State Of The Hogs:

I've heard John Daly sing. He should stick to golf. Here's hoping he doesn't sing too much when all his buddies are here the week of the Vanderbilt football game.

Nevertheless, I plan to be in the house when Hootie and the Blowfish, Johnny Lee, Bill Pierson and Edwin McCain all do their stuff at the the Daly Days Concert on Sept. 9 at the Arkansas Music Pavilion at the Northwest Arkansas Mall.

John Daly was a placekicker in high school. Maybe once he would have liked to have kicked a football for the Hogs. But I bet he has as much fun singing as anything these days.

The concert is partly a fund raiser for the Arkansas men's golf team. It's also to benefit The John Daly Charitable Foundation along with the Junior Auxiliary of Washington County and the Donald W. Reynolds Boys and Girls club.

It's all part of the UA men's golf reunion scheduled for that Thursday and Friday. There will be two days of golf with around 45 former UA golfers expected to join Daly, the winner of two major professional championships.

There will be a golf match at 1 p.m. Thursday set for Paradise Valley, open to the public, between 12 current UA squad members against 12 alums. Daly will join the alums along with a pair of four-time All-Americans, Jack O'Keefe and Bud Still. The alums will join four-man amateur teams for two rounds of competition on Friday.

All of this is kinda the brain child of Mark Seifert, local insurance man and a big supporter of the UA golf program. This is the fifth year for the event and the most ambitious of them all.

"It's amazing what has happened," said Mike Ketcham, UA men's golf coach. "We started out with 18 teams. We may have around 55 this year. I think we had 25 former players the first year and it's still rising this year.

"It was my first year here when Mark Seifert came to me with this idea. I thought it would be a good way to get former players back to meet me. We wanted to start small. Now it's helping add visibility for the program.

"Mark had the vision and then John (Daly) jumped in and it's really taken off. We knew we needed help this year and Shannon and Mark Shelton have come aboard as Tournament Chair."

Seifert, former UA golfer, said the idea for the tournament hatched in 1979.

"David Allen and I were on the team and we wrote a proposal that we took to Coach (Frank) Broyles that we thought would take our program to another level. We wanted to have the number one program in the country. We circulated that around."

Interestingly, one landed in the hands of Orville Henry. Seifert still beams about the day he picked up one of OH's columns with tidbits from his proposal.

"I was just out of school at the time," Seifert said. "This idea for this tournament was in his column and he wrote something like, 'Look for big things from the UA golf program with ideas like this.' Of course, I was thrilled."

But he couldn't get a golf coach to bite on his idea for an alumni reunion until Ketcham was hired.

"Give David Allen credit, too," Seifert said. "He had a lot of ideas in that proposal."

Yes, but the best thing Allen did was send Ketcham a couple of players. Allen is a high school golf coach in North Carolina. Two of his former players, Eric Shriver and Drew Eibner, are on the current UA team.

Seifert gives thanks to Broyles, too.

"Coach Broyles has worked hard to help make this happen," Seifert said. "I was with Coach Broyles at the Masters in 2001 when we started talking about making it happen. I told him that I had caddied for 25 former UA golfers and they all would like to come back if we could come up with an event. Then he hired Mike (Ketcham) and the dream began to take shape."

Shannon Shelton said she gets to do the fun part.

"I like to plan parties," she said. "That's my job in this and it's a lot of fun. We are going to have a fun party.

"And, yes, John says he's going to sing at the concert. I think he'd rather be a singer/guitar picker than a golfer. These are his friends and their bands. He is bringing them here and it's going to be a fun night.

"We've got more charities involved, too. There's something for everyone. You can support the UA, but we have others that are going to benefit in our community, too."

If you want to attend the concert, better act quick. Tickets are still available, but they won't last. You can get VIP tickets for the concert at 466-7710.


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