by Tiffany Hyman
Get ready, golfers, golf enthusiasts and spectators. The Niagara Falls Country Club is hosting the 53rd annual Porter Cup, taking place Tuesday, July 26, through Saturday, July 30. The tournament is one of the best collegiate and mid-amateur events in the country. Top players from the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Taiwan, Argentina, Bolivia, Columbia, Venezuela, Germany and South Africa will put on their game faces and compete for the Alexander L. Porter Cup.
"It's a time to see great golf in a great atmosphere," said Marty Shimmel, publicity chair for the Porter Cup committee. "These are some of the best amateurs from all over the world."
The 2010 champion, David Chung, will return to defend his title. In addition, U.S. Open participant Russell Henley, 2011 NCAA winner John Peterson, and 2011 British Amateur champ Bryden Macpherson also will compete in the four-day tournament.
Nick Gilliam, 29, is amongst the many talented golfers. He has been playing golf since the age of 3, and was recently awarded an amateur rating.
"I've always been around the game," he said.
Gilliam is excited to play in the Porter Cup.
"The committee has brought some of the best players to the golf course," he said. "It's an honor to be involved."
Gilliam, owner of Foot Joy, has also provided working shoes for his fellow golfers.
The Porter Cup is played over 72 holes. Players are selected on the basis of good competitive record and accomplishments in various tournaments. Prizes will be awarded to the top 10 golfers.
The tournament is a precursor for the Walker Cup, a 10-man biennial amateur team competition between the U.S., Great Britain and Ireland. The tournament takes place at Royal Aberdeen Golf Club in Scotland.
"Porter Cup is a great way for golfers to gather points for the Walker Cup," said Shimmel.
The Lewiston tournament was founded in 1959, and originally known as the International Invitation at Niagara Falls Country Club. It consisted mostly of businessmen and college students from Western New York and Southern Ontario. The tournament was expanded from 54 to 72 holes the following year, and later renamed after prominent local businessman Alex L. Porter.
"It's a great experience," said Shimmel. "Come out and see the future golf stars, or even just walk the beautiful courses."
Tee time is 8 a.m. for this free event. Guests can park on Military Road (Route 104) just before Lewiston Road. Food and beverages tents will be available.
The Niagara Falls Country Club is located at 505 Mountain View Drive, Lewiston. For more information on the Porter Cup, call 282-8900, 282-1204 (the Niagara Falls Country Club), or visit www.portercup.com.