The 19th Annual Goodfellows Club Luke Woodward Classic begins July 30, offering a chance for local tennis players to both enjoy a tournament and pay tribute to a lost loved one at the same time.
The local tournament began as the Goodfellows Classic in 2002, with the proceeds from the tournament going directly to the Goodfellows Club of Owensboro.
In 2003, local tennis player Luke Woodward died of a brain aneurysm, and his parents Pam and Norman were able to merge Luke’s name with the existing tournament.
Local tennis players enter the tournament, and many of Woodward’s friends from high school, college and work also play annually to pay tribute to him. They often gather after their matches to watch the other players and catch up.
Volunteer Janie Walther has coordinated the brackets and swag for the tournament.
The tournament was still played in 2019 and they had a larger turnout, which Walther said she believes is because everyone was tired of being inside.
“I look for [this year’s tournament] to be one of the larger turnouts since everything is open,” she said.
The deadline to enter is July 28. The cost is $15 for singles and $10 for doubles.
All divisions of play are open in singles, men’s and women’s doubles, and mixed doubles.
The finals will be played on Aug. 2.
The 2021 tournament is sponsored by Edward Jones, Rusty Burton.