The Valdosta Daily Times
The seventh annual South Georgia Classic got underway Thursday from Kinderlou Forest Golf Club. The tournament continues today, before half of the field is cut heading into the final two rounds this weekend.
Here are various notes and tidbits from Thursday’s first round.
Witcher goes 2-under
Former Valdosta State Blazer Brent Witcher finished his first round with a 2-under 70. Witcher opened his first round with back-to-back birdies, before a bogey on the par-4 third. Witcher then went on a par streak until a birdie on the tough par-4 18th. Witcher is currently tied for 29th. One thing that helped Witcher was his driving ability. He led all players in driving distance Thursday, averaging 307 yards per drive in his opening round.
The major champions
Three major champions are in this year's South Georgia Classic field. Two-time major champion John Daly is at 2-under par, while Todd Hamilton, the 2004 British Open champion, is 1-over par. Rich Beem, who admitted prior to his round that he had never played Kinderlou Forest before Thursday, shot a 4-over-par 76 and is projected to miss the cut following Friday’s round.
Past SGC champions
Four of the past six South Georgia Classic champions are in this year’s field. None of the four are in contention following Thursday’s opening round.
2007 champion John Kimbell is 2-over, while 2008 champion Bryan DeCorso is 7-over. 2009 champion Garth Mulroy was the only past champion to shoot under par. Mulroy is at 1-under, while 2010 champion Ewan Porter sits at 2-over par.
Gold caddie vests
Fans that see caddies wearing gold vests may be curious to know the difference from the white. Players with caddies that have gold vests currently rank inside the Web.com Tour’s Top 25 in money earned. All 25 players are in the field this week.
High man of the day
Phillip Mollica was the high man in Thursday’s round. Mollica triple bogeyed a pair of holes and bogeyed five others on his way to a 10-over 82.
Friday should be one of the prettiest days at the South Georgia Classic this week. Temperatures are expected to peak at 83 degrees, with a zero percent chance of rain.
For up-to-date information during Friday’s round, visit the Times’ South Georgia Classic blog at valdostadailytimes.com/sports and follow @Ed_Hooper on Twitter.