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Featured Pickler: Deadline extended for Tunnel to Towers tournament

Photo by H.J. Yang
Four medalists celebrate after winning their division during last year’s Tunnel to Towers pickleball tournament.

The registration deadline for the Fourth Annual Tunnel to Towers Charity tournament at the Ardea Country Club in Oldsmar has been extended by seven days to March 29 at 5 p.m.

Pickleball will be part of the three-sport tourney, scheduled April 5-7, for a second straight year. Golf will be played on the first day with pickleball and tennis set for both days after. Courts recently were refurbished at the facility in East Lake Woodlands.

“It’s to get more pickleball players in,” said co-chair Judy Foster. “We want to have over 200.”

Last year, when pickleball debuted in the event, 230 players competed. This year’s pickleball series includes 15 divisions of doubles teams for men, women and mixed.

Additionally, Ezequiel Rodriguez returns for wheelchair demonstrations. The disabled veteran from Punta Gorda will take on able-bodied players in what are called one-up, one-down matches.

“He just loves pickleball and he’s become quite good at it,” said Foster, a longtime tennis player who has played pickleball for nearly a year.

Like many converts, she adjusted quickly.

“The biggest difference is the length of your swing and the footwork,” she said.

For further details, visit

Photo by H.J. Yang

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