PRATTVILLE, Ala. (WSFA) - RTJ came alive Friday as players from 33 countries took their best swing in what’s known as the final million-dollar march, meaning the Guardian Championship in Prattville is in the middle of the final five tournaments for the ladies.
“We have 14 of the top 15 players vying for those final 10 spots to get their LPGA tour cards, and we’ve increased our monetary prize this year," said RTJ Director of Golf Mike Beverly.
The overall prize is $175,000.
The tour typically attracts 10,000 spectators over the weekend. Many of them are young fans such as Kara Busbin who is all of 13 years old.
“All the girls on the tour are really good. It’s really hard to play," said Busbin.
Busbin and her friends like Brady Hardman and Allie Rogers have taken up golf and marvel at the discipline it takes to play and play well.
“It’s really cool to come out here just to experience everyone, because they’re already good.. I want to be like that one," said Rogers.
“It’s definitely a lot harder than I thought it was going to be, but it’s really fun and I definitely want to keep doing it,” said Hardman.
Of course a tournament of this size can’t be a success without the volunteers. There are more than 200 of them running around at RTJ like Terry Mullins, a 21-year veteran of golf tournaments.
“I’ve always made myself a promise to stay busy. It’s like being involved in church or any other thing," said Mullins.
RTJ has hosted pro golf tournaments for more than 20 years. The Symetra Tour will be back again next year. Allie and her friends plan to be back as well and count on Terry Mullins to volunteer again for his 22nd year.
“Sign me up,” he said.
For Mullins, it’s been a great ride.
The first place winner will walk away with a little more than $26,000. The tournament is free all weekend for fans.