River Run Country Club to host PGA’s Chiquita Classic

DAVIDSON – River Run Country Club will host the Chiquita Classic golf tournament Sept. 2-8, one of the four season-ending events on the PGA’s Web.com Tour.

The tournament shifts from the Club at Longview, where it debuted in the area last year. River Run signed a three-year deal to host the event.

The Web.com Tour finals will determine the 50 players who earn PGA Tour playing privileges for the 2013-14 season and their eligibility positions under the Tour’s enhanced qualifying system.

The Chiquita Classic will have a $1 million purse and will be the second tournament in a four-event finale to the Web.com season.

Under new PGA Tour guidelines, the top 25 money winners from the 21-event regular season on the Web.com will automatically earn PGA Tour privileges with another 25 advancing to the big tour by virtue of their combined money earnings in the four-event schedule at the end of the season.

“River Run is very honored and excited to be associated with an outstanding sponsor and such a prestigious Tour event,” said Greg Murphy, a River Run Country Club board member. “The Chiquita Classic’s status as a Web.com Tour Finals event will guarantee an incredible field of professionals at the highest level of the game. Our membership and our community will rally around this great event and support the charities that will benefit from it. Our championship course provides a fair but stern test of golf, and we are very grateful to Chiquita for partnering with us in this endeavor.”

An important facet of the Chiquita Classic is its charity component. Tournament officials will again activate the “Charity Ticket Program” which enables Charlotte-area 501(c)(3) charities to sell Chiquita Classic tickets and retain 100 percent of the sales for their organizations.

Former Davidson coach Merritt moves to Lenoir-Rhyne football program

DAVIDSON – Tripp Merritt’s job search didn’t last long.

Merritt, Davidson’s football coach from 2005-12, joined Lenoir-Rhyne University’s program as its wide receivers coach, the school announced on its website. He was released from Davidson last November.

“This is a great next step for me,” Merritt said. “There are so many good elements to the L-R program and I am especially impressed with the school’s outstanding leadership.”

Lenoir-Rhyne, an NCAA Division II program, captured the past two South Atlantic Conference football championships.

Merritt earned Pioneer League Coach of the Year honors in 2006. He posted a 31-51 record as Davidson’s coach.

Six area players invited to prestigious football combine

HUNTERSVILLE – Six Lake Norman Charter football players have been invited to the Blue-Grey National All-Star Combine on May 11 in Greensboro.

Juniors Petey Fabian, Michael Dorsainvil, Austin Calton and Lucas Froehlich, and sophomores Jake Massey and LaMarcus Smith-Kelley will compete in the regional event. The finalists will be invited to advance to the Super Combines at the Pro Football Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, Ohio this summer.

– compiled by Cliff Mehrtens and Aaron Burns