E.A. Sports Today

It’s how you finish

Which of the closing stretches among the Sunny King Charity Classic courses is the most influential on your flight’s outcome?

By East Alabama Sports Today

It’s Championship Sunday in the Sunny King Charity Classic and the race for the flight title is hanging in the balance. As the finish line draws near you know the way you play the final three holes will make all the difference. Which set presents the greatest challenge?

It may even be one you went through earlier in the week.

Of course, each course plays a different format, so that may play into the ease or difficulty of the task you face. Throw out the formats for a moment and just consider the holes for what they are. Vote below for the set you consider the most difficult stretch.

Anniston Country Club, where everyone plays their own ball, has the par-3 16th with one of the more unique shots in the county right into the teeth of the gallery atop the hill. Then there’s the par-5 17th that provides an eagle opportunity for the boldest of hitters and the closing 18th with the gallery looking down upon the closing green.

Cider Ridge (modified scramble) and Silver Lakes (scramble) both will have two-tee starts so they have two sets of closing holes to consider.

For players starting on the No. 1 tee at Cider Ridge, the traditional finish has the tight par-4 16th that may be the toughest hole in town, followed by the downhill par-3 17th where it’s death to be above the hole and the par-5 18th that’s a lot more narrow than you think. For those starting on No. 10, the finish features the drivable par-4 seventh, the all-carry par-3 eighth with a challenging green and the potential for eagle on the par-5 ninth guarded by out-of-bounds on both sides.

The Mindbreaker nine at Silver Lakes closes with a short par-4 seventh, the par-4 eighth that requires some thought off the tee and a tiered green protected by a creek, and a par-4 ninth whose elevated green has trouble long, left and right.

Depending on the course set up, the last three holes on the Backbreaker nine — two par-5s and a drivable par-4 for long hitters — could be set up for some scoring fireworks. It was set up for a potential eagle-eagle-eagle finish at last week’s RTJ-Silver Lakes Championship and the field took full advantage of it.

“From a tournament perspective the club is going to be the hardest,” SKCC co-chairman Hank Smith suggests. “It’s the last three of the tournament (for the championship flight) and individual stroke play and you don’t have the safety net of your partner. The shot on 16 in my opinion is pretty unique to the three courses, but in fairness they’re all pretty good.

“But from a strength standpoint I’d have to say Cider Ridge because No. 16 is one of the toughest holes of the three courses because of the driving premium. We actually thought of a fund-raising opportunity to have someone on the tee and you’d pay $20 to put your ball at the 150 marker. I’d go for that. I’ve never in my life hit a ball that is on green grass off that tee.”

Vote below. The poll closes at midnight July 6.

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