt?' He had amazing grace and courage."
This year's tournament raised $33,000 for ALS and upped the grand total to more than a half million dollars ($550,000) since its inception in 2001.
13th annual Dave Couch Golf Tournament
At Parkersburg Country Club
77 - Terry Crislip, Chad Crislip, Bryan Crislip, Ryan Hopkins
77 - Scott Bibbee, Floyd Shuler, Brad Ullman, Luke Nicely
79 - Dave Righter, Matt Boreman, Jason McCutcheon, Bob Dugan
79 - Dan Garber, Marion Cunningham, Brian Lamp, Gary Brightwell
80 - Carl Balderson, Wayne Novak, Harold Manner, Jim Mason
80 - Wayne Harris, Rodney Harris, Rocky Roberts, Wes Mosser
81 - Dave Poling, Gary Klesel, Ryan Norman, Vince Guice
81 - Denny Harton, Mike Koreski, Steve Hussey, Jeff Devol
81 - D.R. Smith, Scott Smith, Eric Moore, Brian McPherson
81 - Blair Couch, Randy Rogers, Andrew Borkowski, Dave Rossana
83 - Doug Thrope, Aaron Stone, Paul Umpleby, John Thomas
83 - Chuck Hughes, John Kiger, Jimmy Hughes, Jeff Cowan
84 - Tim Northrup, Frank Northrup, John Thomas, Rich Sheridan
85 - Jerry McCarter, Justin McCarter, Jim Murphy, Casey Sisk
86 - Dave Mendenhall, Joe Campbell, Robert Feldmeier, Larry Devol
86 - Skylar Montgomery, Tim Chaney, Teresa Pickens, Tyler Chaney
87 - Jerry Parkins, Michael Earl, Eric Stakem, Dave Roach
87 - Patrick Bryan, Shawn Taylor, Derrick Wetz, Evan Wetz
88 - Bob Bays, Ryan Kent, Bret McNab, Jason Lewis
86 - Glenn Miller, Jason Landers, Jim McLean, Cody Mysakowec
87 - Chad Mildren, Jim Hayhurst, Steve Wilson, Rick Adams
89 - Dave Cyrus, Jeff Looney, Dean Schwartz, Rick DiPasquale
90 - George Lantz, Robert Waters, John Fanta, Will Crichton
90 - Richard Adams, Mark Tatterson, Butch Shaver, Jason Bullock
90 - Jamie Snider, Fred Tipper, Carlton Chidester, Bill Donnelly
90 - Dick Propst, Bill Cawley, Zack Jones, Mike Balzano
91 - Steve McCord, Skip Draber, Rob Bennett, John Carvillano
91 - Pat Minnite, Chris Campbell, Chad Nemesek, Todd Nemesek
93 - Pete Butcher, J. David Arnold, John Hays, Bill Hupp
94 - Paul Hicks, Alex Roach, Debi Rhodes, Bob Kent
95 - Rick Davis, Jay Golden, Rob McCullins, Scott Swartz
95 - Ray Fanta, John Coffman, George Zivkovich, Joe Weaver
95 - Dan Wharton, Al Hawkins, T.R. Hathaway, Terry St. Peter
95 - Rick Davis, Jay Golden, Rob McCullins, Scott Swartz
97 - Fred O'Brien, Bill Hanna, Ryan Hanna, Derek Hanna
98 - Matt Tranquill, Joe Tranquill, Paul Minger, Jason Rollins
The original plan was to have the tournament last 10 years. But with the popularity of the event and friends keeping Couch's memory alive, the end doesn't appear near for quite some time. If ever considering a waiting list of five teams existed for this year's event.
"We have a great tournament committee that works really hard on this tournament," said Couch's son, Blair. "Millions of dollars are being poured into research for ALS in a variety of different avenues.
"As this tournament progresses, the hope is we will continue to see my dad's memory honored by people like Frank Northrup who took the time to spend a few minutes to talk about his life."
Every year, the field has been sold out. Of the 36 foursomes, two teams were recognized as winners - one for A flight and another for B flight.
The team of Terry Crislip, Chad Crislip, Bryan Crislip and Ryan Hopkins turned in a 77 for the modified scramble and claimed the A flight with a score of 77. The same score turned in by the runner-up team of Scott Bibbee, Floyd Shuler, Brad Ullman and Luke Nicely.
The B flight winner was clear-cut as the crew of Glenn Miller, Jason Landers, Jim McLean and Cody Mysakowec carded an 86. Second place went to the team of Chad Mildren, Jim Hayhurst, Steve Wilson and Rick Adams, which finished one stroke back at 87.
Even though his team didn't place among the top nine placewinners in B flight, Ray Fanta enjoyed the comraderie and listening to more stories about Dave Couch.
Couch was an uncle to Fanta's wife, Beth.
"When I moved to town in 1979, he showed me around and introduced me to people," Fanta said. "I didn't know anyone who didn't like Dave Couch."
Another member of Fanta's group was John Coffman, who played in his 12th Dave Couch Golf Tournament. He happened to be grilling burgers for the golfers during the first tournament.
"The first year I met Dave Couch, I happened to join here at Parkersburg Country Club and on Memorial Day weekend we played in a tournament together," Coffman said. "In spite of my ability, we won the tournament. Dave was always very gracious and made you feel welcomed."
Individuals wishing to learn more about the Dave Couch Golf Tournament, or have questions about making a donation to the ALS Foundation, can email the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation at email@example.com.