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McGladrey Classic PGA Tour event at Sea Island, Ga.


As Captain of the Ryder Cup Team, Davis Love III was the center of attention.


The PGA Tour seldom adds a new event to its fall lineup, but in 2010 the Seaside Course at the Sea Island resort in St. Simon’s, Georgia was welcomed with the Inaugural McGladrey Classic. Tour Pro Ben Crane won last year’s tournament, but who will triumph in 2012?

Coastal Georgia’a Golden Isles are easily reached with a drive down I-95 to Brunswick before turning east. Roads that wind along waterways lead to bridges to the barrier islands like Fripp and St. Simon’s. The Sea Island Golf Course is the home base for well-known golfer Davis Love III and he is the lead sponsor and organizer for this event, which carries a $4 million purse.

“Something that I wanted to do was to have a PGA Tour event not only to showcase Sea Island by bringing people here, but to help charities like the Special Olympics and the Boys and Girls Clubs,” said Love III. The tournament’s four rounds of tournament play are from this Thursday through Sunday, and will be televised.

McGladrey Classic Media Director Melanie Trotter remarked that it takes a full year of planning to organize the estimated 1200 volunteers that it takes to put on a PGA Tour event. Volunteers will sell tickets, greet spectators, assist The Golf Channel with production, operate scoreboards, assist players at the practice range and provide gallery control as marshals. Quiet, Please!

The course itself is situated on the southern tip of the island, and features a tidal creek winding right through the heart of the course. Originally built as a nine-hole course by English architects in 1929, another separate nine holes were added in 1973 and they were blended together by Tom Fazio in 1999. The par-70 course is just over 7000-yards and is listed in Golf Digest’s Top 100 Courses in the United States.

Most recently, Davis Love III served as the Team Captain for the Ryder Cup. While the Americans’ quest to reclaim the Ryder Cup from Europe went lacking, fans can expect for Love III to bring the same kind of zeal to the third year of the tournament that is synonymous with him.

After visiting last year, I learned the McGladrey Classic will cater to those who want to ride their bikes to the golf course, offering them bike racks and little delays. Others will have to ride the shuttle buses each day as part of the plan to limit traffic at the bottleneck to the Sea Island Resort.

The McGladrey Classic might have sneaked up as another great sports event in the fall, but with football season and other distractions, this tournament would benefit from an exciting finish on Sunday. A strong showing by Love III on the course might be the kind of result that drives this southern gallery into a frenzy. We’ll be watching with great interest as this coastal venue aims for a hole in one where the fans are concerned.

Jeff Dennis is a Lowcountry native. Read his blog at www.LowcountryOutdoors.com


Jeff Dennis, Contributor (360 Posts)

Jeff Dennis is a Lowcountry native. Read his blog at www.LowcountryOutdoors.com