By GARY STALLARD/For The Lufkin News
Patrick Sullivan has been here before.
As a member of the University of Arkansas-Little Rock golf team several years ago, Sullivan and his teammates competed at Crown Colony Country Club as competitors in the Stephen F. Austin University Golf Tournament. Later, Sullivan would hit the same course during various other tournaments.
On Monday, he stood on the putting green as a professional golfer, drawing from memory the challenges of the course.
He’ll need those memories this week as part of the field of 85 golfers competing in the Adams Pro Tour Tournament at Crown Colony. A week’s worth of festivities opened on Monday with a Media Day and a practice round; today’s events include the women’s clinic from 9-10:30 a.m., followed by the Pro/Am Day from noon until 5 p.m. A Pro/Am Party at 5:30 p.m. wraps up the day’s action. Following Friday’s round, fans can participate in the “Sip and Chip” in which the pros will offer short-game tips around the Crown Colony putting green.
On Wednesday, however, the tournament goes full-bore, with the pros competing in the first of four rounds. Thursday will see the field cut to 40, with the third round taking place on Friday and the championship round finishing on Saturday. Golfers are competing for an overall purse of an estimated $100,000, with the champ taking home a $15,000 prize. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Lufkin ISD Education Foundation.
The Adams Pro Tour features golfers who are steadily working their way up to PGA status and boasts such alumni as current pros Bubba Watson, Ryan Palmer, Jimmy Walker and other PGA winners.
Sullivan, who spent four years with the Adams Pro Tour (2006-2010) before taking a brief hiatus to marry his wife and help put her through college, is back competing in 2015. He’s hoping his familiarity with the Crown Colony course will provide somewhat of an edge.
“It’s a difficult golf course,” Sullivan, who currently ranks among the top 15 in the tour’s money winners, said. “You have to drive it well, because it’s pretty tight, and the rough is a little long. If you drive it well, there are some scoring opportunities. The greens are quick, so you have to keep it below the hole, but overall it’s going to be a great test for us.”
Kris Neal, the tournament’s tour director, said the tournament — open to the public — promises to showcase some very talented golfers, including some up-and-comers on their way to earning their PGA cards.
“The caliber of players we have out here offers a very high level of golf,” Neal said. “We have guys who have achieved Web.com status, or Canadian Tour status. We have a guy who played in the Open this year, and a guy who tied for sixth in the Web.com tour last week.
“We have plenty of guys who are quality golfers, and anyone coming out to watch will see some really great golf this week.”
A listing of tee times and pairings will be released today, and the leaderboard for each round will run in The Lufkin News following each round.
For more information, contact Crown Colony’s Ben Burns at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Pro Shop at 637-8818.