HORSESHOE BAY, Texas -- Dan Puckett, a local resident and his brother, Frank Puckett, a former resident of the area, have won an invitation to play in the 2010 ESPN Golf Challenge finals in Las Vegas.
Dan is a resident of Cloverdale. He recently moved there after retiring from his position as principal of South Putnam Central Elementary School.
Frank lives in Texas. He grew up in Fillmore. He is retired from the newspaper business and was sports editor for the Daily Banner in the mid '60 's.
The two brothers won the right to play in the ESPN finals by winning both a first stage qualifying tournament in May and then the regional finals last Sunday. Both stages of the tournament took place in Texas at Horseshoe Bay, a central Texas resort where Frank Puckett resides.
Sunday's regional finals had more than 100 golfers competing from the southwestern United States. The Puckett brothers were in the Net Division of the tournament. Frank played with a five handicap; Dan was assigned a seven handicap by the Horseshoe Bay golf professionals. The two posted a best ball six under par 33-33=66 to win their division.
The ESPN Golf Challenge finals will be a 36-hole event staged in Las Vegas Oct. 21-23. Treasure Island Hotel and Casino will be the host hotel for the event.
Treasure Island will serve as the hub for all functions including an awards dinner following the final round.
The Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort is the official national finals tournament facility for the ESPN tourney. There are three championship courses at Paiute. All are designed by Indiana's own famous golf course architect Pete Dye. One of Frank Puckett's sons, Mike, worked on a phase of construction of one of the Paiute golf courses.
The two brothers originally entered the ESPN tourney thinking they were competing in the Senior Division. Frank will be 64 years old in October; Dan is 59. After winning the first stage tournament they discovered they had competed in the open Net Division made up of players of all ages.
"Had we known we would have to play all those flat bellies, we would have probably never won," Dan said. However, the two siblings played well enough, feeding off each other's individual games, to win their way to the finals.
"I am extremely grateful to Frank and his wife, Nancy, for the opportunity to play golf on the outstanding courses in Texas. And I'm really excited about our chance to compete in the finals in Las Vegas," Dan said.
Frank and his wife Nancy have won several couples' golf tournaments in Texas and their country club in Mexico. He and his brother Kieth, who is principal at South Putnam High School, won the 2008 Two Man Best Ball Golf Tournament at Lexington Country Club in Kentucky.
"Golf is my recreational passion," Frank said. "Being able to play with my family members, my wife and my brothers is very special. To win with one of them as my partner is extremely satisfying."
Dan and Frank took up golf in their early twenties, playing golf courses in the Greencastle and central Indiana area with their father, Frank Puckett (Sr), who died in 2006.
"Dad loved the game. He would meet us at the golf course at the break of dawn and wouldn't want us to leave until darkness made it impossible to see the ball," Frank said.