VALDOSTA — The field is set, and this morning, the sixth annual South Georgia Classic officially tees off at Kinderlou Forest Golf Club.
Tournament play begins at 7:15 a.m. this morning, with players teeing off from hole Nos. 1 and 10. The morning wave of tee times ends at 9:15, with the afternoon wave of tee times ranging from 12:25 p.m. until 2:25 p.m.
The 156 players in this year’s field will play for a purse of $625,000, with the winner receiving a check for $112,500, following Sunday’s final round.
Fourteen participants for this year’s Classic qualified through events that were played Monday in Thomasville and Albany. Last year’s winner, Ted Potter Jr., qualified for the South Georgia Classic after playing in the event at Thomasville’s Glen Arven Golf Club.
Three previous Classic winners are in this year’s field. The inaugural Classic winner John Kimbell tees off at 1:35 p.m. today, 2010 winner Ewan Porter plays at 2:05 p.m., while 2008 winner Bryan DeCorso tees off at 9:05 a.m.
Some of the top players on the Nationwide Tour can be seen with various tee times for today and Friday. Andres Gonzales, who sits atop the Tour’s money list, tees off at 12:35 p.m. today from the first tee, while Alex Aragon, who won the TPC Stonebrae two weeks ago in Hayward, Calif., tees off at 1:25 p.m. from the first tee.
Valdosta State alumnus Brent Witcher tees off at 2:05 p.m. today and 8:55 a.m. Friday; he will tee off from hole No. 1 today and No. 10 Friday.
Phillip Pettitt Jr., who won Monday’s pro-am, will tee off from the No. 10 tee today at 12:45 p.m., while Paul Haley II, who is currently second on the Tour in money earned this year, begins the afternoon tee times from the No. 10 tee with a 12:25 start time.
After strong wind gusts on Monday and Tuesday, Wednesday provided a relief for the players as conditions improved. Conditions will be favorable through the weekend. Today and Friday’s high will be 89 degrees, while Saturday and Sunday will feature temperatures in the low 90’s. Saturday provides the greatest chance of rain, although it is just a 20 percent chance.
Wednesday concluded the final day of practice for the players, and many participated in the final pro-am of the week. Valdosta State head men’s basketball coach Mike Helfer, head women’s volleyball coach Sia Poyer, band director Eric Bradshaw and former VSU golf coach Miles Hannon won the pro-am with a score of 49. Their pro was Monday's champion, Phillip Pettitt Jr.
Fans attending this weekend’s action are asked to park along Highway 84 and take the shuttle into the course. Fans are also asked to abide by the proper golf etiquette and to not ask for autographs during a players’ round.
For up-to-date scoring during all four rounds, follow the Times sports department on Twitter at @vdtsports and @ed_hooper.
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