Originally created 02/02/05

Blackburn lands Cup's top position



The Regions Cup golf series didn't have far to look to find its new executive director.

It will be Midland Valley Country Club head pro Brooks Blackburn.

Blackburn takes over for the same person he replaced as head pro at Midland Valley - Steve Foss.

When Foss resigned from Midland Valley in mid-December, he called Jimmy Rigsby of Regions Bank to say he'd be stepping down from his Regions Cup position too.

At the time, Foss and Rigsby, who is the president of the Central Georgia Bank of Regions Bank, talked about Blackburn becoming the new head man of the Regions Cup.

"I guess being around Steve so long, it's not big a deal," Blackburn said. "I'll enjoy it, for sure."

Blackburn, 35, helped Foss with the arrangements for the annual season-ending Regions Cup Matches and attended at least one of the two rounds each year. The executive director also determines which tournaments are approved to be Regions Cup events.

"That will be fine with me," Rigsby said of Blackburn being the executive director. "Brooks will do a good job."

Foss had been the executive director of the series since 1997. The Regions Cup series started in 1988, with Ron Schroder serving as the first executive director.

"Steve did a great job," Rigsby said.

Foss' know-how was exhibited in September when Thomson's Belle Meade Country Club was unable to play host to the Regions Cup Matches because heavy rainfall had saturated the course. Foss quickly worked out an arrangement with Aiken's Houndslake Country Club to play host to the matches.

"Sometimes, I felt like the best thing I might do is not do anything," Rigsby said. "Steve knew all the guys to call. He took the job to heart and did a terrific job. He'll be missed."

DEBUT EDITION: Fans will soon have access to the same information as golf writers.

The inaugural edition of The 2005 Official PGA Tour Fan Guide will be available later this month. The 648-page book is similar to PGA Tour's 2005 Official Media Guides. The difference is there are three media guides - one of the PGA Tour, one of the Champions Tour and one for the Nationwide Tour.

The Fan Guide will combine all three in one book.

The Fan Guide will, published by Tehabi Sports, recaps the 2004 season on the three tours, along with biographies of the players, all-time records, 2005 schedules and 2004 statistical leaders.

Part of this information was compiled by former Augusta Chronicle sports editor Ward Clayton, who is the director of editorial services for the PGA Tour.

"For years, the golf media has utilized our media guides as their primary resource for covering all three tours," said Bob Combs, the PGA tour's senior vice president of public relations and communications. "What Tehabi Sports has done is enhance this year's guide to become more engaging for the golf fan while maintaining a wealth of information that will inform and educate the reader."

The guide, which costs $19.95, will be in bookstores soon or can be purchased at www.pgatourfanguide.com.

GSGA PRESIDENT: Glenn Cornell of Lawrenceville, a former president of Atlanta Athletic Club, was elected president of the Georgia State Golf Association at the group's annual meeting at Cherokee Town Club in Dunwoody.

Cornell will serve a one-year term, with an option for a second one-year term for 2006. Cornell was president of the Georgia State Golf Foundation, the charitable affiliate of the GSGA, from 1994-96.

Two Augustans are directors with the GSGA. Jim Knerr of Forest Hills Golf Club is a senior director and Mike Downes of West Lake Country Club is a director.

Reach David Westin at (706) 724-0851 or david.westin@augustachronicle.com.