Week 39 Approach Shots: McGladrey Classic

October 06, 2010

News, notes and predictions as we get set for the first round of the McGladrey Classic at the Seaside Course in Sea Island, Ga.

TV/Radio (all times ET)
TV: GOLF (Thu.-Sun., 3-6 p.m.)
RADIO: SIRIUS 209, XM 146, PGATOUR.COM (Thu.-Sun., 12-8 p.m.)
Sunny, temperatures in upper 70s. Winds from the N at 10 mph.
Updated weather info

The PGA TOUR makes its first stop in Sea Island, Ga. this week with the inaugural McGladrey Classic. A large part of the draw that brought an event to the Seaside Course was in the number of TOUR professionals who call the area home.

Jonathan Byrd is one of those pros who has lived in the area for nearly a decade and believes having a tournament at Sea Island makes sense.

"I feel like we should have always had a tournament here," Byrd said. "It seems completely natural and I'm really excited.

"(The course) is just so appealing to the eye," Byrd added. "When it's 75 degrees and perfect, you just kind of get the golden marshes and the blue sky and just a beautiful golf course. And you throw in a good test along with it with the Seaside Course being a tough test. So you know, all that together just makes for a pretty place."

Tournament host Davis Love III, Zach Johnson and new resident Matt Kuchar are among the other pros who call Sea Island home. Interestingly, those three just returned from the Ryder Cup in Wales and will be teeing off in the same group at 12:50 p.m. Thursday.

"Despite the jet lag, I am extremely, extremely excited to be here, and excited to play tomorrow," Johnson said. "I got a pretty awesome group."

While winning on TOUR a week after competing in the Ryder Cup is a difficult task, it is not impossible. See "Did You Know?" Below to see who was the last person to accomplish the feat.

SUCCESS UP THE COAST: Sea Island is located some 120 miles south of Hilton Head, S.C. home of the Verizon Heritage. Five-time winner of The Heritage Davis Love III is serving as host this week at The McGladrey Classic. A total of five players that have won just up the road in Hilton Head Island are competing at the inaugural McGladrey Classic: Brian Gay (2009), Boo Weekley (2007 and 2008), Aaron Baddeley (2006), Love (1987, 1991, 1992, 1998, 2003) and Justin Leonard (2002).

Columnists' predictions
Each week, PGATOUR.COM columnists will predict the winner. Here are their picks for The McGladrey Classic:
Columnist Pick Comment
Heath Slocum: Seaside isn't the longest course, which plays into the hands of Slocum. He made a run at Harbour Town in the spring and gets a second chance at a similar style course this fall.
Lucas Glover: I'm tempted to pick Sea Island resident Zach Johnson, who's going for his third PGA TOUR win in Georgia. But Johnson has to be drained from the Ryder Cup, so I'll go with another Sea Island resident, and a former U.S. Open champion.
David Toms: Got one right last week! A two-fer? Ryder Cuppers and assistant coach worn out, so going with Toms, who looks ohsoclose to winning again.
Did you know?
The last player to win a PGA TOUR event a week after competing in the Ryder Cup? None other than Tiger Woods. The week after the 2006 Ryder Cup at the K-Club in Ireland, Woods won the World Golf Championships-American Express Championship at The Grove outside London in 2006.
What the winner gets
A victory this week at the McGladrey Classic will earn the following benefits:
• Fully Exempt for the remainder of 2010 and all of 2011 and 2012
• A spot in the following 2011 events in order of play:
   - SBS Championship
   - Bob Hope Classic
   - Arnold Palmer Invitational
   - Verizon Heritage
   - THE PLAYERS Championship
   - Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial
   - The Memorial Tournament
   - AT&T National
   - PGA Championship
• If second TOUR win since the 2010 U.S. Open, entry into the 2011 U.S. Open.
• If a U.S. player, 720,000 points towards making the 2011 Presidents Cup team.

THE RACE FOR 125: Webb Simpson is the new bubble boy on the PGA TOUR money list, where he currently ranks 125th. Simpson, who missed the cut at last week's Viking Classic fell four spots to No. 125. Of the 31 players ranked between Nos. 110 and 140 on the money list, 29 are competing in this week's event. The two exceptions are Michael Allen (117th) who is competing in the Constellation Energy Senior Players Championship a week after finishing second at the Viking Classic, and Mike Weir (139th) who hasn't played since the Wyndham Championship because of an elbow injury.