November 4 2013
By Sean Martin, PGATOUR.COM
Sea Island Golf Club's Seaside Course, site of this week's McGladrey Classic, is familiar territory to many of the PGA TOUR players who matriculated at SEC schools. The conference championship has been held on the island every year since 2001.
Justin Thomas (2012), Russell Henley (2010) and Brendon Todd (2004) are players in the McGladrey field who won the conference championship at the Seaside Course; Thomas played for Alabama, while Henley and Todd played at Georgia. TOUR rookie John Peterson was runner-up in the 2011 SEC Championship while playing for LSU, losing a playoff to current PGA TOUR Latinoamerica player Andres Echavarria.
Four players in the McGladrey field finished in the top 10 in the 2011 SEC Championship at the Seaside Course: Peterson (2nd), Henley (T-6), Bud Cauley (T-10) and Hunter Hamrick (T-10); Cauley and Hamrick were Alabama teammates. Cauley finished 15th at that year's McGladrey Classic; he earned his PGA TOUR card in just eight starts that year, highlighted by top-five finishes at the Sanderson Farms Championship and Frys.com Open.
Many elite amateurs also make an annual trek to Sea Island for the Jones Cup at Ocean Forest Golf Club, which is located just a few miles away. That event, one of the nation's top amateur tournaments, boasts an impressive winner's list. Three of the past five Jones Cup champions are in the McGladrey field -- Thomas (2012), Peterson (2011) and Kyle Stanley (2009). Patrick Reed, winner of this year's Wyndham Championship, won the 2010 Jones Cup, but is not playing this week. Nicholas Thompson, the 2005 Jones Cup champion, also is playing this week's McGladrey Classic.