MOULTRIE — Although a Sunset Country Club team has won the team championship in the Pot o’ Gold Pro-am three times, it has been four years since it was done last.

And both of Sunset golf professional Bob Windom’s teams look to make a run at the title in this year’s 53rd Pot o’ Gold, which will begin its annual three-day run Friday.

The Pot o’ Gold will have its usual complement of 58 teams when it tees off at 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Friday.

The course is in excellent shape, said Windom, who is directing his third Pot o’ Gold as the professional at the club where he learned to play golf in the 1970s.

And that could benefit the veteran Sunset teams.

Windom’s A team is the same one he had last year and includes brothers Chad and Brad Eunice and Jon Ladson.

That foursome shot a 188 last year, three shot back of the tournament winning team team led by Marietta Country Club professional Stephen Keppler.

Windom’s second team will include Pot o’ Gold veterans Ernie Venet and Kevin Blanton and former Georgia Amateur champion Adam Thomas.

A professional has the option of having one player on his team not from his club.

A resident of Baxley, Thomas won the state amateur in 1995 at the Atlanta Athletic Club.

Since then, the has been both a tour pro and a club pro, but has regain his amateur status.

Ladson, Venet and Chad Eunice are veterans of Pot o’ Gold championship teams.

The three were the amateurs on Kerry Smith’s 2004 championship team.

Ladson also was on the Smith’s 2001 Pot o’ Gold winning team.

And back in 1997, Chad Eunice was on the Richard Hatcher-led team that won Sunset’s first Pot o’ Gold championship

“I feel pretty good about both of our teams,” Windom said. “They are all playing pretty good right now.”

The tournament favorite, however, would have to be the Keppler’s Marietta Country Club quartet that also includes amateurs Hap Fleming, Larry Clark and Randy Donahoo.

The foursome shot a final-round 60 to finish with a 185 and a tie with the Don Williams Jr.’s Chattahoochee Country Club team.

According to tournament rules, in case of a tie, the winner is the team with the best score in the final round. The Chattahoochee team shot a final-round 62.

The Pot o’ Gold title was nothing new for Keppler, who has nine to his credit.

He was the tournament’s low pro in 1993-1995, 1997-1998, 2001 and 2005.

He also won the team championship in 2003.

Also returning to play this week is Fred Holton, the golf professional at Arrowhead Golf and Country Club in Montgomery, Ala.

Last year, while representing Lakewood Golf Course in Phenix City, Ala., Holton shot a three-day tournament record 199.

Holton turned in rounds of 69, 64 and 66 to finish 12 strokes ahead of second-place Greg Lee of Chicopee Woods.

Holton did not have a bogey in 54 holes of golf.

The 199 broke the previous tournament record of 202 first set in 1976 by Palmetto’s Emory Lee and tied in 1982 by Windom, then playing as amateur.

Lee, who was at one time the golf professional at Sunset, is one of two longtime Pot o’ Gold players who have died since the 2007 event and will be honored at Thursday’s annual championship dinner.

Lee, who died in January in Atlanta, designed the back nine at Sunset Country Club and oversaw its construction while serving as the club’s professional.

After leaving Moultrie, he went to Palmetto and came back to win four Pot o’ Gold team championships and and low pro title in 1976,

Gary Burns of Selma, Ala., who also has died in the last year, most recently won the Senior Division championship in 2004, shooting a 221.

Also being honored this year will be Brent Krause, the director of golf and general manager at Wynlakes Golf and Country Club in Montgomery, Ala.

Last fall, Krause was named the 54th PGA Golf Professional of the Year. The award is the highest annual honor presented by The PGA of America to a GPA Golf Professional.

Among the former Pot o’ Gold champions who will be on hand this week are Ed Everett of Doublegate Country Club in Albany; Allen Thompson of Eagles Landing in Stockbridge; Rob Williams of Valdosa Country Club; Bill Robinson of Highlands in LaGrange; Greg Wolff of Willow Creek in Metter; Richard Hatcher, now at Ansley Country Club in Atlanta; and Dale Brown, at Capital City Country Club in Tallahassee.

Former Colquitt County High football and baseball player Sam Funderburk, now the golf professional at Summerbrook Country Club in Tallahassee, will bring a team.

So will former Sunset player Andy Blanton, now the assistant pro at Columbus Country Club.

“I think they will be happy when they get here,” Windom said of the field. “The course looks real good.”

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