E.A. Sports Today

SKCC ‘ready to roll’

Biggest issues resolved, Sunny King Classic in final stages of planning before next week’s start

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

When it comes to responsibilities for the Sunny King Charity Classic, Jason Alderman has always been the guy in the charge of the B list – and that’s no small thing.

That usually has meant the band and the beer – two pretty significant elements of the three-day funfest that’s the largest charity golf tournament in the Southeast — but this year there’s an addition to his categories: broadcasting.

Players and patrons milling about the patio for the finish of Championship Sunday at Anniston Country Club will get to watch the action unfold on television.

With some help from Jacksonville State, tournament organizers plan to position cameras at three strategic locations on the course for live direct feeds to the clubhouse. It’ll even be possible through YouTube to stream it worldwide. Projected camera locations are 17 green, 18 tee and 9 green.

There will be no commentary, but scoring updates always find their way to the patio either through word of mouth or on-course twitter updates from East Alabama Sports Today so spectators always know exactly where the field stands.

“The biggest thing is letting everybody see it,” said Alderman, one of the longest tenured members of the tournament committee. “We tried to shoot it from the deck upstairs, but it won’t zoom to get a clear shot. I think we’re going to put them (cameras) out. You can stream in eight-hour blocks. If we start at 12 o’clock, we can see groups everywhere.

“We’re just trying to keep it fresh. Hopefully everyone will enjoy it.”

They’ll enjoy it a lot more now that organizers have averted a late developing potential disaster. It’s hot in July and the beverage stations located throughout the three tournament venues are a welcome sight no matter how a player’s game is going, but organizers were sent scrambling for a beverage sponsor when longtime partner Supreme Beverage opted out of its participation less than a month before the start of the tournament.

It was a significant contribution. After a few anxious days, the tournament committee was able to strike a deal with Bama Budweiser to keep the beverages flowing on the courses – ACC, Cider Ridge and Silver Lakes — but the overhead is expected to cut into the tournament’s total charitable contribution.

“The timing,” Alderman said, “is what was so unfortunate.

“We were afraid we were going to have to raid every convenience store within a 30-mile radius. For us to have to go out and procure all this on our own would have been logistically and monetarily another hurdle.”

Still, Alderman is “pretty confortable” the committee will be able to meet the traditional goal of giving $100,000 the local charities that benefit from the tournament. The event has awarded nearly $2.5 million to local charities in its previous 37 years.

The tournament raised $102,000 last year after dipping below $100K for the first time in nearly a decade in 2014.

A bump in sponsorships and an increased field will help. As of Tuesday — 10 days before the first round — 180 teams have registered, four more than played in last year’s tournament; 204 teams is a full field.

Alderman wasn’t certain if the recent decision to allow senior players (65 and older) to play from forward tees has attracted a late rush of players, but several have indicated their desire to register. Players can still register at the tournament website (www.kingclassic.com)

Now it’s just a matter of polishing up some details; the heavy lifting, for the most part, is over.

“We’re good; we’re ready to roll,” Alderman said. “I’ve checked off my list – band, beer and broadcasting. I’m happy now.”

Ott and Dalton Chandler are the defending champions. They became the first father-son team to win the tournament — as well as the oldest and youngest winners — and set the all-time scoring record (42-under-par) in the process. They are the first champions to post all three rounds in the 50s and their final-round 59 at ACC was the lowest final-round score by a winner since Gary Wilborn and Ott Chandler shot 59 to win the first of their back-to-back titles in 2004.

On the cover: Ott (R) and Dalton Chandler (L) accept the Sunny King Charity Classic trophy from former Anniston CC pro Jake Spott after last year’s victory.



1979 Lewis Roberts-Dennis Braden 59 (-11) Card playoff.
1980 Ken Nunnally-Clayton Dobbins 58 (-12) Margin N/A
1981 John Norton-Buddy Canup 58-59–117 (-23) Playoff, 1st hole.
1982 John Stewart-Graham Stewart 66-65–131 (-9) Won by 1.
1983 Jerry Richardson-Bill Hayes 56-57–113 (-29) Won by 2.
1984 Brett Rothwell-Jim Flynn 60-58–118 (-24) Playoff, 1st hole.
1985 Donnie McClellan-David Messer 58-58–116 (-26) Won by 3.
1986 Lewis Roberts-Rex Curvin 59-58–117 (-25) Won by 2.

