Kay Harris and Jamie Wachter
The Valdosta Daily Times
The South Georgia Classic will have at least one major celebrity on the course at Kinderlou Forest Golf Club this month with the return of PGA professional and fan favorite John Daly to the Web.com tournament.
Joerdan Simpson, tournament coordinator, said, “We are very excited to have John Daly returning to Valdosta for the second year in a row to play in the South Georgia Classic. John had a great time here last year and the people of Valdosta really came out and supported him. We look forward to seeing him compete at Kinderlou Forest once again.”
Daly played the Classic in 2013 and despite a stellar performance in the Pro-Am, finishing first with his group, he ended the tournament in a tie for 53rd with a 4-over par 292.
Still, Daly enjoyed the experience and the course at Kinderlou, where he was a main attraction.
“Like I said, I wish we had more courses like this on the regular tour, where you can actually hit, between all the par 4’s and 5’s, you have to hit driver on almost all of them,” Daly told The Times after his opening round last year.
“It is just cool to play a golf course like that. It reminds me of the early 90’s when we were able to do that.”
The attendance for the tournament hit record levels in 2013 with fans turning out to watch Daly in action. He didn’t disappoint either, wearing his trademark colorful clothes and hitting powerful drives.
Daly, who won the 1991 PGA Championship and the 1995 British Open, has made just two cuts in the five PGA Tour events he’s played this year. He finished in a tie for 32nd at the Sony Open in early January and finished tied for 49th at the Puerto Rico open at the beginning of March. The Sony Open was Daly’s first tournament since last September.
After playing in a handful of Web.com Tour events the past four years, Daly has only played on the PGA Tour so far this season. The Classic was the lone cut Daly made in his four Web.com events last year. His best Web.com Tour finish came in 2012 where he finished tied for sixth at the News Sentinel Open, the only tournament he played that year.
The four day South Georgia Classic tournament is Thursday, May 1 to Sunday, May 4, with pro-ams and events beginning Monday, April 28. The presenting sponsor is again First State Bank with South Georgia Medical Center the charitable beneficiary.