Crowd dials into Spurrier at Verizon Heritage pro-am

Updated: April 13, 2006, 9:55 AM ET
Associated Press

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. -- It's officially golf season for South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier.

Steve Spurrier
Kevin C. Cox/ Steve Spurrier didn't make any birdies Wednesday.

The Gamecocks' second-year coach played in the Verizon Heritage pro-am Wednesday, paired with defending champion Peter Lonard.

"It was a good crowd. It's fun to get out in these events," Spurrier said after his round.

Like many coaches, Spurrier was focused on his mistakes before his successes. He said he had to pick up his balls twice during the team competition after driving out of bounds on the par-5 second hole and then on the famous par-4 lighthouse hole on No. 18.

"In between, I made about nine or 10 pars, five on each side I think," he said. "But no birdies, though. I got shut out."

Still, Spurrier was by far the biggest draw in his group.

"Yeah, I knew he was one of the best tennis coaches in here. They told me before," joked Lonard, an Australian who won his first PGA Tour event at Harbour Town last year.

Gamecock fans popped up everywhere during Spurrier's round, saluting the coach who took South Carolina to its first bowl game in three years. As Spurrier came off the 18th green, a woman began the sing-song, "Game-Cock" cheer. Spurrier pointed to her, asked for her name, and autographed his commemorative picture from the pro-am event to her.

Former Florida golf star Chris DiMarco was back at Harbour Town for the first time since 1999 and was eager to catch up with his alma mater's ex-coach.

Spurrier's son, Gamecocks receivers coach Steve Jr., walked four or five holes with DiMarco's group.

"My second favorite team is the South Carolina Gamecocks, without a doubt," DiMarco said.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press