E.A. Sports Today

SKCC open for entries

Father-and-son team from Jacksonville first public entry for 40th Sunny King Charity Classic

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

Ethan Johnson and his dad Steve had so much fun playing in their first Sunny King Charity Classic together last year they wanted to make sure they didn’t miss out when it came around again.

No chance of that. And to their surprise, they were the first to sign up for this year’s 40th Classic.

“We were just sitting talking one day,” Steve explained. “The high school golf season had just kicked in and I wanted to make sure we still wanted to play this year. He said I do, so let’s not mess around and forget to register. I had no idea we’d be the first.”

The line starts here. On-line registration officially opens Sunday through the tournament website (www.kingclassic.com). Because of when July 4 falls on the calendar this year, the tournament will be played July 13-15 at the usual locations – Silver Lakes (scramble), Cider Ridge (scamble) and Anniston CC (best ball).

Actually, the tournament’s electronic registration program never really closes, so the father-and-son team from Jacksonville didn’t waste any time getting their entry in when they decided they were going to play.

Both carry 14 handicaps at Anniston Country Club. Ethan is a senior on the Pleasant Valley golf team. Steve is general manager of Tyler Union.

“We really enjoyed the tournament last year and we want to be sure we were a part of it this year,” Ethan said. “I loved the competition and the atmosphere last year so I am excited about playing in it again.”

The first-time Classic teammates finished 12th last year in the Toyota Avalon second flight with rounds of 68, 64, 68, one shot out of the top 10.

“It was a lot of fun,” Ethan said. “We were hoping to shoot better than we did, not shooting good the first day kind of hurt us. I hadn’t been out playing that much that summer. I hope to get out this summer and we can shoot good.”

Steve partnered with Andy Carden for several years and they were a competitive team in their flight. They won the third flight in 2015, finished second in the fourth flight in 2012 and were fourth in the third flight in 2011.

The understanding was when Ethan became old enough to play the partners would split so father and son could play. Last year, Carden played with Kelly Cleghorn and they finished 14th in the third flight.

“He knew it was coming,” Steve said. “I think (Ethan) wanted to wait until he was playing better and could contribute. It was always going to be fun, but he didn’t want to just ride in the cart and contribute here or there. Now, he’s a good golfer and he carries us some.”

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