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On hand for the annual Basilica Open were various former (and present) associates from St. Francis Xavier parish, as well as a native son and the oldest priest attending. Front from left, the Rev. Bob Gross, who won the tourney again, Msgr. Richard Funke (native), Msgr. Cletus Hawes, the oldest priest of the archdiocese, and the Rev. Dennis Conway; back row, Rev. Jeff Dole, the Rev. Jerry Blake, the Rev. Tyler Raymond, the Rev. Noah Diehm, Gary Dolphin (who joked he’s thinking of becoming a priest) and the Rev. Dennis Quint.

Even with the limitations imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the 45th Annual Basilica Open took place Aug. 31 at the Dyersville Golf & Country Club.

A smaller than usual number of priests were in attendance for the event begun all those years ago by Bill and Pat Scherrman, Clarence Fangman and friends to show appreciation for the time and care given to the parishioners of the archdiocese by their clergy. But the few didn’t lack for a relaxing time of golf and camaraderie.

The Rev. Bob Gross took the scratch title from the Rev. Nick March, shooting 76 and winning by five strokes. The remainder of the priests played a two-man best shot format and the Rev. Jerry Blake was partnered with Larry Wilson, claiming third place with his share of another 76.

In the first flight, the winners were the Rev. Dennis Quint, 77, and the Rev. Phil Gibbs, 77, followed by the Rev. Kyle Digman 79.

Second flight went to 79 from the Rev. Andy Upah, and 84s from the Rev. Tom McDermott and the Rev. David Schatz.

Third flight was a raft of 86s, from the Rev. Jeff Dole, the Rev. Noah Diehm and The Rev. Dennis Conway. The final 86 led the fourth flight, from the Rev. Tyler Raymond, followed by 87s from the Revs. Tom Matt and the Rev. Dave Ambrosy.

In the fifth flight, 87s from the Revs. Jim Miller and Mark Osterhaus led, with the Rev. Lloyd Reuter coming in third at 88. In the final flight, it was 88 from the Rev. George Karnik and 98s from the Revs. Tom Heathershaw and Joseph Sevcik.