Drex Guthrie Classic gets under way at Troy Country Club

Published 11:23 pm Wednesday, June 13, 2012

A golfer puts during the Drex Guthrie Classic Pro-Am in Troy, Ala., Wednesday, June 13, 2012. (Messenger Staff Photo/Thomas Graning)

By Andy Simmons

On the brink of the 112th annual US Open, there’s a quality golf tournament being played locally.

The second annual Drex Guthrie Classic kicked off Wednesday at the Troy Country Club and will be continuing tournament play throughout the week until Friday when the final round is to be played.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

The venue is presented by the Emerald Coast Pro Golf Tour, who since 1989 has provided up and coming golfers a chance to hone their craft in an effort to one day possibly make it on the major tours. Some of the notable names that have competed in the tour and have moved on to the majors include Boo Weekley, Troy University graduates Josh Broadaway and Ben Bates, and this year’s winner of the Masters, Bubba Watson.

The tournament this year has over 40 professional golfers and just under 100 amateur golfers, who competed in a Pro-Am yesterday. The pros participating will be keeping their scores from the Pro-Am going into the second round.

The purse for this year’s Classic is a whooping $50,000, with $12,500 going to the winner.

“It’s a big tournament for them, and for us raise a lot of money,” said Gary Guthrie, who is helping host the tournament along with his wife in honor of their son, Drex.

“He grew up here playing on the golf course and he passed away in January of last year,” Guthrie said.

“He was always a big giver, always had a big heart and we felt like by raising money through this tournament and being able to donate money to charities he would’ve liked to give to is the propose for the whole deal.”

This years Classic be giving away over $10,000 to local charities, which include the Cancer Wellness Foundation of Central Alabama, the American Red Cross of Pike County and a tornado relief fund in Harrisburg, Illinois.

“One of the players that’s here, his parents house was destroyed by a tornado on February 29th. He’s a good guy, a good friend and we’re donating the money to his church to help out with the repairs,” Guthrie said.

The first day turned out to be quite successful for the participants as they entered the clubhouse after a long and late first round.

“It’s been great. You can’t ask for anything more as far as hospitality,” said Chris Wolfe, one of the participants.

“It’s nice to feel welcome whenever you come to a golf tournament. They’re doing a great job with that,”

The tournament leader through the first round is Kyle Sapp, from Gardendale, who shot a 8-under 64.

Brandon Anthony, who graduated Troy University in 2007, follows closely behind with a 65.

Second round play for the pros will resume today, along with a kid’s clinic with the pros later this afternoon.