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May 18, 2013

Plenty to watch Sunday for Grand Strand golf fans

There are a lot of reasons to watch golf Sunday with both state and local interest.

To start with, Tom Gillis, who played at Coastal Carolina for one season in 1990, is alone in third and just two strokes behind leader Keegan Bradley in the PGA Tour’s HP Byron Nelson Championship in Fort Worth, Texas. Gillis has lost in a playoff on the PGA Tour and is still seeking his first tour victory.

The Byron Nelson will be on Golf Channel from 1-2:30 p.m. and CBS from 3-6 p.m.

On the LPGA Tour, Kristy McPherson is having perhaps her best tournament since returning to the tour from elbow surgery in the offseason. McPherson is tied for 37th and tees off at 10:53 a.m., though its unlikely she’ll get any play on Golf Channel’s coverage from 5-7 p.m. unless she makes a serious run. McPherson’s best finish in five events this year is a tie for 47th.

The Web.com Tour will have more interest for Grand Strand viewers this week considering that it’s being staged in the state and has a celebrity pro-am format for the only time this year on the Web.com.

The BMW Charity Pro-Am presented by SYNNEX, with a final round at Thornblade Club in the Greenville area, will be on Golf Channel from 3-5 p.m. Sunday. The BMW is Golf Channel’s first broadcast of the Web.com this year.

The final round could be a career-changer for Mark Anderson of Beaufort, who closed Saturday’s third round with an eagle and three birdies over his last four holes to post a 7-under 64 to take a one-stroke lead over Web.com Tour rookie Franklin Corpening, a graduate of Texas Christian University.

Anderson’s 21-under 194 is a 54-hole tournament record, surpassing the old mark of 20-under by Michael Sim in 2009. It’s also the best first-54 hole score on the 2013 Web.com Tour.

The tournament has already been pretty eventful. Amateur Walt Dennis won a BMW 325i for his hole-in-one at No. 9 at Thornblade Club on Thursday.

Oliver Hudson won the celebrity portion of the event despite missing the pro-am cut on a scorecard playoff. As the low celebrity, Hudson has won a one-year lease on a BMW of his choice.

It’s possible that actor Kurt Russell may be in the gallery, and Wayne and Janet Gretzky may be following their son Ty Gretzky’s group as spectators. Ty is tied for first in the pro-am at 35-under.

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