by Michael McEwen
The Southeastern Classic began on a humid, Monday morning. With approximately 130 participants at TPC at Wakefield, the day kicked off with a bucket of balls for an hour, then followed by a small teaching session presented by golf professional Wally Armstrong. Armstrong taught about the importance of simplifying the golf swing, stressing the vitality of the circular path of every golf swing. Displaying this importance, Armstrong amazed the crowd with a series of golf tricks, hitting a number of balls from his knees as well as striking a few from “special tees” that stood two to three feet from the ground.
After the informational session, Ryan Hutchinson, Senior VP for Business Administration of Southeastern, welcomed the players over brunch at TPC at Wakefield. He stressed his deep gratitude to those who were playing in the Southeastern Classic, and he said that the sponsorships and monetary gifts are more than sponsors and monetary gifts. These loving donations are what allow Southeastern to fulfill its identity of equipping students to fulfill the Great Commission and serve the church for Christ. He said, “Past and present students are trained in the gospel and interact with millions of people that will exponentially impact the world. And honestly, without Southeastern’s faculty, this would be an impossible mission. God truly wants to do great things in the world through Southeastern.”
Wally Armstrong again addressed those attendees and players at TPC at Wakefield, except in this particular setting, Armstrong had a slightly more serious tone. He reminisced of his earlier life on the PGA Tour competing against professionals like Gary Player, Seve Ballesteros, and Arnold Palmer. He also shared about his coming to Christ, and the necessity of living into the ‘friendship with Christ.’ Armstrong lamented, “We know to repent and believe, but we often fail in nourishing our relationship with the same Christ that has saved us.”
Drawing from his book, The Mulligan, co-written with Ken Blanchard, Armstrong presented the synopsis of the book. “It’s a story of second chances,” said Armstrong. “Essentially, it is about a business man, named Paul, who lives the high life, and is playing in a pro-am with Davis Love III. He’s the typical seventeen handicapper that thinks he is a three handicap. And the rest of the story is about a relationship between Paul and an old pro who is a model of Christ. The old pro reminds Paul that he can have another mulligan in life. Now, a true mulligan is not something we can really take on our own, but it must be offered to us.“
Armstrong noted that he once thought that life worked as it does in golf, as a series of cuts. If one does/plays good, he make the cut at the end of the day. “But life isn’t like that,” Armstrong said, “because the reality is is that someone has taken our imperfect scores and made them perfect on our behalf, namely Jesus. The Scriptures are clear in the sense that God gives us second chances, he gives us mulligans.”
Following Armstrong’s message, the teams were dismissed to enjoy the beautiful course of TPC at Wakefield. After several hours of play, the participating teams made their way back to the Williamsburg ballroom where trophies were handed out to the top three finishers: First place was the CapTrust team that consisted of Traynor Reitmeier, Korky Kemp, Johnny Evans, and Brandon Detweiler. Second place went to the Reasoner team, composed of Rob Reasoner, Kirk Deneke, Chris Terry, and Paul Dickens. The Crenshaw Consulting team took third place comprised of Jim Crenshaw, Bill Faulkenberry, David Horner, and Bob Crenshaw.
We would like to thank everyone who participated in fifth annual Southeastern Classic Golf Tournament and made the tournament a remarkable success.
The mission of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary is to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ by equipping students to serve the church and fulfill the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20). Southeastern is an institution of higher learning and a Cooperate Program ministry of the Southern Baptist Convention.