E.A. Sports Today

Fast fill-up

Sold-out Sunny King Classic filled up quickly; 2019 flight names announced

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

The signs that it was going to be tough to get a spot in the Sunny King Charity Classic this year if you dawdled showed early.

Right before practice rounds for the tournament were set to open in mid-June there were 165 teams registered for the 204-team field. 

At the same time there were 172 golfers who played last year who still had not registered. That meant 86 potential teams were out there to fill 39 remaining spots.

Four days later the field was full and the waiting list growing.

The sellout is one of the fastest on tournament record relative to its start date — like a month out. The tournament is July 12-14.

And that waiting list? It’s usually about three or four teams. This year, there are more than 18 teams waiting with fingers crossed.

“Honestly, we were really surprised,” tournament chairman Brett Key said. “We were tracking as usual with prior years when we made the announcement of 50 or so remaining spots and the next two days were unreal.

“I tend to think maybe moving it out from the 4th helped; doesn’t interfere with vacations. We also feel like a few teams who swore it off due to the sandbagging are giving it another try with the new flighting.”

NEW NAME AT THE TOP: There will be a Ford at the top of the Sunny King Charity Classic leaderboard again this year, but this time it will be a worker rather than something sleek and sporty.

For only the second time since 2009, the championship flight will not carry the Ford Mustang name. Instead, the top flight in the field was carry the Ford F-150 brand.

In 2011, the championship flight was the Ford Explorer. A Ford has been the championship flight every year since at least 2008 when archived scores are available.

All the flights are named after models carried by the Sunny King Automotive Group dealerships.

This year there are two Fords, three Hondas, two Toyotas and an Acura.

Here are the flight names:
Championship: Ford F-150
Championship B: Ford Expedition
First: Acura MDX
Second: Honda Pilot
Third: Toyota Tacoma
Fourth: Honda Passport 
Fifth: Toyota Avalon
Sixth: Honda Accord 

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