Davis Love III came out as strong supporter of the Georgia Golf Hall of Fame in Augusta during the hall's annual induction banquet Saturday night.
Love, a Class of 2001 hall of fame inductee, says the hall is in the right town. That is, the home of the Masters Tournament.
When the hall will become a physical reality is another question. Funds are still being raised for construction of the building, which will be located on Reynolds Street. The Augusta Golf and Gardens portion of the hall will open March 29.
"There are more golf courses in Atlanta and maybe the coast, but people associate Augusta with Georgia golf," Love said. "It's nice the hall of fame is here. When people come to town for the Masters, they will see what my dad (the late Davis Love Jr., a 1991 inductee) accomplished and what his family has got from the game and tried to give back. It's great that it's here."
Love cited an example of how strong the connection between Augusta and golf is. When he told his 8-year-old son Davis Love IV that the family was going to Augusta for the induction banquet, "his eyes all brightened up," Love said. "He's never played golf here, but he knew he was going to where the Masters is and that's important."
Love has finished in the top 10 on the PGA Tour's money list the past two years (third in 1999 and ninth in 2000) without the benefit of a victory. His last win was the 1998 MCI Classic. However, early last month in Thousand Oaks, Calif., he did win the unofficial Williams World Challenge, a 12-man tournament that included Tiger Woods and David Duval.
Love shot 67-64-71-64-266 to beat Woods by two shots.
"It was another typical week that I've been having the last two years where I hit the ball good all week and had one day when I didn't putt good," Love said. "I had three days when I putted great so that made up for it. You take that confidence and those feelings with you.
"I've had some years when I played good in the off-season events and then came out and played good at the beginning of the next year," Love said. "It certainly has made me a little more relaxed this off-season about my approach to this season. I need to just get back to being excited about playing and not pushing so hard and trying to play well. Any time you win, no matter what it is, even a team event, it helps you confidence-wise for the next year."
REGIONS CUP: There has been one date change and there may be more in the 2001 Regions Cup amateur golf tournament schedule. Nine of the 11 tournaments have announced their dates.
The date change so far involves the Savannah Lakes Village Classic. The tournament, which is played at the nationally ranked Monticello course and the Tara course at Savannah Lakes in McCormick, S.C., has moved from a June date to April 21-22. It will be the first event of the season.
Date changes are being considered for the River Club Open and the Camelia Classic at Belle Meade Country Club in Thomson.
In 2000, the River Club Open was held July 8-9 and the Camelia Classic the following week. That was followed by the Augusta City Amateur the next weekend.
Since the Augusta City Amateur traditionally fills up its 160-player field, golfers who didn't want to play three weeks in a row had to choose between the River Club Open and the Camelia Classic. Plus, the Camelia Classic fell on the same weekend as the Georgia State Amateur at West Lake.
As the Regions Cup schedule stands now, there is one tournament in April, one in May, two in June, one in July and four in August.
There is good news for Regions Cup golfers who want to play in the Palmetto Amateur in Aiken. The tournament, which was a Regions Cup event until 2000, is a week later in 2001 and doesn't conflict with North Augusta Country Club's W.M. Gregory Classic, a Regions Cup event. The Gregory Classic is Aug. 18-19, and the Palmetto Classic is Aug. 25-26.
Reach David Westin at (706) 724-0851.