Love welcomes PGA Tour to his backyard

Sea Island, Ga. is home to Davis Love III and other PGA Tour pros.

McGladrey Classic

Oct. 7-10

Course: Sea Island Resort, Seaside Course (7,055 yards, par 70), Sea Island, Ga.

Purse: $4 million. Winner's share: $720,000.

They are called “The Sea Island Mafia,” and this week they are rolling out the warm, southern hospitality to the PGA Tour for the first time.

This picturesque corner of southern Georgia along the Intracoastal Waterway, is home to many top Tour pros ranging from Jonathan Byrd to Zach Johnson, from longtime resident Davis Love III to his newest neighbor Matt Kuchar. It’s also home to Crown Sports LLC, one of the premier boutique golf representative firms, and so many of its clients have decided to make Sea Island, Ga., home that they’ve been dubbed “The Sea Island Mafia.”

THREE TO WATCH

Zach Johnson: The Ryder Cupper is one of the most identifiable members of “Team McGladrey” on Tour. Look for the Sea Island resident to represent.

Matt Kuchar: The newest member of the “Sea Island Mafia,” Kuchar can pad his career-year resume with a second victory.

Chris Kirk: Remember the name of this Mafia member. He’ll be a “made man” next year. Kirk is ranked No. 2 on the Nationwide Tour money list and will earn a promotion to the Tour ranks in 2011. Don’t be surprised if he makes some noise this week.

They’ve been counting the days to their home game ever since the January announcement that RSM McGladrey signed a three-year sponsorship agreement to host a new Fall Series event at Sea Island’s Seaside Course.

If the Sea Island Mafia has a Godfather, it’s Davis Love III. He and his family’s fingerprints are all over the new event. Love, whose foundation is the tournament host organization, serves as tournament chairman, and his brother, Mark, is the executive director of The McGladrey Classic.

“The St. Simons/Sea Island area has been home for Mark and me and our families for a long time, and we’re extremely happy to support the community that means so much to us,” Love said.

Love, 46, isn’t exaggerating. As a teenager, he spent a summer cutting the crabgrass out of the greens with a pocket knife. He’s more than just welcoming the field into his backyard. Love and his wife, Robin, hosted the tournament’s pro-am party at his house.

Will he make this week a true “Love affair” by snapping his nearly two-year winless spell at The Seaside course he knows so well? Many locals will be rooting for Love or one of the resident pros of Georgia’s Golden Isles to deliver a storybook ending.

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