Jim’s Notebook: Clint Stoerner Brings His Friends To Red Apple for Benefit Tourney

Clint Stoerner has lined up several notables from the Arkansas sports world to join the former Arkansas Razorback quarterback for his third annual Celebrity Golf Classic at Red Apple Inn on Eden Isle this Friday and Saturday.

Anyone looking to get into the field or enter a team needs to make their move now. Teams are $400, with the opportunity to buy a celebrity for your team during Friday night’s VIP cocktail party and auction.

Proceeds benefit the Community School of Cleburne County,  a private non-profit organization designed to provide community based habilitation and education programs to developmentally delayed and disabled infants, preschoolers, and adults. CSOCC has been providing services to children and families in Cleburne and surrounding counties for more than 20 years.

Some of the celebrities playing are former Razorback receiving great Anthony Lucas, who was on the receiving end of many of Stoerner’s passes and now is an assistant football coach at Pulaski Academy; former Hog basketball sharpshooter Pat Bradley, who will be teaming with Stoerner on a weekday morning show beginning Monday on 93.3 FM; New England Patriots quarterback Ryan Mallett; former Hog receiver Marcus Monk; professional golfer Christina Lecuyer; KATV news anchor Beth Hunt; former Razorback and NFL quarterback Joe Ferguson; and former Razorback basketball player Blake Eddins. Stoerner has also invited this scribe as well as Democrat-Gazette recruiting writing Richard Davenport to be on hand to talk some football and hack it around.

Tee times Saturday are 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. Visit the tourney website for more information or call the Stoerner and Havas Agency at 501-955-3205.

KIDS GET IN THE ACTION: One of the golfing rites of spring now is the annaul Monk Wade Classic at the First Tee of Central Arkansas. This year’s event, part of the Arkansas State Golf Association’s schedule, has drawn 140 boys and girls from age 9 to 17 for this weekend’s tourney. Players 11-17 will be playing 36 holes (half of them over the par-3 Honors course and half over the  regulation Chairman’s course).

Most of the top juniors in the state have entered the third annual event.

Next up for the ASGA is an earlier date for the annual State Stoke Play Tournament. This year the men’s stroke play will be held the last weekend of May at Hardscrabble Country Club in Fort Smith. Traditionally, the event fell on Father’s Day weekend until last year, when it was scheduled for the weekend earlier. Entries are still being accepted. Visit the ASGA website for more information or a registration form.

PINNACLE AT ITS BEST: The sponsors of the LPGA’s Northwest Arknasas Championship are also going for an earlier date this year in Rogers. After settling into an early September slot on the LPGA schedule for the past several years, the NWA Championship will be staged June 21-23, the week before the U.S. Women’s Open.

Stacy Lewis, the former Arkansas Razorback All-American and last year’s Rolex LPGA Player of the Year, has committed to the tournament, as has defending champion Ai Miyazato, and its new slot on the schedule assures that again most of the top LPGA players will be on hand for one of the richest paydays on the tour.

Pinnacle Country Club, the host site, has plans to turn the usually vocal area around the par-3 No. 17 green into something rivaling the 16th at the PGA stop in Phoenix — without a huge, fairway-long grandstand though. The amphitheater setting of the hole and a shortening of the distance from 188 yards to about 143 yards will bring more birdies and excitement from the fans into play.

We were invited Monday to see the course, and frankly we were surprised to find it in superb shape this early in the season for Northwest Arkansas. The greens rolled true and the fairways were becoming lush. The spectacular weather for last Monday in Rogers made us wonder what the LPGA Tour would have thought had they scheduled the event at the beginning of May, having just played in the Dallas area. Then we were reminded that possible snowfall was in the forecast for that corner of Arkansas this weekend.

At times its been very rainy or excessively hot for the NWA Championship, but we have a  feeling the ladies would take any of that over snow and freezing temps.

Here’s hoping the Pinnacle staff can keep things as spectacular as we found them Monday for the next month and a half.

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