The first Huntsville Championship golf tournament on the Korn Ferry Tour was planned for last April before the pandemic brought the sports world to a halt.
But, from the silver lining category, there is a positive as the Huntsville Championship plans to once again hold the inaugural tournament to be played April 29-May 2 at scenic Huntsville Mountain course The Ledges.
The delay permitted the formation of the Fore Cyber Progress Scholarship Program, which according to a press release from marketing agency Knight Eady, the tournament is working “in partnership with the Community Foundation of Greater Huntsville, the University of Alabama in Huntsville, Alabama A&M University, Huntsville and Madison City Schools, Madison County Schools and corporate partners in the Department of Defense or government contracting space on this new initiative.
“Through the partnership, the tournament seeks to create a more cost-efficient engagement solution for the DoD/government contracting community of the Rocket City, support strategic cyber development initiatives, encourage high school level students to participate and excel in cyber education curriculum as well as maintain a positive GPA and develop a sustainable financial scholarship fund for Huntsville’s higher education institutions,’’ the release said.
The professional Korn Ferry Tour is to golf what Triple-A is to baseball. The tour, sponsored by a management consulting firm based in Los Angeles, began in 1990 as the Ben Hogan Tour and is considered a launching pad to the PGA.
“We are proud to partner with Knight Eady and the Huntsville Championship to launch the new Huntsville Championship Fore Cyber Progress Fund at the Community Foundation,” said Melissa Thompson, CEO/president of the Community Foundation of Greater Huntsville. “This fund will provide much-needed cyber security scholarships at Alabama A&M University and at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, while at the same time providing an additional community benefit from sponsorships for the Huntsville Championship.”
The scholarship is available to students graduating from Huntsville and Madison City Schools or Madison County schools who apply to UAH or A&M with an interest in cyber related fields. According to Knight Eady media contact Katie Stotts, the scholarships will be awarded by students’ “institutions/bursar’s office and are based on requests for financial aid.’’
According to the press release, local companies involved include Strata-G, PPT Solutions, Sierra Nevada, Cintel, HigherEchelon, IroquiSysmtems, Qualis, Torch Technologies, Freedom Real Estate and Bridgeworth Wealth Management.
“When I first heard about the Huntsville Championship Fore Cyber Progress program, to me it was a ‘no-brainer,’” said Jim Reeb, president of PPT Solutions. “The program brings a focus on cyber course work through the totally unrelated venue of professional golf. I hope more companies in the Tennessee Valley community will see how they can help make a positive impact for high school and college students through this scholarship funding opportunity.
“The Huntsville Championship clearly provides an excellent networking opportunity between the students, companies and the golf communities to increase attention to this growing and evolving field of cyber – and for sure we will witness some great golf along the way.”
The week of the tournament, attendance at venues such as hospitality tents will be restricted and social distance enforced.
“We will continue to monitor the available information and restrictions from the CDC as well as state and local governments.’’