We had 180 players show up,Ayers said. I love the turnout and support we have for this event.
We had great weather and we are just truly blessed to have this day.
Before the tournament started Ayers announced the honorary celebrity chairs, which were Ann Davidson and Bob Culver.
Also, a skydiver leaped from a plane with an American flag and landed on the putting greens where the crowd had gathered for the opening ceremonies.
We also put the number 61, Ray Becks number, on all the caps, Ayers said. And we had the Ramblin Wreck car from Georgia Tech here. All in honor of Ray.
Beck passed away on January 9, 2007, and this was the first year the event was held without Beck and Ayers both in attendance.
"We miss Ray a lot, and we know he is looking down on us today," Ayers said.
Over 25 college football lettermen showed up for the event, including eight All-Americans.
Some of the biggest stars to show up included:
Tommy Nobis, an All-American at the University of Texas, and the Atlanta Falcons first ever draft pick;
Steve Kiner, he was an All-American at the University of Tennessee. Legendary Alabama coach Bear Bryant once said Kiner was the best linebacker my team ever played against.
Billy Shaw, an All-American at Georgia Tech, also participated at the event. He played professional football with the Buffalo Bills. He is a member of the Georgia Tech and NFL Hall of Fame. He is also a member of the Bobby Dodd All Era Team.
Shaw also was the first player to spend his entire career in the AFL and be elected into the NFL Hall of Fame;
George Morris, an All-American at Georgia Tech, played professional football with the San Francisco 49ers. Morris is a member of the pro football Hall of Fame and the Georgia Tech Hall of Fame. He is also a member of the Bobby Dodd All Era Team;
Leon Harderman, an All-American and also an all Southeastern Conference running back, played college football at Georgia Tech and professional football with the Baltimore Colts. He is a member of the Georgia Tech All Era Team;
Taz Anderson, an All-American and team captain of the Georgia Tech Hall of Fame, played professional football for the St. Louis Cardinals and the Atlanta Falcons.
Also in attendance was Billy Martin, an All-American and a Georgia Tech All Era Team member. Martin played professional football for several years.
George Patton, an All-American at the University of Georgia, played as well. He played professional football with the Atlanta Falcons.
Darrell Crawford, who was a starting quarterback for Georgia Tech, came to the event. He is a member of the Georgia Tech Hall of Fame and he played professional football with the Chicago Cardinals.
Other Georgia Tech lettermen that were in attendance were Bill Banks, Dick Farmer, Harvey Wright, Tommy Beck, Hugh Harderson and Joe O Shaney.
Many college players from Cedartown such as Jeff Burger (All SEC quarterback at Auburn), John Powell (offensive lineman at Auburn), Bucky Ayers (defensive back at Auburn), Elliott Gammage (defensive end at Tennessee), Tommy Beck (offensive lineman at Georgia Tech) and Willie Andrusko (played for Florida State) also attended.
Several golf professionals such as Bill Robinson of LaGrange, Buster Inman of Gadsden, Ala., Preston Herring of Rockmart, Carolina Blalock of Rome and M.L. Langston of Cedartown attended.
Ayers has worked around the clock for months in making this a special day for his friend Ray Beck, who passed away recently.
Anytime a Georgia coach and a Georgia Tech player can work together, anything is possible, Ayers said. Many charities have benefited in the county from this event.
I would like to thank everyone for their support in making this years 16th event come together, Ayers said.
Ayers stated when he ran into hard times trying to put this tournament together, he would just pause and reflect on his good friend Beck and he said things would start coming together again and working themselves out.
The tournament filled up so quickly this year, that Ayers had to unfortunately turn away players because of a full field.
We had a full field this year, Ayers stated. We used every golf cart here and had to borrow eight from Meadow Lakes and 43 from a golf course in Gadsden.
Reece Barrett sponsored the gold coins once again this year.
It takes three months to put this tournament together, Ayers said. Without the help of so many people, this thing would never get put on.
All proceeds from the Ayers/Beck Celebrity Golf Tournament go to the Polk County Community Foundation, Inc.