STEUBENVILLE - The 45th-annual Henry Pabian Amateur Invitational will be held May 18-19 at Steubenville Country Club and this year it has a sponsor for the first time - Mountaineer Casino Racetrack and Resort.
"This year we are grateful to join with Mountaineer Casino Racetrack and Resort in the sponsorship of the invited top flighters," said Pabian Golf Committee chairman Ron Michnowicz. "We hope the partnership with Mountaineer will be mutually beneficial and will allow the club to continue to provide a first class tournament for the members and their guests.
"The club was looking to improve tournament for the top flighters and Nick Mavromatis, Director of Player Development at Mountaineer, is a member of Steubenville Country Club. Nick and the club both thought it was a good fit to partner. The club gets additional funds for tournament and Mountaineer gets publicity and hopefully customers from the golfers that participate."
Mavromatis is coming upon his second anniversary of being named to his current position with Mountaineer.
The tournament is named after Henry Pabian, who was the second professional at the Steubenville Club and worked there for over 35 years. He is widely credited with saving the course through his design and work in expanding the golf course from nine holes to 18 holes.
The Pabain, which it has become to be known, was started in 1969 by Steubenville Country Club members who wanted to establish a top notch tournament with the best amateur /top flight players not only from the valley but throughout several states.
"Over the years we have had top flighters from all over Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania. They have also come from Illinois, Kentucky and Maryland," said Michnowicz.
The format is a two day medal stroke play for the individual winner. Each day of the tournament there is also a four man, two best ball team event with 80 percent handicap.
The individual winners is a virtual who's who of the best amateur players around which include A.J Gray (5), Larry Lis Sr. (4), Floyd Shuler (1), Po Peterson (2), Terry DuBois (2), Larry Lis Jr. (2), Mike Thomas (1) and Bryan Myers (3).
There is also a six-hole shootout for the low 10 golfers after the first day of competition.
The tournament attracts about 100 golfers every year.
"I think it is a great tournament for all of our players," said PGA Head Professional John Denholm, who has held the position since 2006. "Players come in, have a great time, and some really good golf is played. It's an honor to be involved with this tournament."
Steubenville Country Club does not have a member-guest, staples at many country clubs, so, the Pabian is the highlight at the club in a member-guest atmosphere.
"The tournament has really become a clambake of sorts and gives the club members a chance to meet, play golf and socialize with golfers of all abilities in a serious but relaxed atmosphere," said Michnowicz. "A lot of good friendships have been formed over the years and that is why the Steubenville Country Club is very excited to partner with Mountaineer Casino Racetrack and Resort in order to ensure continuation of one of the longest running golf tournaments in the Ohio Valley."