Organizers planning for 10th annual Tucker tourney

Published 5:00 am Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Organizers of the 10th annual Tucker Tournament are looking atwhat they say might be their most successful year everparticipation-wise, but they also are still looking for sponsorsfor the event.

Proceeds from the Sept. 1-4 golf event at Brookhaven CountryClub go to benefit the Lincoln County Chapter of the Habitat forHumanity. Tournament Chairman Josh Smith said the event is aweekend-long gala complete with all the necessities like sponsorand family parties, night golf and horseshoe tournaments.

“Friday night we’re having a sponsor party at my father MikeSmith’s house, from 7 p.m. to roughly midnight,” he said. “It’s forall the players, wives, and sponsors to come and enjoy.”

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Smith said that’s just the kickoff. Tee times begin at 9 a.m.and 1 p.m. each day, depending on if the teams are interested inplaying in the morning or in the afternoon. After the golf playthat day, the families of sponsors and golfers alike will gather atSmith’s house for a family reception.

“It’s for families to bring their kids for a little more casualevent,” he said. “There’s also a horseshoe tournament at the party.Everyone throws their money in the pot and it goes to thecharity.”

The parties are open to others interested in helping thecharity, even if they’re not golfers, Smith said.

“We try to make it so anyone who wants to come to the partiescan,” he said. “If they want just to come for a social function andgive a donation, that’s fine. A lot of people aren’t golfers, andwe’d like for them to come and have fun, too.”

Sunday morning brings the same tee times and lunch catered byHal’s Barbecue. But Sunday night at 8 o’clock, tournamentorganizers hope to brighten up the festivities.

“Sunday night there’s an eight-hole night tournament,” saidSmith. “It’s a two-man scramble and we’ve got glow-in-the-dark golfballs and we use glow sticks to light the course. It should be agood time.”

And so far the participation has already exceeded what wasexpected, Smith said.

“The last two years we’ve had 72 teams, and we’ve had to cut itoff,” said Smith. “We’ve already got 62 teams, and we’ll probablyhave to cut it off again. Our out-of-town participation is strong -more than half of our teams are from out of town, which isgreat.”

Smith said with that many teams, he expects to fill all theslots very soon.

The tournament started in 1997 to honor Smith’s brother, Tucker,who graduated from West point in 1996, and was killed the next weekin a Labor Day weekend car accident.

“So the next year to do something, we came up with this idea,”said Smith. “My dad was chairman of Habitat, and we thought thiswas great idea. Tucker had friends from West Point that come fromall over the country, and a lot of them still come back.”

Smith said in spite of the distance, some of Tucker’s West Pointcomrades still trickle in every year.

“Every year we have a couple of West Point guys come, becausethey love Brookhaven,” he said.

And Smith said even though the Brookhaven Country Club is undernew ownership, tournament officials are excited to be working withthem.

“Jeff Wilson is the new owner of the country club and he’s goneout of his way preparing the golf course,” he said. “They’ve beenout there with a crew getting that course into immaculate shape forthe Tucker Tournament. Special thanks to him.”

Individuals and businesses looking to help sponsor the eventwith sponsorships of different levels between $100 and $1,000 areencouraged to contact Josh Smith at (601) 833-6321.