Cadillac Invite caters to worthy cause

By Matt Hill
STAR STAFF
mhill@starhq.com

   BRISTOL, Va. -- A great golf course and a great cause should make the upcoming Cadillac Invitational a great tournament to play in.
   This year's tournament takes place on Monday, July 22 at the Virginian Golf Course. Proceeds go to benefit the National Kidney Foundation.
   The entry fee is $250 per player, with $100 of that being tax deductible.
   The tournament is being sponsored locally by Bill Gatton Cadillac. Other sponsors include American Express, GMAC, the Izod Club, Automobile Magazine, Ben Hogan golf, Etonic and Strata.
   Chris Lee of Bill Gatton Cadillac is more than happy to have the company sponsor the tournament.
   "It's good to put our name on an organization like this," Lee said. "Plus it's a national promotion for Cadillac. You can't ask for anything better. You've got the best golf course, the best luxury car, and the best dealership, plus the money that's raised goes to the National Kidney Foundation."
   The money raised will help the kidney foundation fight kidney disease.
   Jamie Gray, who is the northeast coordinator for the National Kidney Foundation of East Tennessee, said that the money raised will be spent locally.
   "The proceeds go toward patient services and educational programs in the upper-eight counties of Northeast Tennessee," Gray said. "We provide services, and fill needs for patients in those eight counties."
   As for the golf itself, the winning team gets to play at one of the country's finest golf courses.
   "This golf tournament is one of 120 nationwide that benefit the National Kidney Foundation. The winners of those tournaments go to Pebble Beach to play in January for the national finals."
   Any amateur golfer, male or female, is eligible to compete in the tournament.
   Each team must consist of four amateur golfers whose USGA handicap indexes total 43.0 or more. Only one golfer on each team may have a USGA Handicap Index of 8.0 or less.
   Any golfer wishing to participate who does not have a USGA Handicap Index will be required to provide scorecards attested to by a PGA professional from which a "Cadillac Invitational Handicap" will be calculated in accordance with USGA rules.
   Each golfer who has a USGA Handicap Index will be required to present a current copy of his or her handicap card to the tournament committee at the time of registration.
   All golfers will be required to present a photo ID on the day of the tournament.
   Any team that contains a member who does not comply with each of the above requirements will not be eligible to win prizes or qualify to be invited to the national finals.
   A million dollar shootout is being sponsored by Charter Communications. Three people have an opportunity to shoot for a hole-in-one from 145 yards out. If somebody gets it, they win the cash.
   The tournament should be a special event at the private golf course. Gray thinks that should be an extra incentive to play in the tournament.
   "The Virginian is exclusively members-only," Gray said. "You can't play there unless you are in a charity tournament. Plus with this being our 10th year, it gives excitement and motivation to play, and also helps out a needy charity."
   Entry forms can be picked up at Bill Gatton Cadillac in Bristol.
   For more information, call 323-1650