E.A. Sports Today

Golfers giving back

Toys for Kids Classic boasts full field of players, sleigh load of toys for county children

Pine Hill pro Cory Etter puts another donated toy under the tree as he prepares for Saturday's Toys for Kids Classic.

Pine Hill pro Cory Etter puts another donated toy under the tree as he prepares for Saturday’s Toys for Kids Classic.

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

Cory Etter’s favorite tournament of the year is busting out like a sack on Santa’s sleigh.

The eighth annual Toys For Kids Classic is set to go – rain, snow, shine or cold (and they’ve played in it all) — Saturday at Pine Hill Country Club with a record 144 players bestowing even more Christmas cheer to local families.

Etter, the Pine Hill pro, has been working on it since August.

“This tournament means the most to me,” he said. “All tournaments are very special, but this one holds a special place in my heart.”

The inaugural event drew 88 players and it has become more popular each year. This year’s field represents the largest one-year increase in the tournament’s history.

“This is one of the largest single-day tournaments of its kind in the county,” Etter said. “It grows every year because of the cause it supports. … It’s for the kids.”

As part of the nominal entry fee, players are asked to provide an unwrapped gift valued at at least $10, but the participants’ generosity well exceeds that. People who don’t even play in the tournament have donated.

One measure of the tournament’s success is the number of bicycles under the tree. Last year’s tournament featured 11 bikes; this year, there were 10 on hand less than 24 hours before Saturday’s 10 a.m. shotgun start.

The tournament partners with the HEARTS Foundation and Calhoun County Schools. All of the donations remain in Calhoun County families.

Saturday’s Tee Assignments

1 — Jerry Irwin, Jono Waugh, Don Blackwell, Donnie Blackwell; Greg Mosbarger, Randall Doss, Rob Cunningham, Lexee Cunningham

2 — Nick Pollard, Mike Patey, Brad Hardin, Ron Pulling; Billy Thompson, Steve Akers, Danny Mathis, Grady Sapp

3 — Doug Sears, John Sears, Warren Sewell, Tyler Teneyck; Tony Hicks, Johnny Young, Chance Harris, Richard Baty

4 — Mark Durden, Lewis Lecroy, Terry Cobb, Jared Joiner; Hoyt Turner, Josh Reynolds, Don Lewis, Doyle Hard, Logan Lewis

5 — Jay McElroy, James Randall, Phillip Frames, David Gattis; Morris Mink, Garry McElroy, Ronnie Holt, David Stephens

6 — Clark Cunningham, Larry Cunningham, Charles Edwards, James Glover; John Wood, Tim Holder, Ray Holder, Kyle Holder

7 — Jonathan Pate, Landon Straub, Brian Borders, Lee Hicks; Dustin Viehe, Joel Brown, Ken Maye, Ken Viehe

8 — Phil Griguhn, Ester Griguhn, Cameron McCareeth, Andrew Miller; Al Muskewitz, Larry Sprinkle, Rama Vyas, Bob Vaidya

9 — Mike Hammonds, Jimbo Phillips, Colman Hayes, Scott Hayes; Josh Poole, Heath Waldrop, Steve Arnold, Josh Davis

10 — Lenn Coffey, Mark Vandaveer, Shelton Morrow, Joel Daniel; Robbie Robertson, Ray Stover, Cloyd Staples, William Patterson

11 — Randy Liles, Tom Liles, Donnie Ford, Steve Cheatwood; Carter Gable, Diane Gable, Buddy Eiland, Kay Eiland

12 — Dustin Travis, Matt Smith, Mickey Travis, Jenel Travis; Randall Wilkinson, Stacey Gibson, Kaine Gibson, Don Hill

13 — Derek Stewart, Jason Katz, David Merrill, Derek Webb; Rick Okins, Kenny Okins, Jim Jenkins, Wesley Jenkins

14 — Dennis Reaves, Bill Cass, Bruce Jameson, Eddie Churchwell; Ken Boyd, Glenn Heathcock, Jerry Cobb, Paul Dorsey

15 — Ben Padgett, Larry Reaves, Britt Weems, Noel Johnson; Steve Reaves, Rickey Roberts, Donnie Greshman, Bubba Landers

16 — Nick Burkardt, Rickey Hurst, Jimmy Wynn, Eddy Reese; Ott Chandler, Nathan Griffin, Jim Thomas, Dan Shuler

17 — Bob Hollingsworth, Austin Minter, Wayne Boyd, Brady Grasser; Adrian Geeting, Paul Kennedy, Jerry Surrett, P.J. Sotello

18 — Caleb McKinney, Stuart Rice, John Long, Tim Davis; Dennis Austin, Allen Mangham, Paul Rowell, Gage Miller

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