MOULTRIE — Fifty-four teams will tee off on Friday in the 54th Pot o’ Gold Pro-Am at Sunset Country Club with weather expected to be conducive to low scores all three days of the tournament.

Last year, the Pot o’ Gold’s first round was rained out and the second round was played in low temperatures and high winds.

This week’s forecast is much better, with the high’s expected to 77 on Friday, 75 on Saturday and 70 on Sunday.

The defending tournament championship team is in the field as are two foursomes representing Sunset Country Club.

The tournament will begin on Thursday with practice rounds, a factory rep show from 11 a.m.-3:30 p.m. and the popular long drive contest that will begin at 3 p.m. at the No. 10 tee.

Adam Thomas, who played for one of Sunset golf pro Bob Windom’s teams, won the 2008 long drive contest with a drive of 318 yards.

Tee times are 8:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

The Cartersville Country Club team led by professional Scott Hamilton will be back to try to defend its title.

Hamilton’s foursome and Windom’s Gold team each finished with a two-day score of 19-under-par 125 last March.

The tournament’s tie-breaker calls for the team with the best score on the final day to claim the title.

Hamilton’s team shot a 62 In Sunday’s round. Windom’s team had a 63 and settled for second place.

David Noll, last year’s low amateur, also will be in the field this weekend.

Former Sunset pro Richard Hatcher, now at Ansley Golf Club in Atlanta, also has a conflict and will miss this year’s event.

Another team that will not be making a return trip is the Country Club of Columbus that was led last year by former Colquitt County golfer Andy Blanton.

The club has an anniversary celebration this weekend, forcing Blanton to remain in Columbus.

Blanton tied for low pro last year with a two-day 144.

But there will be another of the Blanton brothers playing this weekend.

Kevin Blanton will join Ernie Venet and current Sunset club champion Aaron Elrod on one of Windom’s teams.

Chad Eunice, Brad Eunice and Jon Ladson will team with Windom to form the other foursome.

It was that group that tied for the Pot o’ Gold low score last year.

The Sunset foursomes will be chasing the club’s first Pot o’ Gold championship since 2004, when the Kerry Smith-led team shot a 183 for the championship.

That foursome included Venet, Ladson and Chad Eunice.

Also in the field this year will be the top two players on the Colquitt County High team.

Packers senior Clarke Hendrick will play for team led by Hoover, Ala., pro Richard Crawford.

Colquitt countians Lavon Stripling and Glen Fowler also will play with Crawford.

Colquitt County High junior John Fordham will play for the Highland Country Club team led by Bill Robinson.

Greg Coop and Jeff Jursik will play for the Newnan Country Club team headed by professional Louis McHughes.

Jared Bridges will play for Jim Grant of The Standard Club in Duluth.

Pax Clark, Grady Clements and Jonathan Bridges will play for Robby Cole from Field’s Ferry Golf Club in Calhoun.

Darin Bentz and Ben Fuller again will play for Summerbrooke pro David Beck.

Windom, who is running his fourth Pot o’ Gold since returning in 2005 to become the golf professional in his hometown, said 22 seniors will be playing this year.

The course is in great shape, Windom said, addin that the club overseeded some of the fairways.

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