MGRC gears up today with qualifying, junior clinic and Pro-Am Pairings Party
BILOXI, Mar 19, 2013 (The Sun Herald - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
The fourth Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic begins to gear up today as Champions Tour golfers arrive at Fallen Oak Golf Club after completing play in the Toshiba Classic on Sunday. Golfers will be able to hold a practice round on the par-72, 7,054-yard Tom Fazio-designed course today.
Open qualifying for the MGRC will be also held today at 8 a.m. at Diamondhead Country Club, and it should conclude around 1 p.m.
The first of three pro-ams this week will be held at Grand Bear Golf Club in Saucier today at 9:15 a.m. The next pro-am is Wednesday at Fallen Oak at 7;30 a.m., and the C-Spire Wireless pro-am -- which includes Saints greats Archie Manning and Rickey Jackson, and Mississippi State football coach Dan Mullen -- is Thursday at 7:30 a.m. The C-Spire Wireless is the only pro-am open the public.
The Junior Clinic Presented by the Bacot/McCarty Foundation takes place at 4 p.m. at Shell Landing Golf Club.
And the day is capped by the Pro-Am Pairings Party from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. At that party, amateurs will learn for the first time with which Champions Tour golfers they are paired.
First-round championship action begins Friday at 10 a.m. at Fallen Oak Golf Club.
South Africa's David Frost comes to the MGRC after winning the Toshiba Classic, shooting a course record 19-under 194. He shot a 65 in besting Fred Couples on Sunday. Frost, Couples and Jim Gallagher Jr. were paired in the final threesome on Sunday in Newport Beach, Calif.
Couples is the MGRC defending champion, sinking a 15-foot birdie putt on the last hole in 2012 to break the tie with Michael Allen for the win.
So far, Frost leads the Charles Schwab Cup standings for the Champions Tour, amassing 564 points and netting $564,500. Bernhard Langer is second (517 points, $536,979), followed by John Cook (459 points, $470,250), Tour rookie Rocco Mediate (407 points, $406,500) and Couples (266 points, $265, 500).
Frost, Langer, Cook and Mediate are the winners in the first four Champions Tour events. Cook beat Frost in a playoff in Hawaii to open the season.
Tom Lehman, the 2011 MGRC champion, has won back-to-back Charles Schwab Cups.
Mediate joins Steve Elkington and Bart Bryant -- brother of Champions Tour member Brad Bryant -- as rookies at this year's MGRC.
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