Flannery comes a long way to play in Western Slope Open
By ALLEN GEMAEHLICH
Michael Flannery has heard a lot about the Taco Bell Western Slope Open tennis tournament over the years.
Flannery, though, had never experienced it until this year.
The shoe store owner from Oakhurst, N.J., is not only playing in the tournament, he is helping his sister, Nancy Flannery, assign matches.
“I’ve always heard about it and finally got the opportunity to get away to see it,” he said. “I’m excited to see what it’s all about. I’m glad I came out to play and help Nancy.”
Flannery quite possibly has come the farthest of all the Taco Bell tournament participants. Although he is originally from Denver, he has lived in Oakhurst for 16 years.
It came to a bit of a surprise to Nancy, especially since her brother hasn’t come out to visit in at least eight years.
“He called me up one day and said, ‘I’d like to come out and play,’ ” Nancy Flannery said. “I was thrilled. It was a cool brotherly thing to do.”
Nancy Flannery has volunteered for the tournament for 20 years. She assigns the matches to the various sites.
Michael is playing in the men’s 4.0 singles, men’s 3.5 doubles and mixed 3.5 doubles.
Although he is familiar with his mixed doubles partner, Nancy, he met his doubles partner, Pat Shields, for the first time on the first day of the tournament.
“I think we’re both similar people,” Flannery said. “I’m easy going and laid back. I’m looking to have fun. Maybe we can compete for the cow bell (trophy).”