The Anniston Star

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January 29, 2015

Sunny King Classic 2014

Photo By Trent Penny
Garrett Burgess lines up his putt with  input from partner Cypress Hathorn during the final round of last year's Sunny King Charity Classic.

In last year’s Sunny King Charity Classic, the team of Garrett Burgess and Cypress Hathorn won by an impressive five strokes over the five-time champions, Gary Wigington and Randy Reaves. It marked the first time either golfer won the tournament.

They’ll be back to defend their title at this year’s event, the 36th annual Sunny King Charity Classic, which will be Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

“Last year, a lot of good things happened,” Burgess said. “Looking back on it, we had a lot of hole-out for eagles, which typically never really happen. I think we made four or five chip-ins that really gave us a lot of momentum, which we needed, to keep going when things weren’t going very well and needed that extra spark.

“We never really got in trouble. We both played well the first two days last year, so that put us in a good position to make the last day easier.”

After winning the tournament last year, the duo was ready to turn around and keep playing the next day.

“The day after it happened, we started to look forward to this tournament,” Burgess said. “Winning this tournament gives you a great satisfaction because you beat all these really great teams, and when you’re on top, it makes you want it even more.”

While Burgess has noticed how to competition from the field has gotten better every year, the duo still has an advantage.

“One of the advantages we have is knowing the (Anniston) County Club so well, and a lot of people struggle there,” Burgess said. “I grew up playing here, and Cypress has played here for many years, so there’s just a lot of course knowledge we hold.”

The three-day tournament will consist of three courses: Cider Ridge Golf Cub, Silver Lakes of the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail, and Anniston Country Club. The defending champions are scheduled to tee off at 11:31 a.m. Friday at Silver Lakes.

They’ll move to Cider Ridge on Saturday at 10:12 a.m. and 11:50 a.m. at Anniston Country Club on Sunday.

“This year will be difficult because they are so many good teams, and the competition within the field keeps growing every year,” Burgess said. “A lot of good things have to happen in order to repeat, but if we play well and make a few putts, hopefully we’ll be where we need to be on Sunday. We’ll play like we normally do and if it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be.”

Burgess said he and his playing partner have their own little strategy heading into this weekend. It’s one that is all too familiar in the sporting world.

“We kind of feed of each other in that sense, so if one of us isn’t playing that well, the other one will kind of pick up and play well,” he said. “We both have the ability to pick the other up when it’s needed, and it works well with the format we have for the tournament.”

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