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Tiger Tee Off a hit with players, fans
0630 Tiger tee 2
Tiger Tee Off golf tournament director Ken Griffin poses in front of a Ford Focus that Hinesville Ford offered to anyone who could hit a hole-in-one on the third hole at Cherokee Rose Country Club. - photo by Photo by John Wood

Thirteen teams battled the sweltering South Georgia heat Saturday for the annual Tiger Tee Off at Cherokee Rose Country Club.

Bradwell Institute golf coach and tournament director Ken Griffin said the tournament was originally started by Candler Boyd to help non-revenue producing sports — such as golf — raise money. Griffin is in his eighth year as tournament director.

Several Bradwell alumni and coaches were part of the tournament field. The tournament started with a shotgun start. Bradwell fans Pat Edwards and Robert Darby led off the field by teeing off at the first hole.

All players were given a chance to win a Ford Focus, donated by Hinesville Ford, in exchange for a hole-in-one on hole No. 3. Only six players in the field made tee shots that hit the green.

The winning team came in with a score of 17 under par. Team members were John Smiley, Chris Brinker, Toby Howard and Anthony Howard.

Two teams tied for second place with a score of 14 under par and a tie-breaker was used to determine the order of finish. Second place went to Allen Crane, Ronnie Brown, Neil Tedder and Daniel Dasher.

Matt Murry, Richard Gilbert, Derek Webb and Nick Dunn, who traveled from Swainsboro, finished in third place.

Individually, Toby Howard won the women’s longest drive contest and came closest to the pin. Richard Gilmer won the men’s longest drive, and former Bradwell football coach Clifford Johnson won the men’s closest to the pin contest.

The tournament raised approximately $1,700, which will be used for the golf program and other non-revenue producing sports.

"There are so many people that I have to thank. Ms. Sharon Dunham always helps with registration. Angie and Ralph Dixon have been a tremendous help over the years," Griffin said.

He also expressed his appreciation for Cherokee Rose superintendent Ronnie Mobley and his staff, who he said created a great tournament site and atmosphere. The course is where the Bradwell golf team practices and plays its home tournaments.

Griffin also lauded the efforts of Chuck Edgington, who prepared all of the food for the event.

"I want to thank all of this year’s hole sponsors because if it wasn’t for them, the tournament would not be as profitable," Griffin said.

Bradwell head football coach and athletic director Jim Walsh Jr. thanked everyone for their help. Coach Jeff Miller also told the crowd about the recently developed "Cat Walk," which honors all Bradwell Institute athletes who went on to play college sports.

"We look forward to the Tiger Tee Off next year," Griffin said. "I will set the date early so people can adjust their calendars so we will see more teams next year."

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