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Wednesday, May 4, 2011
ACC tops SEC in charity golf tournament

By Edward Aschoff

The ACC got an early victory over the SEC on Tuesday.

Monday, Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson and former Yellow Jackets basketball standout Jon Barry combined to shoot an 11-under-par 61 to win the 2011 Chick-fil-A Bowl Challenge charity golf tournament at Reynolds Plantation outside Atlanta.

Georgia Tech held off 11 other university teams of head coaches and celebrity alumni to take the $120,000 first-place prize in scholarship winnings. The combined scholarship purse amounted to $415,000.

Johnson also won the closest-to-the-pin contest to earn Georgia Tech an additional $5,000 in scholarship money.

Team Georgia Tech led throughout the tournament and capped the round when Johnson holed a 17-foot downhill putt on 18 to finish at -11.

"Jon can hit that ball out there so far that you're close to a lot of greens and it gives you a chance to hit some shots," Johnson said in a release."

Added Barry: "Coach Johnson was absolutely awesome on the greens today. He was looking like Ben Crenshaw. We really appreciate the Chick-fil-A Bowl for having us out here today."

Behind Team Georgia Tech were three SEC pairings. Tennessee coach Derek Dooley and former Volunteer wide receiver Stanley Morgan placed second, shooting 8-under-par to earn $60,000 in scholarship winnings. Team Ole Miss (coach Houston Nutt and former Rebels tight end Wesley Walls) and Team South Carolina (coach Steve Spurrier and former Gamecocks wide receiver Sterling Sharpe) tied for third with scores of 7 under to earn $40,000.

Alabama coach Nick Saban and former Tide punter Chris Mohr tied Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen and former Bulldogs running back Fred McCrary at 3 under, earning $10,000.

Mohr brought in an extra $5,000 for Alabama by winning the longest-drive competition in the celebrity division.

What should get some rivalry juices flowing in the state of Mississippi is that Team Ole Miss was five shots better than Team Mississippi State. Sure it's not equivalent to an Egg Bowl victory, but it's the first time Nutt has bested Mullen since arriving at Ole Miss.

Overall, it seems like it was a good time had by all.

"We had a spectacular day on the golf course today and this incredible group of coaches and celebrities represented their universities in a first-class way," Chick-fil-A Bowl president and CEO Gary Stokan said. "But the privilege was all ours in being able to give so much back to these great schools and great competitors."

The Chick-fil-A Bowl Challenge featured pairings that included a university head coach and a celebrity or former athlete from the same school competing in a scramble format against other university teams from the ACC and SEC.