Jimmy Singleton-Charles Singleton 55-59-59–173 (-41) Won by 5.
1988 Jeff Burns-Wilton Page 61-59-61–181 (-33) Scorecard playoff.
1989-x Chip Howell-Ray Chapman 61-63-67–191 (-23) Won by 6.
1990 Donnie McClellan-Bill Haas 59-66-67–192 (-24) Won by 1.
1991 Jeff Ingram-Greg Thomas 62-64-62–188 (-26) Won by 4.
1992 Pat Hughes-Tim Hughes 64-65-65–194 (-20) Won by 1.
1993 Eddie Jackson-Wayne Garrett 65-58-65–188 (-26) Won by 3.
1994 Eric Hamilton-Patrick Cushman 63-56-66–185 (-25) Won by 2.
1995 Eric Hamilton-Patrick Cushman 59-55-63–177 (-26) Won by 1.
1996 Eric Hamilton-Patrick Cushman 55-61-64–180 (-25) Won by 9.
1997 Randy Reaves-Jeff Russell 66-63-66–195 (-19) Playoff, 2nd hole.
1998 Eric Hamilton-Patrick Cushman 66-53-66–185 (-20) Playoff, 1st hole.
1999 Eric Hamilton-Patrick Cushman 54-63-63–185 (-25) Won by 6.
2000 Randy Reaves-Gary Wigington 62-57-61–180 (-34) Won by 8.
2001 Randy Reaves-Gary Wigington 59-64-62–185 (-29) Won by 3.
2002 Randy Reaves-Gary Wigington 58-56-65–179 (-35) Won by 4.
2003 Jeremy McGatha-Jaylon Ellison 56-62-64–182 (-32) Won by 1.
2004 Ott Chandler-Gary Wilborn 59-61-59–179 (-35) Won by 7.
2005 Ott Chandler-Gary Wilborn 61-61-62–184 (-30) Won by 5.
2006 Jeremy McGatha-Jaylon Ellison 60-60-62–182 (-32) Won by 2.
2007 Randy Reaves-Gary Wigington 60-61-60–181 (-33) Won by 1.
2008 Marcus Harrell-Ott Chandler 58-59-63–180 (-34) Won by 1.
2009 Jeremy McGatha-Jaylon Ellison 59-59-63–181 (-33) Won by 1.
2010 Marcus Harrell-Ott Chandler 57-59-63–179 (-35) Playoff, 2nd hole.
2011 Jeremy McGatha-Jaylon Ellison 57-58-60—175 (-39) Won by 6.
2012 Randy Reaves-Gary Wigington 58-58-60—176 (-38) Won by 1.
2013 Garrett Burgess-Cypress Hathorn 56-58-62–176 (-38) Won by 5.
2014 Ryan Howard-Lance Evans 56-60-60—176 (-38) Playoff, 1st hole.
2015 Ott Chandler-Dalton Chandler 56-57-59—176 (-42) Won by 3.

x-First year of current handicap rule (strokes for no better than par)

Ford Mustang (Championship A) — Ott Chandler-Dalton Chandler 56-57-59–172
Ford Mustang (Championship B) — Ryan Howard-Lance Evans 62-65-62–189
Acura TLX — Clay Calkins-Chris Maye 60-61-65–186
Toyota Avalon — Warren Askew-Jackson Bonner 58-64-64–186
Ford F-150 — Andy Carden-Steve Johnson 66-65-61–192
Honda Pilot — Jason Lett-Jamie Strickland 68-67-64–199
Toyota Tundra — Chuck Robinson-Chad Brewer 66-67-67–200
Scion FRS — Sean Hayes-Vince Floyd 69-70-65–204
Honda HR-V — Brandon Slick-Jim Slick 66-69-65–200

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