By J. Thomas McNamara, Sports Editor
Once the Forsyth Classic is gone, it’s gone. And the greater Decatur area will feel the economic impact of the loss in more ways than one and what many think. They won’t realize how good it was for the communities of Decatur and Forsyth until they experience the huge economic loss from the annual Father’s Day’s Week Forsyth Classic brought to the area.
The Classic has been competed here under a myriad of names for 35 years. Here they are–1985-2005–Michelob Ultra Futures Charity Golf Classic; 2006-2009–Michelob Ultra Futures Players Championship; 2010-2012–Tate & Lyle Players Championship; 2013-2016–Decatur-Forsyth Classic presented by Tate & Lyle and the Decatur Park District; 2017 and 2018–the Forsyth Classic presented by the Decatur Park District. Certainly, restaurants, motels, service stations, grocery stores and mall will see a loss of revenue that week as the Symetra Tour’s oldest running tournament comes to an unfortunate end for lack of support when it was needed most, much to the chagrin of Cindy Deadrick-Wolfer, who admits to already shedding a few tears, knowing all her sweat equity and sacrifices are coming to an end.
As important as the economic loss will be to the communities, the ones really affected will be all the charities the tournament has helped throughout these more than three decades. Deadrick-Wolfer estimates more than $500,000 has been given to charities from the event’s proceeds. That revenue loss will impact a lot of groups that appreciate every gift they receive. Despite all this, she is doing her best to make her last, the 35th, one that everyone will remember. She has done and continue to do everything she can to make the 35th the best it can be. And the Symetra Tour provided this year’s 35th a huge lift with its financial contribution to next month’s tournament.
With the Symetra Tour’s huge gift, this year’s purse will be $200,000, an increase of $70,000 from last year which is huge for the women from across the world who will be competing for the championship trophy and check that will be handed over at the conclusion of the event Father’s Day evening at Hickory Point Golf Club in Forsyth. At the recent Forsyth Classic press conference, Deadrick-Wolfer made several announcements, including that the Symetra Tour is kicking in an additional $70,000 to raise the purse to $200,000 from the $130,000, making it one of the top five purses on the tour.
(See complete story in the 5/22/19 print and online editions of the Decatur Tribune)