Celebrities Tee it Up at Pinehurst for V Foundation
All in an effort to fight cancer.
Pinehurst's hallowed No. 2 course will be one of three layouts in play this weekend for the Jimmy V Celebrity Golf Classic, the annual tournament that benefits the cancer-research foundation bearing the nickname of former North Carolina State coach Jim Valvano.
'Being down here is a whole new adventure,' said Nick Valvano, chief executive of the V Foundation and brother of the late coach. 'I feel like Yogi Berra -- we don't know what we know yet.'
The tournament moved from suburban Raleigh to this golf hotbed in the North Carolina sandhills, bringing with it figures from sports and Hollywood. Jim Valvano died of cancer nearly 15 years ago.
The roster includes: basketball Hall of Famer Charles Barkley, Memphis coach John Calipari, current N.C. State coach Sidney Lowe, saxophonist Branford Marsalis, former pro wrestler Bill Goldberg and actor Dennis Haskins -- aka Mr. Belding, the principal on 'Saved by the Bell'.
'I go back and think about Jim and his vision way back when, and thinking about how big he wanted this to be and how he wanted to generate a lot of money,' said Frank McCann, the tournament's executive director. 'Now to move down here to the mecca of golf, it just seems like a match.'
Nick Valvano called it 'the grandfather of all our events' because it was the first in a succession of events including a basketball classic and charity auctions to generate funds for cancer research.
'There's a fondness ... it's the one that helped us really create some very strong and lasting relationships,' Valvano said.
The field consists of five-player groups with one celebrity and four other players who pay $5,000 apiece to take part in the scramble at the Nos. 2, 4 and 8 courses at Pinehurst.
Always held during the last weekend in August, the classic produced more than $12 million of the nearly $70 million raised since the foundation was started in 1993 during the coach's passionate speech at the inaugural ESPY awards.
The foundation has all these events (and) it's good for us to be a smaller piece of the pie,' McCann said. 'That means the foundation is growing.'
The classic's first visit to Pinehurst comes after 13 years at Prestonwood Country Club in Cary. McCann said the change became necessary when the Champions Tour event held there each year was moved to mid-September, within three weeks of the charity tournament. There wasn't enough time for the course to recover.
In its last year at Prestonwood, the V Foundation event raised nearly $1 million, and 'if we do as well as last year, we'll be very happy,' McCann said.
The event provides another chance to remember the coach who, with Lowe as his point guard, led N.C. State to an improbable national title in 1983. In the moments following Lorenzo Charles' last-second dunk, Valvano scurried around the court in search of someone to hug -- a lasting image from the NCAA tournament.
Near the end of his coaching stay with the Wolfpack, Valvano came under scrutiny during a scandal in which players were accused of selling their shoes and game tickets. ESPN's Stuart Scott, a North Carolina graduate, covered the story for a Raleigh television station.
'One time, it was really, really sticky ... and he just kind of nicely, but sternly, kicked us out of his office,' Scott said. 'I remember sitting there thinking, 'But don't you know I like you? I really like you as a person. I'm not one of those Carolina guys who doesn't like you.'
'But it was fun getting to know him. Boundless energy,' he added. 'When somebody passes, people always say, 'He's a great guy,' and sometimes they were, sometimes maybe not. But I've never heard anyone who knew him personally say he wasn't anything but a great guy.'
Copyright 2007 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational
Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.
The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.
Rose leads Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs
JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose completed the final two holes of his second round early Saturday for a 3-under 69 and a one-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters.
Rose, who had a first-round 62, was among a quarter of the field forced off the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course after weather delays on Friday.
The Englishman, who bogeyed his last hole, had a two-round total of 13-under 131.
Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who completed his 64 on Friday, was in second place.
Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters. He has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season.
Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump
Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.
Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.
None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.
Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.
An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.
In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.
Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.
Playing with the pros
Tiger, DJ and Faxon
President at the Presidents Cup
Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham
Cart on the green
Presence and protests at U.S. Women's Open
Trump golf properties
Reportedly fake TIME covers
Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story
Pros comment on the president
Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017
GolfChannel.com is counting down the top 10 Newsmakers of the Year as voted on by Golf Channel’s writers, editors, reporters and producers. Check out the list below, including future release dates. And click here for the full collection of articles.
No. 1: Dec. 18