FAYETTEVILLE, Ala. – On Thursday Farmlinks, one of the top rated golf courses in the United States, hosted the Third Annual Lutzie 43 Invitational Golf Tournament.
The tournament is held in honor of the late Philip Lutzenkirchen who passed away four years ago on June 29, 2014. Lutzenkirchen was a star tight-end for the Auburn Tigers football team and helped Auburn win one of its two national titles in 2010.
The Lutzie 43 Foundation is a non-profit which was established in memory of Lutzenkirchen. The foundation aims to develop the character of young people and their influencers by focusing on leadership, charity, compassion, mentorship, hard work, honesty and faith through education and real world application.
Money that comes into the foundation goes directly towards scholarship programs.
Famous names from the Auburn Tiger family were present at the event including former Atlanta Braves pitcher Tim Hudson, Head Football Coach Gus Malzahn and Athletics Director Allen Greene.
“The Lutzie 43 Foundation is something that is near and dear to Auburn and it means a lot to a lot of people,” said Greene. “When Philip was playing I had nothing to do with Auburn, but to me now it means a lot. This is bigger than Auburn and bigger than college football.”
Malzahn coached Lutzenkirchen not as head coach at Auburn, but as his offensive coordinator before coming back to be the head man on the Plains in 2013. In fact, Lutzenkirchen was the first player Malzahn recruited to Auburn.
“Gus [Malzahn] will go on record and say ‘[Philip] was one of my favorite players’ even though he shouldn’t say it,” said Mike Lutzenkirchen. Mike is Philip’s father. “That shows you the amount of respect he has for Philip.”
“I had a special bond with [Philip],” said Malzahn. “I am proud of Mike and where he’s taken this foundation, and it is a true honor to be a part of this event. Philip’s legacy is bigger than Auburn and you see that here today.”
Malzahn also spoke on the facilities the Pursell family has built in Fayetteville. “The Pursell family is a big part of the Auburn family. To host this event is really special, and this property is unbelievable. It’s one of my favorite places to come to and play a little golf and fellowship.”
Mike Lutzenkirchen is also a motivational speaker as he makes trips across the country speaking to students and athletes. He spoke to the students from Sylacauga high school last August.