Drex Guthrie Classic gets underway at Troy Country Club

Published 10:31 pm Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The next Masters champion might be battling the links at the Troy County Club this weekend.

The Emerald Coast Pro Golf Tour is in town for the Third Annual Drex Guthrie Classic. The Emerald Coast Pro Golf Tour, in its twenty-third year, has helped launched the careers of some the game’s brightest stars, including 2012 Masters Champion Bubba Watson and 2013 winner of the Crown Plaza Invitational, Boo Weekley.

Tournament director Geno Celano said that any of the current tour players could be the sport’s next big star.

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“There is so much talent out here that is hard to pick one out,” said Celano. “Any of the guys could break through at any time. The guys come out of college now, and are ready. You really could be watching a guy on TV next year, and say ‘Hey, that guy was in Troy last year.”

The tournament, while being a stop on the tour, also has special meaning for Gary and Carla Guthrie.

The event is held in honor of their son, Drex, and allows for local charities to benefit as well.

“We spoke with Geno a few years ago, and told him that if we could be a part of it, then we were all for it,” said Guthrie. “It allows us to honor Drex in a way that I feel he would be proud, not only with the golf, but with the charities.”

Cade Guthrie, Drex’s son, teed up for the ceremonial first drive, prior the beginning of the Pro-Am portion of the weekend.

Amateurs from around the Troy area, including Troy University Athletic Director John Hartwell and head football coach Larry Blakney, took part in the Pro-Am event on Wednesday.

The professional portion of the event gets underway on Thursday, and will continue on Friday afternoon.

The field includes several former Troy golfers, including Tolver Dozier, Ricky Casko and Ben Bates, as well as Brundidge native Hunter Hamrick and TCC pro Tony Mitchell.

The tournament will begin about 9 a.m. each day.

“The players have been really talking up the course, especially the fairways,” Celano said. “It should be a really good few days of golf here in Troy.”