MOULTRIE – The 2014 Pot o’ Gold Pro-am was shortened when a storm hit Sunset Country Club on final day of the tournament.
It marked the first time since 2010 that weather had caused the event to be shortened from its traditional three-day run.
But the forecast is not good for this year’s 60th annual Pot o’ Gold, which opens with practice rounds, vendor demonstrations and a long drive and closest to pin contests today and three days of tournament play beginning on Friday.
The chance of rain is 80 percent today, 40 percent on Friday and 20 percent on Saturday and Sunday.
Sunset golf pro Bob Windom said the tournament committee is working on contingency plans.
“We might have to start a little earlier or stay a little later,” Windom said. “But we are going to do our best to get it in.”
This year’s Pot o’ Gold field includes 48 teams, three more than played in last year’s event. And 16 of them are new teams, Windom said.
The field includes the defending champion foursome led by Griffin Country Club pro Brian Dixon.
Last year’s Dixon’s foursome included amateurs Taylor Jernigan, Tye Waller and Trey Manley and shot a 62-61 for a 21-under 123. Manley and Waller are back this year. Buster Franklin replaces Jernigan.
Last year’s low professional Allen Thompson of Crystal Lake Golf and Country Club, who shot a 140, will not return, but low amateur Jonathan Keppler will.
Keppler will again be playing for the team led by his father Stephen Keppler, a Georgia Golf Hall of Fame member and pro at Marietta County Club.
The younger Keppler, a high school senior, shot a 63-71 last year.
Stephen Keppler has a Pot o’ Gold-record 11 championships to his credit.
As usual, Windom will enter two teams in the tournament and will try to duplicate his 2013 performance by leading one of them to the team championship.
That championship was the fourth won by a Sunset foursome. The others were led by pro Richard Hatcher in 1997 and by Kerry Smith in 2001 and 2004.
Windom’s No. 1 team could be a contender with brothers Kevin Blanton and Andy Blanton and Chad Eunice as the amateurs.
Kevin Blanton shot a 208 to win the low amateur crown in 2013.
He was in the running last year and was just three shots behind Jonathan Keppler when the final round was washed out.
Andy Blanton has one Pot o’ Gold championship to his credit as a member of 2001 team led by Kerry Smith that shot a 181.
Eunice will be seeking his fourth Pot o’ Gold title.
He played on the first Sunset champion in 1997 with Hatcher as the pro and Neil Hatcher and Billy Edwards as the other amateurs.
Sunset won again in 2001 without Eunice’s help as Smith used Jack Croyle, Andy Blanton and Jon Ladson to claim the title.
Three years later, a Smith-led team won again, with Eunice, Ladson and Ernie Venet as the amateurs.
And in 2013, Eunice helped Windom win his first Pot o’ Gold team championship, teaming with Ladson and Jonathan Bridges.
Jonathan Bridges will be on Windom’s No. 2 team this weekend’s Pot o’ Gold along with Jared Bridges and Brad Eunice.