Professional Golfers Eager To Tee Off At New TOUR Event

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - The Sanford International is just 42 days away and for the first time we're hearing from golfers who'll be hitting the course. 

Iowa native Jerry Smith is getting his first look at The Minnehaha Country Club today.

"You know love the look of it. I mean it looks like an old, you kind of an old style. I know it's been here for a long time, tree lined, I mean you know the framing of the golf course looks great. I think the players are going to love it," Smith said. 

Smith is in his fourth season on the PGA TOUR Champions and will be part of the field at the inaugural Sanford International in September.

"Think about Sioux Falls you don't really think about say professional golf so I think, you know I think it's exciting for all of us. I would think the community would be ecstatic with golf being here," Smith said. 

Tournament host Andy North says the community has been just that and is buying into this big time event.

"The community has been unbelievable from volunteers to sponsorships to all the things that are important to make the tournament work but now it's the players. They're talking about it. I was at 3M last week and they were all excited about coming," North said. 

"We're all excited to go to new places and I think small market areas are great because we know the crowds are going to be really, you know, I think bigger than maybe some of our events in bigger cities," Smith said.

With the tournament now just six weeks away players and officials are eager to tee off. 

"We're all trying to obviously win out here and to be the first time winner of an event would be kind of a neat thing," Smith said. 

"So many people have worked so hard to get it to this point so we just hope that it's going to be great weather and we can have a blast," North said.  

North announced today that 18-time major champion Jack Nicklaus will participate in an exhibition golf event during the Sanford International. 

You can watch the Golden Bear on Saturday, September 22 as part of the EMC Legends Series at the Minnehaha Country Club.

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