The Valdosta Daily Times
The seventh annual South Georgia Classic begins this morning at Kinderlou Forest Golf Club in Valdosta.
Tournament play begins at 7:15 a.m., with players teeing off from hole Nos. 1 and 10. The morning wave of tee times end at 9:15 a.m. The afternoon wave of tee times range anywhere from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
The 156 players in this year’s field will play for a purse of $650,000, with the winner receiving a check for $112,500.
Fourteen participants for this year’s Classic qualified through Monday qualifiers in Thomasville and Albany. Among the Monday qualifiers was former Valdosta State Blazer Brent Witcher, who shot a 66 at the Doublegate Country Club in Albany.
Witcher tees off from hole No. 1 at 9:15 a.m.
Two major champions are in this year’s field, along with a major champion runner-up. John Daly, the 1991 PGA champion and 1995 British Open champion, tees off at 7:55 a.m. on the 10th hole. Rich Beem, the 2002 PGA champion, tees off at 1:50 p.m. from hole No. 10. Woody Austin, the 2001 PGA Championship runner-up, tees off from the 10th hole at 12:50 p.m.
Four of the previous six past South Georgia Classic champions are back in this year’s field. John Kimbell, the 2007 champion, tees off from hole No. 10 at 9:05 a.m. and is the only past champion teeing off in the morning.
The other three past champions will all tee off in the afternoon wave. Garth Mulroy, the 2009 champion, will go off from the first hole at 1:50, while Ewan Porter, the 2010 champion, will tee off at 2:10 p.m., also from the first hole.
Bryan DeCorso, the 2008 champion, will tee off from the No. 10 tee at 2:10 p.m.
2011 champion Ted Potter Jr. and last year’s champion Luke List will not participate in this year’s event, as both are active members of the PGA Tour.
Conditions for today’s opening round will be nearly perfect. Temperatures are expected to top out at 81 degrees, with just a 10 percent chance of rain. Wind is expected to blow at eight miles per hour. Rain shouldn’t be a factor until the weekend. As of Wednesday evening, Weather.com forecasts a 20 percent chance of rain Saturday and a 30 percent chance of isolated thunderstorms for Sunday’s final round.
Wednesday concluded with the final day of practice for the players, many of whom participated in the final Pro-Am of the week.
Daly, who played with Kinderlou founder John W. Langdale Jr., former Lowndes County Sheriff/County Commissioner Chairman Ashley Paulk, Greg Miller and Bruce Fortner, won the Pro-Am with a score of 50.
Professional Alexandre Rocha’s team of Andy Swann, Lee Whiddon, Chris March and Luke Mitchell finished second in the event. Josh Broadaway, an Albany native that was selected to play in the event on a sponsor’s pick, finished third in the event with a score of 51. His team included Valdosta State golf coach Jared Purvis, Jeff Thorne, Rocky Huffstutler and Rob Bannister.
For up-to-date information and constant scoring, including an active leaderboard, follow @Ed_Hooper on Twitter and visit www.valdostadailytimes.com/sports for the Times’ South Georgia Classic blog.