E.A. Sports Today

SKCC final round notebook

Tournament returns to raising $100K for its charities, Cole and Carden win contests, flight winners

Spectators show Cole McNeal (R) the general vicinity where Dalton Chandler's (L) ball was resting before he hit the wrong ball on 17 Sunday. (Photo by Greg McWilliams)

Spectators show Cole McNeal (R) the general vicinity where Dalton Chandler’s (L) ball was resting before he hit the wrong ball on 17 Sunday. (Photo by Greg McWilliams)

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

The Sunny King Charity Classic is back on track when it comes to the money raised for its local charities.

Despite having fewer teams in the field, tournament officials displayed a big check for $102,000 that represents its charitable contribution. It was a $10,000 bump over what it raised last year when it missed hitting the traditional $100,000 for the first time in nearly a decade.

“Braxton did a great job with bringing a lot more corporate sponsors and we also had some expenses that went away this year,” committee member Hank Smith said, referring to tournament chairman Braxton Harris. “It’s a challenge because of the fact we continue to lose teams each year, so to pump it over $100,000 with less teams than we had last year it a testament to the committee.”

One of the reasons for the reduced size of the field is the nearly full week between July 4 and the tournament’s start. The tournament traditionally is held the weekend after the holiday, but when the Fourth falls late in the week the event goes the following weekend.

Next year, July 4 falls on a Monday, so the tournament will be July 9-11.

Whenever it’s held and whatever capacity he serves, for Harris the goal will be the same.

“My personal goal was to get well over $100,000 and we were able to achieve that,” he said. “It’s going in the right direction and all we can hope for next year, now that the sponsors and the players have seen the more money and ideas pumped into the event, is that will be a selling point.

“All we want to do is drive the value to the players to participate and create a value for the sponsors and the players.”

Dalton Chandler uses his sandie to set up a birdie on No. 8 at Anniston CC Sunday. The birdie was the last in a run of six in a row on the front that propelled him and dad Ott to their eventual victory. (Photo by Greg McWilliams)

Dalton Chandler uses his sandie to set up a birdie on No. 8 at Anniston CC Sunday. The birdie was the last in a run of six in a row on the front that propelled him and dad Ott to their eventual victory. (Photo by Greg McWilliams)

RICH GET RICHER: Is there anything Ty Cole wasn’t going to win in this weekend’s Sunny King Charity Classic?

Several hours after making a hole-in-one for $20,000 toward the purchase of a new car, Cole won the long-drive contest during the Saturday night social. Playing partner Matt Rogers put him up for it and Cole proceeded to pound three balls deep into the night.

“When it’s dark I just hit it hard three times and they said you won,” Cole said. “I’m just going on what they told me.”

Cole and Rogers shot a final-round 63 and finished in a tie for 13th in the Championship A flight.

The current points leader on the Calhoun County Golf Tour might have been the longest driver at this year’s Classic, but Emily Carden was the most accurate.

The 22-year-old massage therapist won the Closest to the Line drive contest when she hit her second ball of the night 215 yards downrange but more importantly 3 feet, 6 inches from the line. She overtook boyfriend Billy Thompson for the prize.

“I was like just playing around and didn’t think I was going to do it and then I stole it from Billy,” Carden said. “I kind of felt bad because he’s more competitive than me, but it was a good time. I’ve got to give the credit to Billy. He’s the one who’s taught me everything I know.”

CLOSE BUT NO CIGAR: None of the four players drawn Thursday night for the big-money shots during the conclusion of Sunday’s round connected for the cash, but one came close.

According to those there to watch it, Nicole Burgess just missed the $25,000 putt on the high side of the hole. It was the closest anyone had come to winning the contest since it became a big part of the Classic close.

“It had great speed,” committee member Jason Alderman said. “It was tracking and it just stayed on the upper side.”

The other three contestants took shots from the fairway for big money. Henry Pritchett had a shot for $1 million, while Chad Martin and Kaine Gibson had shots for $100,000.

TAKING FLIGHTS: Ryan Howard and Lance Evans added another SKCC title to their resumes Sunday, but it wasn’t the one they had in mind when the tournament started on Friday. The defending overall champions won the B Division of the Ford Mustang championship flight (189). Here are the other flight winners:

Acura TLX – Clay Calkins-Chris Maye (186)
Toyota Avalon – Warren Askew-Jackson Bonner (186)
Ford F-150 – Andy Carden-Steve Johnson (192)
Honda Pilot – Jason Lett-Jaime Strickland (199)
Toyota Tundra – Tony Strickland-John Michael Herndon (200), Chuck Robinson-Chad Brewer (200), Rush Rutledge-Chad Martin (200)
Scion FRS – Sean Hayes-Vince Floyd (204)
Honda HR-V – Brandon Slick-Jim Slick (200)

Ott (L) and Dalton Chandler acknowledge the gallery after winning the 37th Sunny King Charity Classic Sunday at Anniston CC. (Photo by Greg McWilliams)

Ott (L) and Dalton Chandler acknowledge the gallery after winning the 37th Sunny King Charity Classic Sunday at Anniston CC. (Photo by Greg McWilliams)



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