Sports Mangemnt Program Held The 6th Annual Willlie J Burden Memorial Golf Tournament

Ke’Juan Humphries

On Saturday, the Sports Management program held the 6th annual Dr. Willie J. Burden Memorial Golf Tournament. This tournament is held every year to honor the late Dr. Burden who passed in 2015 due to a heart disease. Dr. Burden was a professor in the Sports Management program at Georgia Southern for 16 years. Dr. Rich, the professor that oversaw the event, told me about the origin of the tournament.

“When he passed away in 2014, Dr. Oswald a few years later started the Dr. Burden Memorial because of their close friendship. And they decided to use a golf tournament because that’s what they do. They’d take their office hours as they would say on a Friday and they’d play golf after the week,” Dr. Rich said. 

Dr. Burden believed that Sports Management students needed to get experiential learning. The event was almost completely put together by the students in the Sports Management program. All of the students had different responsibilities to produce this tournament. Seely Murphy was tasked with being the Director of Tournament Operations.  

“At the beginning of the semester to be a liaison for our class. So basically, that entailed for me being a director of tournament operations. I work at the Georgia Southern Golf Course and have experience in tournament operations, so it was something that I ready to tackle and get into for sure,” said Murphy. 

The tournament is not only meant to honor Dr. Burden, but it also used to expand the Sports Management program at Georgia Southern. The proceeds of the tournament will go to the scholarship fund that two Sports Management students get every year. The program is looking to expand that scholarship and give it out to more students. 

Tournament officials said that there were 52 participants at this year’s tournament, which was the most that they have ever had. 

The Dr. Burden Memorial was running a little different than normal golf tournaments. In normal golf tournaments all the participants complete the holes in order. This tournament was running in a shotgun format. Shotgun format is where the participants can start at any hole they want and complete the holes in any order they want until they finish all 18. 

A lot of different businesses helped to sponsor the tournament. I was able to talk to Cade Miller about the different sponsors for the event. 

“Some sponsors we have is Cambridge. We have Citizens Bank I believe. There’s a couple more. There’s Covington Academy which is kind of a school up north. We have Shaw that’s doing drinks. We have Party Impressions, but there is a bunch more that is on the course out there,” said Miller. 

There was also an online auction that took place during the event. A signed Freddie Freeman baseball bat and Atlanta United team signed poster were put online for people to bid on. The money from this auction went towards the sports management scholarship.