The annual battle between South Carolina's best amateurs and top club professionals returns to Columbia when the Palmetto Cup is contested today and Monday at Forest Lake Club.
The S.C. Golf Association team is led by 2009 Fairway Outreach City Tournament champion Brent Roof and 10-time winner Irmo's Steve Liebler (runner-up in the S.C. Amateur), plus Columbia's Robert Dargan, Chris Mitchell and Jarrett Grimes, runner-up to Mark Anderson (who has turned professional) in the 2009 SCGA Player of the Year rankings.
The S.C. PGA squad is led by Burke Cromer, who finished fifth in the National Assistants Championship, and his boss Greg McBride (Northwoods), Chris Sparrow (Columbia Country Club), Woodlands' Tom Mason and Country Club of Lexington's Clem King. Host pro John Winterhalter is one of four seniors in the event.
Play begins today with 10 modified foursome (alternate shot) matches starting at 11:30 a.m. A total of 16 individual matches will be played Monday.
The professionals lead the series, 13-12-1.
Seven Midlands high school players signed letters of intent this week to play college golf, led by A.C. Flora's Thomas Bradshaw, who will play for Clemson.
Blythewood's Parker Allen signed with College of Charleston, while teammate Damon Postal is headed to Winthrop. Dutch Fork's Collin Witiak (Western Carolina), South Aiken's Chandler Brazeal (Wofford) and Sumter's Brian Amick (USC Aiken) also signed.
Anne Marie Covar of Edgefield signed to play for Wofford. Austin Cody (Pinewood Prep), signed with Duke, while Wando's Caulder Moore will play for USC. Moore's high school was incorrectly identified earlier this week.
Bulls Bay wins
Bulls Bay Golf Club amateurs Bill Smunk (who shot 8-under 64), Mo York and Joe Padgette teamed to take a 1-shot victory over The Golf Club at Star Fort and Chechessee Creek Club in the second Lathrop Cup, played at The Windermere Club. The Bulls Bay team was captained by professional Terry Florence.
In the pro-am competition, Star Fort's Tommy Pendley and amateurs Lewis Rollins, Frank Williams and Dale Jones won by three shots.
The Lathrop Cup, named for SCGA executive director Happ Lathrop, features amateurs age 55 and older.
The S.C. Junior Golf Foundation will partner with Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer's Palmetto Tomorrow Foundation to host an exhibit and sale of golf art Monday, 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Blue Marlin. Food and drink also will be provided. Proceeds go to support the SCJGF and Bauer's foundation. Call (803) 732-9311 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
North Charleston's Austin Cody shot 9-under-par for 36 holes to win the S.C. Junior Golf Association's Cheraw Fall Challenge. North Augusta's McKenzie Talbert took a three-shot win over Lexington's Maureen Dunnagan in the girls division. Other winners: Wesley Long (boys 13-14), Coleman Self (10-12) and Seth Taylor (8-9); Reona Hirai (girls 11-14) and Jensen Castle (8-10). ... Clemson senior Ben Martin helped lead a U.S. team (two males, two females) captained by LPGA star Paula Creamer to a 4-shot win over Korea in the 20-team Spirit International Amateur Championships in Trinity, Texas. ... Tickets for the PGA Tour's 2010 Quail Hollow Championship go on sale Monday, ranging from $140 (weekly book) to $25 (daily practice round and pro-am). Call (800) 945-0777 or go to QuailHollowChampionship.com. ... A total of 406 courses in North and South Carolina raised more than $180,000 during Patriot Golf Day, held over Labor Day weekend to aid families of injured and killed U.S. military.