Friday, February 11, 2011

Paul Ritter is a man who has been lucky, fortunate and good.

Paul Ritter is a man who has been lucky, fortunate and good. Although his personality may try to deflect the part about being “good,” he will likely tell you he has been fortunate and lucky.
Ritter has helped spearhead the P2D2 drug disposal program that has caught on in communities around the state. He is an environmentalist advocate and has been instrumental in dealing with other academic programs that illustrate his teaching ability.
He is also a good organizer, as his classroom achievements and the recently completed youth golf camp proves as an example.
Ritter is a friendly sort with many people who call him “friend.”
It is hard to dispute the good and fortunate qualities about the gentleman. What also cannot be disputed is being lucky.
The youth golf camp had 38 participants ranging in age from 6 years old to high school age.
“It was a great job by everybody,” Ritter said in an interview Thursday. “Everyone improved from Day 1 to Day 4, and the instruction by Alex Arbogast was awesome.
“The kids also got to play two of the greatest course in central Illinois in the Elks and Wolf Creek. I could not be more thankful for everybody at the Elks, Wolf Creek and (those) who came out.”
Ritter, Arbogast, PTHS girls coach Dan Butler and Brittany Rentz were the main instructors.
“Golf is one of the greatest games that has ever been. To be able to have kids excited and go out and play with their parents after they’re done (here) is the greatest thing in the world,” Ritter said.
His most recent stroke of good fortune came when he played in the pro-am event at the State Farm Classic golf tournament this week in Springfield. The Classic is one of the stops on the LPGA Tour.
Ritter said he was talked into filling out an entry blank one day while taking care of some business at Lisa Kelley’s State Farm office in Pontiac.
He said he didn’t expect anything out of it, but got a call a few weeks alter. He said he was a little suspect about the call, so he made a return call and found out he, indeed, had been selected to play in the pro-am at Panther Creek Country Club.
It wasn’t enough that Ritter was going to be a part of a foursome that included a touring pro, he was part of a team that had the No. 2-ranked player in the world as the pro.
Ai Miyazato of Japan was the player Ritter was grouped with.
“Ai and her caddy, Mick, were two of the greatest people you would ever want to walk around with,” Ritter said.
“It was an overwhelming and humbling experience, but it was an awesome experience. It was so amazing to play with someone so genuinely nice and someone of her caliber.
He wasn’t alone on this excursion. PTHS captain for 2010 Marty Schulz was along as Ritter’s caddy.
“He gave me all the right clubs and worked with me,” Ritter said of Schulz. “It was nice to work with Marty on that level.”
Ritter said his team finished 15 under in the scramble format event. That, too, he noted, was something he had never experienced before.

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