April 6, 2013

Annual Columbia Golf Ball combines party with a cause

A party that benefits a worthy cause and features all things golf will be at the Moore Building on the State Fairgrounds on Thursday evening.

A party that benefits a worthy cause and features all things golf will be at the Moore Building on the State Fairgrounds on Thursday evening.

The 12th annual Columbia Golf Ball provides the opportunity, and the South Carolina Junior Golf Foundation will be the beneficiary.

“This is one of our most important fundraising events,” said Happ Lathrop, executive director of the South Carolina Golf Association. He pointed out that the organization has granted almost $700,000 in college scholarships since 1995.

Prizes, televisions that carry first-round play in the Masters and both live and silent auctions create the action, and the menu includes hors d’oeuvres and an open bar. Items available at auction include golf packages, golf lessons from top professionals and more than 100 rounds of golf in the state.

More than $400,000 has been raised during the event’s first 11 years, and those contributions have helped create what Golf Digest rates as the nation’s best junior golf program. Those activities include Golf in Schools, Clubs 4 Kids, Team Series and Junior golf series for youngsters. The junior golf foundation made grants of more than $235,000 in 2012.

Alumni from the state’s junior program have won 20 PGA Tour tournaments, including one U.S. Open (Lucas Glover) and one FedExCup (Bill Haas). Six have made the U.S. Walker Cup team, three have played on the U.S. President’s Cup team and one on the U.S. Ryder Cup team. In addition, youngsters who came through the program have played on national championship college teams and won individual national titles at both the collegiate and USGA levels.

The festivities run from 6:30-9:30 p.m., with the live auction staring at 8 p.m.

For ticket information, call the SCGA at (803) 732-9311.

Chip shots

Kelli Murphy (Elgin) and Alex Gillian (Irmo) shared medalist honors in the SCJGA’s Caddie Classic, which provides the selection order for juniors to choose a “team” at the Hootie & the Blowfish Monday after the Masters pro-am. Both finished at 2-over-par 72 in the one-round event at Sumter’s Sunset Country Club. ... Quentin Yarborough fired a 4-under-par 68 to win the championship flight in the Columbia Golfweek Amateur Tour tourney at Cobblestone Park. Other winners in the competition that places players in flights according to handicaps: Glenn O’Neill (A flight), Jose Lagos (B flight), Les Bradstreet (C flight) and David Goodwin (D flight). For schedules and tournament information, call John Livoti at (866) 918-4653. ...

For information on volunteer opportunities to assist at this year’s U.S. Women’s Amateur, set for Aug. 6-11 at the Country Club of Charleston, go to ... Information on volunteer opportunities at the 2014 U.S. Men’s and Women’s Open, which will be conducted on back-to-back weeks at Pinehurst No. 2, are available at ... The field for the RBC Heritage, set for April 18-21 at Harbour Town Golf Links on Hilton Head Island, grows stronger by the day. Latest commitments include DA Points, who earned his second PGA Tour tourney title a week ago in the Shell Houston Open. Two players who won 2012 major titles — Webb Simpson (U.S. Open) and Ernie Els (British Open) — will be in the field. For tickets, go to or call the tournament office at (843) 671-2448.

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