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Troy Country Club to host pro event

Troy residents will have a chance to see some profession golf first-hand this month, as the Emerald Coast Golf Tour will hold the Troy Country Club Pro-Am Classic April 27-30 at the Troy Country Club.

The schedule actually begins April 26 with practice rounds and a kickoff party before the pro-am is held April 27, with three rounds of professional play to follow April 28-30.

This will be the Emerald Coast Golf Tour’s first trip to Troy, and Tour Director Geno Celano said this tournament will serve as a test of the viability of holding future events in Troy.

“We mainly run tournaments up and down the Emerald Coast of Florida, but we’re starting to branch out a little,” Celano said.

“We have a few former players who went to Troy University, so we felt like it would be a good area to try a new market and see if they’ll support it.”

Former Troy Trojans Ben Bates is expected to play in the event, and Celano said Bates had a hand in bringing the event to Troy.

“One of our players, Ben Bates, played at Troy, and he was instrumental in getting us to come here,” Celano said.

The ECGT has had several notable names go on to play on the PGA Tour, such as Bubba Watson, Jerry Kelly, Boo Weekley and Heath Slocum.

Celano said the tour is full of players trying to reach the PGA Tour, and the talent level reflects that.

“It’s just so hard to get on the PGA tour, so you have a lot of players who are just looking for places to play,” Celano said.

“They’re just trying to work their way up and hopefully get on the Nationwide Tour, and then the PGA from there.”

Along with the Pro-Am Classic, there will also be a free junior clinic for young golfers April 28.

Those interested in participating in the pro-am portion of the event may contact the Troy Country Club to register.