E.A. Sports Today

First to the tee

Romine brothers beat the rush, become first team to formally enter 2017 Sunny King Charity Classic

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

The race to be the first to register for this year’s Sunny King Charity Classic was over before it even started.

Tournament officials sent out a social media announcement earlier this week reminding prospective players and sponsors that registration for this year’s tournament would begin online April 1.

Well, the registration site never actually closed down and one ambitious team beat everyone to the punch.

Tyler and Jason Romine are officially the first to register.

“We didn’t have a clue about being the first,” Jason said Saturday literally moments before teeing off at Anniston Country Club. “Whenever it comes out we just always go and do it so it’s done with … in case we forget about it.”

The brothers have been a regular pairing in the Classic and will continue the tradition for as long as they can imagine. They usually play in the third flight and three years ago finished second there, one shot behind flight winners Chase and Cain Hollingsworth.

Last year, owing to Tyler’s improvement, they played in the Acura MDX First Flight and finished tied for 16th. “He messed us up” by getting better, Jason said.

Tyler’s listed as a 6 handicap and Jason a 12.

All kidding aside, they would like to recapture the magic of 2014 this year.

“It was a big year for us,” Jason said. “That was actually one of the few years we actually both played well. Most of the times we’re both having to carry one or the other. We’re going to try to play more this year so we can be a little bit better when it comes that time.”

This year’s Classic is July 7-9 at Silver Lakes, Cider Ridge and Anniston CC. Ty Cole and Gary Wigington are the defending champions, posting three rounds in the 50s last year.

Hank Smith and Jason Alderman are the chairmen for this year’s Classic. Among things being considered under their watch are some tweaked optics to the tournament as they pertain to the program and television and an homage to a recently passed legend of the game.

The goal, however, remains the same. And that is to raise as much as possible for its local charities. Last year’s event raised more than $100,000, distributed among nearly three dozen local charities.

COUNTY TOUR AWARDS: The annual Calhoun County Golf Tour awards banquet is next Saturday, March 11, 5:30 p.m. at Heroes. The event recognizes the top players of the 2016 Tour season and the tour’s statistical award winners. The top 16 finishers in the season standings who have yet to do so are encouraged to call Jeremy McGatha (310-2282) or Matt Rogers (453-0206) to RSVP. Non-top 16 players are invited to attend, but they will be responsible for their meals.

The county golf season formally opens that Saturday with the County Two-Man at Silver Lakes. Playing spots are still available. Entry fee is $125 per player. Contact Silver Lakes (892-3268) to register. Players who haven’t already done so can register for the separate Calhoun County Golf Tour at the tournament. Players aren’t officially “on the Tour” until their $25 registration fee is paid.

You may have forgotten, but the Calhoun County Match Play Championship is still not settled. The Final Four have been established for months: Gary Wigington vs. Jeremy McGatha and Dalton Chandler vs. Jeff Borrelli. This year’s format change will rectify that lag.

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