L.D. Waters is hoping to score a birdie with professional golfers.
The owner of Bonaventure Discount Golf and title sponsor of the annual Kandy Waters Memorial Classic is adding another tournament to his resume. This time, he's offering a guaranteed $158,000 purse for a two-day shootout.
The winner of the inaugural two-day Kandy Waters Memorial Shootout will earn the grand prize of $50,000.
"Golf has always been a love of mine," Waters said. "Anything I can do to help these young people. I know it sounds crazy. But I know how much of a struggle it is for them."
Waters is paying the Hooters Tour to run the event, which will be held at Savannah Lakes Village's Monticello Course on May 3-4. He said the tournament could cost him as much as $60,000 if it fails to draw interest.
"It's a gamble," he said. "But I've got confidence in these boys."
The event is open to anyone who can cover the $1,000 entry fee.
Waters said the field will be limited to the first 168 golfers.
The shootout will be held two days after the conclusion of the annual Kandy Waters Memorial Classic, April 28-May 1, in McCormick, S.C.
The new event, which has no cut and is 36 holes, will be held at an ideal time with no Hooters Tour or Champions Tour tournaments that week.
Waters said about 65 people have already signed up, and he expects about 120 Hooters Tour members to participate. He also said he's heard of interest from golfers on the Golden Bear, Nationwide and Champions tours.
The top 50 finishers will earn at least $1,500. Second place pays $25,000, while third place is $13,500.
But the first-place check is what has golfers drooling. The money is more than twice as much as a winner on the Hooters Tour will receive this year. Last week, David Kirkpatrick took home $21,484 for capturing the season-opening Michelob Ultra Orange Park Classic.
Hooters Tour vice president of operations Steve White said excitement over the shootout has kept him busy.
He's received about four calls a day during the past month regarding the event.
"Fifty thousand for two days work is not that bad," he said. "That's two (Hooters Tour) wins, basically."
White said the money would cover expenses on his tour for a year - entry fees for 21 events run about $30,000.
Reach Chris Gay at (706) 823-3645 or firstname.lastname@example.org