Community members connect

COSTA MESA — Ed Fawcett started a golf tournament 14 years ago in hopes of raising money for the Costa Mesa Chamber of Commerce.

The tournament has developed into a convention of sorts, one where, at least for a portion of the day, businesses gather at a golf course instead of inside a building.

Monday's 14th annual Costa Mesa Community Golf Classic at Costa Mesa Country Club's Los Lagos course generated 128 golfers playing a "shamble" format, one where two best scores per hole are used after playing from the best drive from the foursome. Fawcett, the chamber's president and chief executive, considered it a full field.

For the third time, Brian Harnetiaux and Steve Card are part of the winning team. Harnetiaux, Card, Tom McCarthy and Mark Gardner took the overall title with 123 (21-under par) on the par-72 course.

The winners tallied 20 birdies and one eagle. Card eagled the 18th. He hit a 5-wood to the front of the green, where he rolled in a 15-foot putt.

"We were consistent all day," said Harnetiaux, who won the putting contest. Kevin Jennings, Cory Alder, Rob Eres and Phil Barklow from Nexus Development claimed second place overall, while Jim Miller, Jim Ledford, Scott Robinson and Tom Thomson from Westside Bar & Grill took third.

Awards were given for "Best in City" (Costa Mesa Firefighters Assn. and Care Ambulance) and for businesses in the South Coast Metro area.

Harnetiaux, Card, Gardner and McCarthy, from Transwestern, claimed the South Coast Metro trophy.

Ron Cloe, Jeff Peters, Paul Kim and Tom Gardner from the Costa Mesa Firefighters Assn. won "Best in City."

The tournament benefits both the chamber and the Central Orange Coast YMCA.

"[Fawcett] is a huge blessing to us," Arianna Yanez, director of development and marketing for the Central Orange Coast YMCA, said. "It's imperative that in a down economy, people partner like this."

Money raised for the YMCA will go toward improving the Newport Beach facility at 2300 University Drive, Yanez said.

Thirty-eight golfers represented the YMCA at the tournament. One of those was Costa Mesa resident Steve McCluskey, one of the board of directors for the Central Orange Coast YMCA.

"It's cool to have Orange County restaurants supporting us," McCluskey said. "It's all for a good cause."

This was the second year the YMCA partnered with the chamber. The Central Orange Coast YMCA branch serves Costa Mesa, Corona del Mar, Newport Beach, Fountain Valley, Huntington Beach, Garden Grove, Westminster, Santa Ana, Irvine, Tustin and surrounding areas.

The tournament provided an opportunity for players to come into contact with businesses, such as Outback Steakhouse on the first hole and Maggiano's Little Italy on the 13th hole.

Golf helps bring people together.

"It's finding a commonality wherever you could," Fawcett said.

After golf, players convened in an upstairs banquet room for drinks, appetizers, a brief auction, awards and fellowship.

One of the auction items was dinner and a Dodger game with Maury Wills, the first person to steal more than 100 bases in a single season (104 in 1962).

Mark Sanquist part of Arnel Commercial, with offices in Costa Mesa, summed it up best.

"The highlight was having fun."

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