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Two volunteers that make Four Winds Invitational run like well-oiled machine

At the end of the day on Sunday, a winner will be determined at the Four Winds Invitational and her name will forever go down in history.

For Debra and John Bitner, there names won't be called, but that's because this tournament is more than just girls chasing a title.

The couple from Chicago have made the two and half hour drive each year from their home to volunteer at the Four Winds Invitational.

"We make a weekend out of it, we come down Thursday night, we go out to dinner and stay in a hotel and it's a little getaway for us," Debra Bitner said.

Their reasons for coming each year are pretty simple.

"If we volunteer, we get to golf for free," Debra laughed.

On a serious note.

"We love watching the girls golf, we're both avid golfers, wish we could be as the good as the girls are," Debra said.

"It's like a lesson just watching these girls, they're so good and they practice so long and prepare so hard, makes me feel like a real amateur," John Bitner said.

Rain or shine, Debra and John are there sun up to sun down, loved by nearly all of those who work with them year in and year out.

"Their personality, they're fun they're easy going and they step up whenver I need help whether it has to cover for certain areas, they're always there," Kathy Wallisch, Volunteer Director, said Friday.

It's not always easy for Debra and John.

"Waking up at 6 a.m.," Debra said.

"They left me out the first year and it was raining and storming and I just backed into the woods and waited for it to pass," John said.

But it always helps when you have your significant other right by your side.

"I don't think I could do it alone because again we travel from Chicago every year and we spend the night and then we're up crack of dawn and going all day here three days in a row so it's very special to be able to do this with my wife," John said.


As for the first round of the Four Winds Invitational, French rookie Celine Boutier is the leader shooting a seven under 65, which included birdies on 8 of her last 13 holes. Number one player on the Symetra Tour, Nanna Koerstz-Madsen shot a five over 77, and was disqualified afterwards for not signing her scorecard.

"of course. I'm disappointed in myself. I got to play the course for the first time and I felt like I could shoot some low scores this weekend so it's definitely a missed opportunity. It's a stupid mistake, but hopefully the last time I ever do this." Koerstz-Madsen said after the round.

Former Irish golfer, Lindsey Weaver finished with a one over 73 and Becca Huffer shot a four over 76.

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