Valdosta Daily Times

Local Sports

April 23, 2013

Players prepare for Kinderlou’s length

VALDOSTA — It is longer than Augusta National. It is longer than Whistling Straights, Pinehurst, Pebble Beach, Torrey Pines and nearly every other golf course on the PGA Tour schedule.

Playing at nearly 7,800 yards for this week’s South Georgia Classic presented by First State Bank and Trust Company, Valdosta’s Kinderlou Forest Golf Club is the second longest course between the PGA, Web.com and Championship Tours. It is a course built to challenge the best golfer’s patience and driving abilities.

As the South Georgia Classic approaches, some of the world’s best players are preparing for the mammoth course and all the obstacles that stand in the way this upcoming weekend. Some golfers got their first look at the course Monday in the Pro-Am. Others will get their first look of the course today when they participate in the official practice round for the tournament.

“I have never played this course before,” said Danny Lee, the youngest-ever winner of the U.S. Amateur Championship when he won the tournament at 18 years, one month in 2008. “So I don’t know what is important or what is wrong here. I will play (today) and hopefully I will have to hit it long and straight.”

Although Lee has yet to see the course, he does think he has a good chance of playing well because of his ability to drive the ball. He ranks 42nd on the Web.com Tour in driving distance, averaging 299 yards per tee shot.

“Some of the players told me this is by far the longest tournament on the Web.com Tour, so I will see what I have to change,” Lee said. “My average distance is like 300 yards, so I don’t see too many problems with distance.”

While Lee, and many others, have yet to see Kinderlou, 2007 Classic champion, John Kimbell, knows this course well and that it fits to his strengths.

“Something about Valdosta I like,” Kimbell said. “The layout is perfect for me. There is nothing I don’t like about it.”

The course may be suitable to Kimbell’s skills, but it isn’t to others.

“Hopefully I hit a 4-iron really good,” said Billy Hurley III, who is currently 50th on the Web.com Tour’s money list. “I am not the longest hitter so you try and hit some quality shots around the green and make up for it with the putter. But it is definitely going to be a lot of long shots into the greens.”

Regardless of how the course fits golfers, the competition at this year’s event will be tougher than ever, thanks to new PGA TOUR qualifying rules that place an emphasis on winning on the Web.com Tour.

The new format to the Web.com Tour was discussed on Monday.

“I don’t really have an opinion on it,” Kimbell said. “I kind of liked it the old way just because we all knew how it worked. I think this will be better just because you get the bigger names down here.”

Other players agree with Kimbell that the new format is good for the Web.com Tour, the official proving ground of the PGA TOUR.

“It is fun to have a mix of guys you’ve heard about,” Hurley said. “I think that is some of what this Tour lacks — people don’t know who the players are. So having big names playing here helps the Tour, I think. Part of the trick of the media is people you haven’t heard of doesn’t mean they aren’t good golfers.

“There are a lot of good players. I think in the country, as a whole, the sense of golf is that there are about five good golfers on this whole planet. And there are actually 150 of them here this week. Some real good golfers.”

1
Text Only
Local Sports
  • MLS.jpg Atlanta lands MLS expansion team for 2017

    Arthur Blank donned traditional soccer garb to mark his newest venture — an MLS team for Atlanta.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Blazers try to garner momentum in GSC finale

    Valdosta State snapped its six-game losing streak a week ago. Now the Blazers are hoping to wrap up its Gulf South Conference schedule with some momentum ahead of next month’s conference tournament.

    April 17, 2014

  • Blazer barrage downs No. 23 Georgia College

    Valdosta State unleashed a season-high 19 hits and tied a season-best in runs as the Blazers defeated No. 23 Georgia College 15-8 in non-conference baseball action at John Kurtz Field Wednesday evening.

    April 17, 2014

  • 2014 Jump.jpg Showtime in the Down Under

    Just a junior in high school, Valwood’s Chandler Cargile has already seen things that most people don’t get to experience in a lifetime. Cargile recently returned to Lake Park from Mulwala, Australia, where he competed in the Barefoot Water Ski World Championships. The competition hosted participants from 15 countries and lasted for two weeks last month.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Valdosta State tennis gears up for GSC Tournament

    The Valdosta State men's and women's tennis teams are set to compete against the rest of the league in the Gulf South Conference Tournament, scheduled to be played this week in Montgomery, Ala. for the seventh straight season.

    April 17, 2014

  • Kaleb Whitfield against Crisp.jpg No Dome for Wildcats in Corky Kell Classic

    Valdosta High’s chance of playing in the Georgia Dome this year now depends on reaching the state championship game.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140416-SGMC_Award002.jpg SGMC earns VISTA Award

    South Georgia Medical Center was awarded Wednesday with an American Society for Healthcare Engineering Vista Award.

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • 140415-LHSSoccer5.jpg Another step closer

    Vikettes blank Wildcats 6-0, while Vikings win 4-1

    April 16, 2014 2 Photos

  • Former Blazers participate in Falcons’ workouts

    Former Valdosta State wide receivers Regginald Lewis and Seantavius Jones took part Tuesday in "local day" workout in Atlanta

    April 16, 2014

  • VSU_Calhoun.jpg VSU’s Calhoun recognized after no-hitter

    Caitlyn Calhoun named Gulf South Conference Pitcher of the Week

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

Blazers Blog
More