E.A. Sports Today

SKCC misses goal, but still raises $92K

Ryan Huff (top left) and Chase Thomas approach the 13th green at Cider Ridge on Sunday. On the bottom, John Acker follows his shot after hitting from trouble on No. 7.

Ryan Huff (top left) and Chase Thomas approach the 13th green at Cider Ridge on Sunday. On the bottom, John Acker follows his shot after hitting from trouble on No. 7.

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

The Sunny King Charity Classic missed its goal of raising at least a six-figure check for its charities this year, but it still presented a charitable contribution of $92,000 to the community.

Committee member Hank Smith cited the lack of a full field for keeping the number down. There were 190 teams entered in this year’s 36th Classic. A full field is 204 teams.

“We always want to do 100 (thousand), but we really need to fill the field up to do 100, and for some reason the field didn’t fill up this year,” Smith said. “At that point it’s a numbers game and we didn’t reach it.”

The three-day tournament has raised $100,000 or more for each of at least the last nine years, doling out more than $1 million to local charities in that period. It is approaching $2.5 million in total charitable giving in its existence.

“It’s hard to be disappointed about raising $92,000 for the community,” Smith said. “It’s more of a personal goal we all have — as individuals and as a committee — to get to that 100 because it’s just psychologically a big number.

“But we’ll sleep well at night knowing that $92,000 is in the community that otherwise wouldn’t be.”

Smith didn’t have an explanation for the field not filling. The tournament did raise its entry fee this year by $25 per player.

“It was a surprise,” he said, “because the economy seems to be rebounding a little bit. Last year we filled up and we didn’t think we would.”

Smith said it was “too early to tell” what changes the committee might implement next year in hopes of attracting the 14 additional teams to fill the field. One idea that likely will be discussed, he said, is operating two-tee starts at all three tournament venues.

Currently, Silver Lakes is the only venue that starts the field on both sides of the golf course.

ANOTHER BIG DAY: While the leaders were shooting it out in the final groups of the day, Ott Chandler and Nathan Bennett were quietly making a run from the middle of the Championship A flight.

Chandler and Bennett shot 58 — for the second day in a row – in their final round at Anniston Country Club. At one stretch they had made seven best-ball birdies in a row and had gotten within one shot of the lead as the leaders were making the turn.

“All day long we were so conscious of trying to get back in the tournament and trying to win I didn’t know what we were doing,” Bennett said. “We were so focused. We played great. We played great the last two days.”

Bennett had eight birdies in the round, including a 25-footer on 10 and a 40-footer on 12. Chandler had four.

“I putted my eyes out the last two days,” Bennett said. “Ott played solid all three days. I didn’t help him Friday and that’s why we were in the spot we were.”

Al Muskewitz is Content Editor/Senior Writer of East Alabama Sports Today. He can be reached at musky@wrightmediacorp.com



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