Your annual shot at $1 million begins today, as the Touchstone Energy Million Dollar Hole-In-One Shootout presented by Palmetto Electric Cooperative returns to Old South Golf Links.
Qualifying will run from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. today and Friday and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, and 28 golfers will advance to the finals at 6 p.m. Saturday.
The event is open to all amateur golfers age 18 and older. Golfers pay $1 per ball or $10 for a bag of 12 balls during qualifying and aim at a target 115 to 130 yards away.
Prizes, including rounds of golf, will be awarded to the top finishers each day, and the 28 players who are closest to the pin in qualifying will move on to the final shootout Saturday evening, in which men will hit from 165 yards and women from 150 yards.
Any player who makes a hole-in-one during the finals will win a $1 million annuity, and the first hole-in-one during the finals also will win a 2011 BMW 328i hardtop convertible.
If no finalist hits a hole-in-one, the closest shot to the hole will earn $1,000 cash and a playing spot in the Pro-Am in Las Vegas.
In the event's eight-year history, no one has hit a hole-in-one during the finals and claimed the top prize.
Seth Martin, a 20-year-old student at the Professional Golfers Career College in Bluffton, won last year's competition.
Proceeds from the event go to Palmetto Electric's Bright Ideas program, which provides funding for innovative classroom projects in local schools.
ROGERS, EPPERSON ADVANCE IN U.S. OPEN QUALIFYING
Bluffton's David Rogers and Hilton Head Island's Chris Epperson were among six players who advanced to sectional qualifying for the U.S. Open at a local qualifier Wednesday at Oldfield Golf Club.
Rogers shot 1-under-par 71 to finish one shot behind co-medalists Jay McLuen of Forsyth, Ga., and Tommy Schaff of Savannah. Epperson was another shot back with a 72. Hilton Head Island's Robert Wilson also shot 72 and is the first alternate.
Beaufort's Mark Anderson narrowly missed advancing through local qualifying Monday at Columbia Country Club in Blythewood. Anderson shot even-par 71, missing the qualifying number by two shots. Alex Hamilton of Aiken and Phillip Mollica of Greenville tied for medalist honors at 67.
This year's U.S. Open will be held June 16-19 at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Md.
DELCHER, PALMER TIE FOR FOURTH IN STATE SENIOR
Three-time state senior player of the year Frank Ford of Charleston shot 6-under-par 210 over three rounds to win the South Carolina Golf Association's 53rd annual Senior Championship last week at The Members Club in Elgin.
Ford birdied three of his final eight holes in the final round to beat runner-up Bill Smunk of Kingstree by six shots.
Bluffton's Duke Delcher and Bill Palmer -- the defending champion -- tied for fourth at 3-over-par 219. Bluffton's Richard Anderson tied for 12th, and Okatie's Tom Humphrey tied for 15th to round out the local players in the top 20.