Thornton’s City title on the line

Cole Thornton opens defense of his title in the Midlands Chevy Dealers Columbia City Golf Championship Thursday at Columbia Country Club against a strong field that includes four recent champions

Thornton, who won by a stroke a year ago at the Country Club of Lexington, tees off at 9:50 a.m. in the 54-hole even that ends Saturday. In his group will be Josh Lorenzetti, the 2013 Southern Conference champion at the College of Charleston, who qualified for the 2015 U.S. Amateur. Recent champions entered include Brian Lee (2013), Eddie Hargett (2012), Will Godfrey (2011) and Steve Liebler (2010). Liebler has won the city title 11 times.

Other division winners defending championships will be Burke Cromer (pros), Rich Houghton (seniors) and Bob Stringer (super-seniors). Cromer and Stringer seek their third consecutive titles in their divisions.

Columbia CC will field a strong contingent that includes Hargett, and brothers David and Robert Dargan. Hargett prevailed the last time Columbia CC staged the event. The Dargans won the recent SCGA State Lefty-Righty title and Robert Dargan collected his 10th left-handers title. Liebler captured the Festival of Flowers in Ninety Six.

City Golf Championship

Where: Columbia Country Club

When: Thursday-Saturday