Originally created 04/03/02

Regions Cup sees summer swell in tournament times



Regions Cup golfers will have a busy summer starting in mid-July.

Of the 10 events in the amateur tournament series, seven are in July and August. That's two more tournaments in those months than in 2001.

The reasons for the change are twofold. The Goshen Plantation Golf Classic will debut July 13-14 and the Camellia Classic decided to move from its late May date in 2001 to July 27-28.

The other July tournament is the Augusta City Amateur, on July 19-20-21.

The August tournaments are the Perry Watson Memorial on Aug. 3-4, the Orville White Cup on Aug. 10-11, the W.M. Gregory Classic on Aug. 17-18 and the Midland Valley Senior Invitational on Aug. 24-25.

Host clubs determine what is the best dates to play Region Cup events based on club events and conditioning of the golf course.

Regulars on the circuit were hoping the 10 events would be spread out more over the spring/summer months, to give them some breathing room between tournaments.

It didn't happen, meaning there are single tournaments in April, May and June, but three in July and four in August.

There is the same number of events this season. In effect, the Goshen Plantation Golf Classic has taken the place of the Jones Creek Classic, which was discontinued by The Club at Jones Creek after two years. That tournament had been played in early June.

The good news for golfers is the return of Goshen Plantation to the circuit after a four-year absence. Goshen played host to the Golf Capital Invitational for 27 years, but had been without a Regions Cup event since that tournament moved to Midland Valley Country Club in 1998.

When Spike Kelly and Richard Finley purchased Goshen in October, Kelley said one of his top priorities was to bring a Regions Cup event back to the course. His proposal to play host to a tournament was approved by Regions Cup executive director Steve Foss.

"We're thrilled to be in the series," Kelley said. "We want to be part of the golf community. We're going to try to do a lot of different type of events at the club."

That includes reviving the popular 2-Man Scramble, scheduled for Sept. 7-8.

A major renovation project at Goshen will be completed by Masters Week, Kelley said. He'll be interested in seeing how the top players in the area fare at the spruced-up Goshen course.

"Everyone's glad to see Goshen going back to where it was," Kelley said.

ENGLER DEBUT: Augusta's John Engler will make his professional debut in a PGA Tour event when he tees it up in Worldcom Classic at Hilton Head Island, S.C., on April 18-21, at Harbour Town Golf Links. The former Clemson All-American, who turned pro in the fall, received a sponsor exemption into the Worldcom Classic, formerly the MCI Classic. Two of Engler's former teammates at Clemson, Johnathan Byrd and Lucas Glover, also received sponsor exemptions.

Engler finished high enough in November's PGA Tour Qualifying School tournament to earn a card on the 2002 Buy.com Tour. He's played in the first two events this season, failing to make the cut in both. Engler shot 73-79 in Jacobs Creek Open Championship in South Australia and 70-74 in the Holden Clearwater Classic in New Zealand. The next Buy.com Tour event, the Louisiana Open, ends on April 14, the day before practice rounds start in the Worldcom Classic.

DOUBLE DUTY: In mid-April, Arnold Palmer and Greg Norman will be wearing two hats. They'll be playing in the Masters Tournament and also unveiling courses they individually designed in South Carolina.

Palmer and Norman's courses will open on Aug. 16, or two days after the Masters. Palmer's course is RiverTowne Country Club, a daily-fee course in Mount Pleasant, S.C. It's the first Palmer Course Design Co., layout in the Charleston area. Norman's course is the Golf Course at Oldfield, which is located between Hilton Head Island and Beaufort. Palmer and Norman will play rounds of golf at their courses on the grand opening day.

Meanwhile, on April 8, the Monday of Masters Week, Davis Love III will attend the groundbreaking of a Davis Love III Signature Golf Course at Grand Harbor on Lake Greenwood in Greenwood, S.C. The course, to be called The Patriot Club, is scheduled to open in the fall of 2003.

The 2002 Regions Cup schedule:

April 27-28: Savannah Lakes Village Classic (Monticello)

May 18-19: Golf Capital Invitational (Midland Valley)

June 15-16: Persimmon Hill/North Augusta Exchange Club Classic (Persimmon Hill)

July 13-14: Goshen Golf Classic (Goshen Plantation Golf Club)

July 19-20-21: Augusta City Amateur (Forest Hills)

July 27-28: Camellia Classic (Belle Meade CC)

Aug. 3-4: Perry Watson Memorial (Pine Ridge)

Aug. 10-11: Orville White Cup (Midland Valley)

Aug. 17-18: W.M. Gregory Classic (North Augusta CC)

Aug. 24-25: Midland Valley Senior Invitational (Midland Valley)



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