Bob Toski golf event awards $40K in scholarships

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Davie’s Aiden Arce, 15, left, and Coral Springs’ Heidi Christensen, 18, right, are presented with their overall championship trophies from Bob Toski at the eighth annual Bob Toski Junior Golf Tournament at Boca Grove Golf and Tennis Club in Boca Raton.

Davie’s Aiden Arce, 15, left, and Coral Springs’ Heidi Christensen, 18, right, are presented with their overall championship trophies from Bob Toski at the eighth annual Bob Toski Junior Golf Tournament at Boca Grove Golf and Tennis Club in Boca Raton. (Gary Curreri / Contributor)

After a year off due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the annual Bob Toski Junior Golf Tournament at Boca Grove Golf and Tennis Club in Boca Raton made a triumphant return.

In addition to the flight winners, Lake Worth’s Nicholas Estrada and Pembroke Pines’ Jennifer Lilly were each awarded a $20,000 scholarship by tournament namesake and golf legend Bob Toski. There were 50 golfers in the field.

The scholarships are not only based on the player’s golfing abilities but also on scholastic ability and community service.

Aiden Arce,15, of Davie, won the Boys’ 13-15 division and was the boys’ overall champion with a 3-under 69, while Heidi Christensen, 18, of Coral Springs, was girls’ overall champion after carding a 76, and also won the Girls’ 16-18 bracket.

Both received a crystal replica of the trophy that Toski won for the 1954 World Championship of Golf, which paid him the then-record sum of $50,000.

“I was able to raise $40,000 this year,” Toski said. “I am so proud of that because I don’t know of any other junior tournament that does that. I went down and spent time with them talking to them. …I think that is just as important. I have to be a diplomat for golf as much as a golf teacher.”

The 94-year-old golfing legend and Boca Raton resident always wanted to do a junior golf tournament and in 2013 that became a reality. The next year, the scholarship program was set up with $1,500 awarded to both a boy and a girl. That monetary total has continued to grow and to date, $77,000 in scholarships have been presented to high school senior golfers.

Toski, who was the leading money-winner on the PGA Tour in 1954 and is a Hall of Fame golf instructor, said he takes great pride in giving back to the game. Toski said his ultimate goal is to raise $80,000 for two full $40,000 scholarships for one year for each golfer.

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