Celebrities, top golfers and a throng of fans were greeted by sunny weather at the 25th annual Monday After the Masters.
The celebrity pro-am golf tournament known as MAM was held Monday at The Dye Club at Barefoot Resort in North Myrtle Beach one day after Tiger Woods secured his fifth Masters Tournament victory.
Attendees of this year’s tournament, many of whom were shuttled from the nearby Alabama Theatre, could view pro golfers like John Daly or other celebrities like country musician Colt Ford and former NFL wide receiver Sterling Sharpe tee off.
Frequent MAM attendee James Hankins recalled when, years ago, famous actor Samuel L. Jackson competed in the tournament.
The Columbia resident, his friends and some family members consider themselves avid golfers “only when Tiger (Woods) is playing.”
While in the area, they like to visit local seafood restaurants.
“It’s a way to get away,” he said of their trips to the Grand Strand to attend the tournament.
The tourney itself raises money for the South Carolina Junior Golf Association and Hootie and the Blowfish Foundation, which supports different charities.
MAM began as a small gathering led by Hootie and the Blowfish members to raise money for charity in 1994, the same year the group dropped its debut album "Cracked Rear View."
“Twenty-five is good,” said the band’s drummer Jim "Soni" Sonefeld of the quarter-century milestone. “It’s probably 24 more when we ever thought we’d be doing … when we started in Columbia.”
“We couldn't do it without Myrtle Beach,” he added, also praising the work of volunteers and crediting the community’s infrastructure.
This year’s tournament was sold out with 6,000 fans. Accompanying events held this past weekend and on Monday after the tourney included a Masters viewing party, silent auction and an awards ceremony.
The thousands of onlookers watching Monday’s action included Marie Prokopchak from Longs who attended MAM for the first time with her husband Bob. She admitted, though, she prefers watching the sport rather than playing it.
“I’m bad at mini golf,” she laughed.
Scheduled events for Monday weren’t complete without a concert featuring Hootie & the Blowfish and friends of the band.
“I would love to meet Hootie,” said Lisa Deni, a volunteer from the South Strand who performed tasks like updating the leaderboard Monday.
Band members themselves noted it’s nice to get to play together as, these days, the complete ensemble performs less frequently than in days past.
Sonefeld noted the Dye Club’s walkability.
“No deaths yet,” he joked. “We’re in good shape.”
For now, Hootie and the Blowfish’s lead vocalist Darius Rucker doesn't see MAM ending any time soon.
“As long as it’s fun and still raising money, I'm sure we’ll do it,” he said.