One-third of the way home and a month to go might be cause for concern, but tournament officials remain confident the event soon will be filled.
“I think we’re on pace with past years,” tournament chairman Jimmy Flowers said. “I think we’re on track, but those who are still considering, we would like for them to go ahead and get their stuff in. I would like to end up with a waiting list.”
Tournament officials have made it easier for players to get in, offering fully automated registration on their website (www.kingclassic.com). Of course, teams are still responsible for getting their $600 entry fee in the hands of the committee to officially be in the field.
As always, the goal is to raise as much money for local charity as possible. To that end, officials are encouraging players to purchase their mulligan packages beforehand and are canvassing the community for additional sponsor partnerships. There are several sponsorship levels available and those interested should contact Flowers at 828-243-4386.
“We have a lot of people working and networking to get the word out to as many organizations as possible,” he said. “We’re trying to reach some we might not have reached out to before. We’re trying to expand our reach as big as we can.”
A quick glance at the teams already registered gives Flowers the impression “we’re definitely looking at a stronger field” than years past.
“If nothing else, the handicaps we’re seeing come in now seem to be lower than they have been in the past,” he said. “I think we’re getting a stronger field.”
The tournament will be played July 6-7-8 at Anniston Country Club, Cider Ridge Golf Club and Silver Lakes. The practice round schedule varies per location, but they get underway as early as June 11 at Silver Lakes.
• FINISHING STRONG: Former Centre resident Jeremy Rieger and teammate Heath Jones shot a final-round 58 to win last weekend’s Cherokee County CC Two-Man Scramble. Their 36-hole total 113 was five shots better than first-round leaders Jeremy McGatha-Jaylon Ellison (56-52) and Centre’s Jake Minnix-Lee Morgan (58-60).
Robin Wood-Adam Weaver won first flight (62-59—121). Corey Tanner-Perry Barnes won second flight (64-62—126). Centre’s Bill Bright-Curley Tierce won the third flight (66-65—131) and Centre’s Tommy Collins-Keith Atkison won the fourth flight (70-66—133).
Shawn Snow of Rome aced the 152-yard fifth hole during Saturday’s round.
The next big events on the Cherokee County CC schedule are the three-person scramble (June) and the Dub Ellis Men’s Invitational (July 21-22).
• McGatha and Ellison bounced back from their runner-up finish at Centre by winning the Memorial Day Two-Man Scramble at Pine Hill the next day with a 13-under-par 59.
• Robert Mills and Ted Klimasewski scrambled to a 5-under 65 to win the first flight of the Dwayne Williams Memorial Golf Classic at Anniston CC. Paul Dorsey and Bruce Tucker survived a three-team scorecard playoff to win the second flight (76).
• Anniston’s Freeman Fite shot 74-75-75—224 and finished in a tie for 26th at last weekend’s Birmingham National Invitational at CC of Birmingham.
• CHAMPIONSHIP WEEKEND: It’s a busy weekend of major championships around the state, and one is coming to a golf course near you.
The Alabama State Left-Handers Championship starts Friday at Cider Ridge. The Alabama State Amateur gets underway Thursday at Kiva Dunes.
The Calhoun County players in the State Am include Jackson King (7:40 a.m. tee time), Mark Durden (9:20), Adam Sanders (12:30 p.m.), T.K. Waugh (12:40) and Brian Woodfin (2 p.m.).
• ACES IN THE CROWD: Jerry Irwin scored a hole-in-one at Cider Ridge Golf Club last week when he aced the 147-yard eighth hole with an 8-iron. The shot was witnessed by Frank Toland, Charlie Estes, Logan Archer and John Gasser.
• Anniston photographer Rod Williams scored his first hole-in-one earlier this month in the Silver Lakes’ Senior Series scramble. Williams aced Heartbreaker No. 8 from 128 yards with a 9-iron. The shot was witnessed by Gene Hill.
• Marty Gunsher aced the 17th hole at Indian Oaks with a 6-iron. The shot was witnessed by Ted Romer.
• Pine Hill pro Cory Etter made his ninth hole-in-one when he aced the third hole on his course with a pitching wedge from 152 yards. The shot was witnessed by Ott Chandler, Dalton Chandler, Eric Cannington and Kyle Laymon.
The same day, Derek Stewart scored his fourth hole-in-one when he aced Pine Hill’s 16th from 169 yards with a 7-iron.
Al Muskewitz covers golf for The Star. He can be reached at 256-235-3577.