Sunbelt Senior Tour golf comes to Loudoun County next week with the annual Cannonball Invitational Pro-Am and spaces remain for amateurs to head out with the pros.
The tournament takes place Sept. 10-13 at The Club at Creighton Farms golf course and should offer plenty of great action for enthusiasts. This is the tournament's second year.
Spectators are welcome to come watch the event for free. As part of the Sunbelt Senior Tour, the tournament will include members of the Champions Tour, past PGA Tour players that are staying sharp preparing for their future spot on the Champions Tour, and golfers trying to earn their first shot at making the PGA tour.
“It’s for a lot of guys who can’t make qualifying events or are trying to play their way onto the tour,” said Rick Bechtold, the tournament director.
The Sunbelt Senior Tour focuses on helping charities, and the Cannonball benefits the Loudoun Community Health Center www.loudounchc.org and the Windy Hill Foundation www.windyhillfoundation.org, in conjunction with 100 Women Strong and The Blewitt Foundation for Wounded Warriors.
Bechtold said that after 40 years in golf he was looking for “a way to give back.”
“They’re very, very worthy charities,” he said, adding people have wanted to get involved. “It just grew and grew.”
Festivities begin Saturday with a pairing party, during which pros and amateurs will be matched up and get a chance to meet. The event includes dinner and a fashion show.
On Sunday, before the pro-am begins, Gary Trivisonno will offer a clinic.
Bechtold is proud of the course, saying many players are drawn to the tournament simply to play the Jack Nicklaus Signature course.
“It’s the best course they play all year, and the most challenging,” he said, putting on par with clubs such as Augusta National, the location of the annual Masters tournament. “From my estimation, this is probably the best golf course I’ve ever played. It’s a beautiful place. That’s one of the reasons we’re able to draw players.”
On Sept. 12-13, just the pros will take the course. The tentative list players includes (subject to change. *denotes 2011 Sunbelt Tour tournament winner):
- Gary Trivisonno - defending Cannonball champion & Ohio Golf Hall of Fame *
- Dave Rummells - lifetime member of PGA Tour, winner of over $2 million *
- Mike Smith - winner of over $2 million on PGA & Champions Tour
- Robin Byrd - current member of Champions Tour *
- Tim Conley - two-time Nationwide Tour champion
- Steve Thomas - Champions Tour driving distance record *
- Mitch Adcock - PGA Tour & Champions Tour *
- Mitch Adams - former Champions Tour member
- Jack Ferenz - former Champions Tour member *
- Jim Chancey - former Champions Tour member *
- Javier Sanchez - former Champions Tour member, 4-time U.S. Open qualifier **
- John Ross - former Champions Tour member, 3-time West Virginia Open Champion
- Lee Chill - former PGA Tour member
- Tom Eubank - former PGA Tour member
For more information about participating in the pro-am, sponsoring the event, contact Bechtold at 703-344-1215 or email@example.com.
The Sunbelt Senior Tour (SST) has been the number one Tour for players approaching and playing on the Champions Tour. SST has been running events since 1996 and has a long and prestigious list of players that got their starts on this tour or revived their careers to go on to Champions Tour success. The SST has enjoyed 15 years of competitions, paying out over $3.5 million in purses and helping raise over a million dollars for charity.