The day right after the Masters Golf Tournament in Augusta, Ga. Is becoming a spring tradition in the Columbia area. For the sixth year in a row, dozens of pro golfers and celebrities will descend upon the Midlands to participate in the Monday After The Masters Pro-Am Tournament at the University Club in Blythwood.
Again sponsored by local celebrity rockers Hootie & the Blowfish, this year's event will feature such PGA players as John Daly,, Peter Jacobsen, and Peter Kostis, and celebrities like Miami Dolphins Quarterback Dan Marino, legendary Yankees baseball player Reggie Jackson, musician Edwin McCain, and US World Cup Soccer Team Captain Alexi Lalas. Local officials slated to play include Universit of South Caroline football coach Lou Holtz and Govenor Jim Hodges.
In the past six years, the tournament has benefited the SC Junior Golf Association, which has helped establish local resources such as the highly visible Junior Golf Land off of Broad River Road. This year, funds will also go to the newly formed Hootie & the Blowfish Foundation, which has commited itself to providing funds for education-related projects and supporting needy counties across the state with books, computers, music program assistance and physical education equipment.
For music fans, the highlight of the day isn't getting the chance to snag autographs during the tournament. It is the Monday night concert at the Township Auditorium, where Hootie winds down from the weekend of golf with a typically loose, fun-filled concert that has in the past provided many musical guest highlights. Last year's concert included a mini-set with the band backing one of their earliest musical influences, Mike Mills of R.E.M., on material like "Rockville," that the band has covered nightly in their bar band days. Hootie vocalist Darius Rucker also brought down the house in a duet with gospel great BeBe Winans on "Amazing Grace," with pop-rocker Duncan Shiek accompanying them on acoustic guitar. This year, Hootie will headline a concert that will include an opening set by Hobex (at 8:30 p.m.) and special appearances by Edwin McCain and members of Creed, Vertical Horizon and Sister Hazel.