MONTGOMERY — June is a fun time in southwestern Indiana. School is out, the temperatures are rising and the summer is in full swing.
One of the major events of this month is the annual Baymont Inn and Suites Classic at Country Oaks in Montgomery. Like in year’s past, amateurs and professionals will tee off for a 36 hole tournament starting Saturday afternoon with the Shootout and Pro Am beginning on Friday. The tournament, which debuted with professionals in 2006 will have 20 such players and 100-120 amateurs.
“We have one guy from England that is coming over — obviously he’s doing other stuff, but that’s the second year in a row we have had somone from international waters,” said Trey Miller, General Manager at Country Oaks. “We have a couple guys coming up from Florida, a few coming up from South Carolina and a guy from Colorado. They are out trying to make a living as they swing through Montgomery.”
Among the participants that will be familiar to the local golf fans attending the weekend festivities will be Tyler Merkel, an Evansville Central graduate, who just graduated from Ball State University and was an NCAA All-American and just turned pro. In addition, to Merkel, Kevin Wassmer, who hails from Poseyville, has been the Evansville City champion and just turned pro as well.
Despite Montgomery not being a well known location, this tournament has consistently drawn strong amateur and professional players along with a good crowd and a fun atmosphere to the weekned. If Country Oaks wasn’t popular before the weekend, it certainly gains fans from out of town guests by the end of Sunday.
“It speaks very highly of our community and not just our sponsors, but the people as well,” Miller said. “They want to come be apart of our event and we’ve got a full plate this year. The Baymont has been great and the feedback, once you get people here, there’s a reason why they want to continue to come back. Unless those tour pros are actually out on the PGA Tour, I have guys that have coming since 2006 — our very first year. They want to always come back — they’re the first ones to call and say, ‘make sure I’m in, I want to make sure no one fills my spot.’”