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Friday, May 6, 2016

Professional golf coming to Blytheville

Thursday, July 8, 2004

Thunder Bayou Golf Links on the Arkansas Aeroplex in Blytheville will host a first-of-its- kind athletic event for the region when the Cadillac/Adams Tight Lies Golf Classic Series comes to Blytheville the week of July 12- 17.

Title sponsored by the Mississippi County Steel Industry, the professional golf tournament will benefit the First Tee of Northeast Arkansas, a non-profit organization with the goal of improving the lives of area youth through introduction to the sport of golf. Led by Nucor-Yamato Steel and Nucor Steel Hickman, the Steel Industry Title Sponsorship also includes Maverick Tube, Lexicon (Schueck Steel), Friedman Industries and others.

The Blytheville City Advertising, Tourism and Promotion Commission is also a presenting sponsor, helping promote Blytheville through the tournament and assisting in the First Tee of Northeast Arkansas fund-raising endeavor.

Emphasizing life skills as well as teaching basic golf skills and etiquette, the First Tee is a national organization with connections to the United States Golf Association, the Professional Golfers of America and other organizations with an interest in expanding participation in golf as a sport and as a teaching vehicle for the nation's youth.

Matching grants from these national organizations will provide more than $50,000 in funds for the continuing operation of the First Tee of Northeast Arkansas, which was founded in 2002 with the Mississippi County Economic Opportunity Commission as its parent non-profit organization.

Professional golfers age 45 and up are eligible to compete for the $65,000 purse, with a local qualifying stage on July 12 opening up 10 additional spots for competitors not already a member of the Cadillac/Adams Tight Lies Tour.

The Cadillac/Adams Tight Lies Tour provides a competitive outlet for professionals not competing on the PGA or Senior PGA Tours. Many of these pros have the goal of regaining their playing status in these other arenas.

A Pro-Am event is scheduled for July 14 with a Pro-Am Pairing Party set for the preceding evening at Blytheville Country Club.

Other events include a junior clinic, shootout and the tournament itself which consists of three rounds of stroke play July 15, 16 and 17, with a cut following the July 16 round.

One round of the a.m./ p.m. Pro-Am is filled with title and other major sponsors' exemptions, while the second round still has room available for more corporate or business team sponsorships ($1,200).

Individual spots in the tourney are available for $300. Up to 50 pros are being made available for the Pro-Am by the Cadillac/Adams Tight Lies Tour.

Thunder Bayou PGA Professional John P. Kelly is tournament director. He can be contacted at 870-532-2621 for $20 event passes or further information concerning pro- am participation or other activities.

Volunteers for various tournament responsibilities are still needed. Interested volunteers should call 870-838-3916 for more information.

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