A crowd of nearly 200 spectators gathered around the first tee, calling out to celebrities for autographs and selfies in the Monday After the Masters tournament at the Dye Club in Barefoot Resort.
“I’m trying to get my selfie game strong,” said Reba McLean, wearing a Hootie & the Blowfish T-shirt.
McLean took the day off from her job, woke up at 5 a.m. and drove from Charleston to see one of her biggest celebrity crushes – Hootie & the Blowfish’s Darius Rucker, who was hosting the day’s events.
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“I love Darius. I’ve got my Darius necklace on, my Darius croakie, my Hootie shirt,” she said, with an excited grin.
Thirty-six teams -- featuring stars from TV shows, sports arenas and the music industry -- teed up for Monday’s tournament by Hootie & the Blowfish to raise money for the South Carolina Junior Golf Foundation. About 5,000 tickets were sold for the event and participants and spectators alike enjoyed a sunny, 72 degree day with light wind and good golf.
McLean scored a selfie with Rucker and then had the music star sign her cellphone case, which was imprinted with an image of him in concert.
“I’ve seen him nine times in concert,” she said, adding that she likes him both in rock and country. “I know every Darius song and I have about four out of the seven Hootie CDs memorized.”
But McLean didn’t stop at Rucker, calling out to former Super Bowl champ Golden Tate, who now plays with the Detroit Lions, for another selfie to add to her collection.
Like McLean, this was Will Jones’ first time at the celebrity tournament and he wasn’t disappointed. The Little River resident clutched a 2016 Masters flag covered with signatures.
He was missing an autograph from soccer star Mia Hamm, but he did score the signatures of two of her teammates from Team USA.
McLean and Jones were at the tournament by 9 a.m. to catch the Monday After the Masters Celebrity Long Drive contest.
A crowd surrounded the first tee standing, crouching and sitting in hushed reverence as the celebrities took their swings that were followed by oohs, ahhs, applause and – at times – laughter.
Some of the celebrities needed practice. Some were ringers. But nearly all were ribbed by the morning’s emcee.
“I liked it because they were like tit for tat with everyone,” McLean said.
“You see their personalities. It’s cool when you get to see that,” she said of the celebrities.