Tucson, AZ - After a long, cold winter for many east of the Mississippi, 23 teams soaked up sunshine and 80-degree weather to play in the 23rd annual Pro Imaging Golf Championship. This year the digital players traveled west to the magnificent Hilton Tucson El Conquistador Golf & Tennis Resort located in the Sonora Desert Terrain at the foothills of the Santa Catalina Mountains.
The two-day tournament stretched into five days as photo/graphic imagers and their vendors/sponsors took advantage of the two championship golf courses and spectacular surroundings to practice and play extra rounds. The first day of the tournament on the La Canada course determined which teams made the cut to play in the Championship Flight or First Flight. Pro Imaging history repeated itself - the first day's winners do not necessarily come in first on the second and final day of the tournament. Perhaps it is the traditional "Pairing Party" prior to the big play day. Celebrating was Bill Durvin's team who set the pace at 6 under on the first day, but no such luck on the next day's Conquistador course said to be the toughest due to its long fairways.
The second day of the tournament was a very different game from day one. Scores were lower and both the Championship and First Flights were thrown into playoffs. It was a day of jubilee for first-timer Camie Grabowski from DPC Pix who insisted on being an "A" player. And an "A" she was as she led her team to win a challenging playoff then to take first place in the Championship Flight.
If there were an award for who traveled the greatest distance, it would go to Rob Tolmie, a new attendee, who hails from Australia, and plans to come back next year.
This year nine sponsors along with Toren Prawdzik, Tournament Chairman, did a fantastic job in running the event. All were industry heroes in the eyes of the Pro Imaging attendees. They included: AIE, Association of Imaging Executives (PMA), Durst US, IPS, Independent Photo Imagers, Fujifilm USA, Eastman Kodak Co., Quality Media & Laminating, ZBE Inc., Liberty Photo, and Verseidag Seemee US. Both Liberty and Verseidag were first-time sponsors.
This year's tournament included a number of new changes. The name of the event was changed from ProLab Golf to Pro Imaging Golf to better fit the changing marketplace that these businesses now serve. Despite the name change it still remains the imaging industry's number one venue to network and form new friendships. Ilgvars Broks who has attended 22 of the 23 tournaments said it best when he was presented with an award for his years of attendance. "You can't spend enough money to get the kind of networking you get here. It's definitely reminiscent of the old APCL/APCI conventions."
The event also hosted a field of new players, as well as one where a woman made her place in Pro Imaging history. There was also an updated fashion statement as last year's winners showed off the new style, brighter green jacket. Special events included a Kodak-sponsored golf school to analyze the golfers' swings.