Tradition kicks off with NCR Pro-Am

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice smiles as she walks to tee off at the first hole of the Pro-Am round of the Regions Tradition at Shoal Creek on June 5. (Reporter Photo/Jon Goering)

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice smiles as she walks to tee off at the first hole of the Pro-Am round of the Regions Tradition at Shoal Creek on June 5. (Reporter Photo/Jon Goering)

The 2013 Regions Tradition got under way with the June 5 NCR Pro-Am tournament, featuring members of the PGA Champions’ Tour along with several amateur golfers with local connections.

The morning gallery consisted of serious golf fans coming out to see their heroes as well as casual fans coming to see the likes of radio personality Paul Finebaum, South Carolina Gamecocks head football coach Steve Spurrier, former U.S. Secretary of State Dr. Condoleezza Rice, Auburn head football coach Gus Malzahn, former Auburn standout and Heisman Trophy winner Bo Jackson and Bill “Bubba” Bussey of Rick and Bubba fame.

A case of mistaken identity led to a humorous moment between Bussey and Jackson, as when the emcee for the opening tee began to announce Jackson’s many athletic credentials, Bussey ran out and began to look around in faux confusion when he realized it was not he who was being recognized.

Bussey, Jackson, Spurrier and Finebaum were all paired with Champions’ Tour golfer Fred Couples, as Rice and Malzahn were paired with two-time defending Tradition winner Tom Lehman and Hale Irwin, respectively.

Alabama Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban had yet to tee off, taking to the tee box at noon with golfer Rocco Mediate.

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