E.A. Sports Today

Fast start

First day of Sunny King Classic registration brings a robust response

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

Organizers of the Sunny King Charity Classic anticipated players being excited to play in this year’s tournament after it was postponed last year because of the pandemic, but even they were taken aback by the robust response on the first day of online registration.

More than 60 teams had registered for the tournament by the end of the business day Thursday, less than 18 hours after electronic registration officially opened.

“I expected an increase in first-day registrations, but not one quite to this magnitude,” tee time chairman Keith Howell said. “I attribute the rise to two things: 2019’s tournament filled up in record time leaving quite a few teams on the waitlist, outside looking in (and) after surviving the pandemic and isolation in 2020, I think people are anxious to get back out to socialize and regain some sense of normalcy.”

The pandemic postponed the tournament for the first time in its 42-year history last year. The committee brought it back this year, but instead of in its traditional July slot backed it to Sept. 24-26 to give all the COVID-19 protocols and advancements a chance to take hold.

The new date does conflict with high school and college football and the rounds will race with the sun, but organizers are confident they’ll still draw a strong field and satisfy the commitments to the local charities. The field can accommodate 204 two-man teams.

“I think a lot of people are looking forward to playing in it later in the year,” said Nathan Williams of Gadsden, one of the first players to register for this year’s tournament.

Nothing else is expected to change. It’s still $325 per player, which includes tournament rounds, range balls and admission to all social events for the player and plus-one. Practice rounds and mulligans are extra, although mulligans ($60 per player total) can be purchased at the time of registration. 

The field will play a scramble at Silver Lakes, modified scramble at Cider Ridge and best ball at Anniston Country Club.

Registration continues at the tournament website www.kingclassic.com

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