Founded in 1972, the Sour Mash Open Charity Golf Tournament is recognized as one of Parkersburg's premier charitable endeavors. Through the event, hundreds of thousands of dollars have been raised to support numerous local charities. Since 1975, the tournament's lead sponsor has been the Parkersburg Rotary Club. In 1990, the Parkersburg Rotary Club Sour Mash Open Tournament established a fund at the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation to provide scholarships to area students. The fund is known as the Bryce/Lietzke/Martin Scholarship Fund. The scholarship honors Dr. John Coyle Bryce, Bruce Alan Lietzke, and Larry Martin for their dedication to the sport of golf and to humanitarian pursuits. The scholarship fund provides financial support to worthy Wood County students planning to attend a post-secondary school who exhibit an interest in golf.
Born in Tulsa, Oklahoma July 24, 1923, Dr. John Coyle Bryce attended St. Francis Xavier Elementary and Marquette High School in Tulsa. Following graduation, he attended the University of Tulsa, where he received his BS. He earned his MD degree from St. Louis University School of Medicine. Dr. Bryce also served in the US Marine Air Corp. In 1947, Dr. Bryce married Ann Mallary Harwood. They moved to Parkersburg in July 1953, where Dr. Bryce established a medical practice. The Bryces had eight children. Dr. Bryce was a member of St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church, in addition to being active in the American Medical Association, the Sierra Club, Catholic Charities, and the Parkersburg Country Club, where he was a former President. He also served as the President of Staff and Chairman OB/GYN at St. Joseph's Hospital.
Bruce Alan Lietzke was born July 18, 1951 in Kansas City, Kansas, and raised in Beaumont, Texas. He attended The University of Houston, playing on the golf team before joining The PGA Tour in 1975. He married his wife, Rose, in 1981 and had two children, Stephen and Christine. A respected golf player, Mr. Lietzke is the winner of thirteen PGA Tournaments, seven on The PGA Champions Tour, including one major, The Senior Open in 2003. Golf Digest recognized him as the Most Improved Player in 1977 and Best Long Irons in 1978. He was the PGA Statistical Leader for Eagles and Par Breakers in 1981 and for Greens in Regulation in 1989. Mr. Lietzke is an honorary citizen of Parkersburg, an honorary member of Parkersburg Country Club, and an honorary member of the Parkersburg Rotary Club. Easygoing, thoughtful, introspective, articulate and witty, Mr. Lietzke was a gentleman's gentleman and was loved by all. He enjoyed working on his car collection and fishing in the lakes on his ranch. Faith, family and friends played an important part throughout his life. He cut the number of tournaments played when his children arrived, choosing fatherhood over golf. after a courageous battle with glioblastoma, Mr. Lietke passed away on July 28th, 2018.
Larry Jo Martin was born September 15, 1953, and was the son of William and Betty Martin of Seymour, Indiana. In 1976, at the age of 23, he was the youngest Class A Golf Professional in the United States. Larry spent 25 years with the Parkersburg County Club and 18 of them as both General Manager and Head Golf Professional, doing everything he could to promote amateur golf not only in Parkersburg but for the entire state of West Virginia. Larry was key to the success of the Sour Mash Open and to the creation, and ongoing support, of the Bryce/Lietzke/Martin Scholarship. Larry founded the Top Flite Junior Tour to promote junior golf and give junior golfers from West Virginia and surrounding states the opportunity to play affordable tournament golf. After leaving the Parkersburg County Club, Larry worked for Callaway Golf. Larry died unexpectedly February 24, 2012 and is survived by his wife Becky and three children.