19TH HOLE: Rock Barn Repeat Sought By Eaks
Rock Barn Golf and Spa in Conover offers members of the PGA Champions Tour a treat with its Robert Trent Jones-designed course.
The spectacular layout is as challenging as it is beautiful, and the dramatic changes in elevation create a memorable experience not only for the professionals but also for the many amateurs who play it year-round.
Defending champion R.W. Eaks held off a spirited challenge by Jay Haas in the final round last year for his second victory of the season. Rod Spittle, Scott Simpson, Des Smyth and Gil Morgan also posted strong finishes.
Rock Barn, located just off Interstate 40 between Statesville and Hickory, will host the tournament Sept. 8-14 and tickets are readily available.
Fans in the area are also being given a pre-tournament treat this year. Rock bands do it. Professional golfers do it. Now, the Greater Hickory Classic at Rock Barn Presented by Kia Motors' trophy has also gone on tour.
The inaugural "Champions Trophy Tour to the Tee" showcases the elaborate Waterford crystal cup that is awarded to the winner. While on tour, the trophy will be displayed at a variety of civic and retail establishments over a 10-week period.
The heavy lead crystal cup, measuring 16 inches tall and 13 inches wide, features an intricate design made from seven different cut patterns and a scalloped rim. A team of artisans makes each trophy by hand in a delicate process that takes approximately 7-8 hours.
The tournament features a week of special events and attractions, including exhibitions, pro-ams, and three days of Champions Tour competition among some of golf's greatest legends.
For more information, call (828) 459-4000 or visit the Web site at www.greaterhickoryclassic.com.
Daly Commits: Two-time major winner John Daly has accepted a sponsor's exemption and will play in the 2008 Wyndham Championship.
Daly, who won the 1991 PGA Championship and the 1995 British Open, joins a field that already includes defending champion Brandt Snedeker, Vijay Singh, two-time winners Davis Love, III and Rocco Mediate, Tim Clark, Carl Pettersson, Lucas Glover, David Toms, David Duval and 2007 British Amateur champion Drew Weaver.
Daly reached No. 23 in the official World Golf Rankings late in the 2005 season. It was the highest world ranking of his career to date.
The 2008 Wyndham Championship is set for Aug. 11-17 in Greensboro. Tickets are available online at www.wyndhamchampionship. com or through the tournament office.
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