Some of the biggest names in college football, along with their celebrity partners, hit the links at Reynolds Plantation resort in Greensboro, Ga., to compete for a share of a $520,000 scholarship purse in the sixth annual Chick-fil-A Bowl Challenge. This year's field included the teams of Nick Saban and Johnny Musso (Alabama), Dabo Swinney and Steve Fuller (Clemson), Jimbo Fisher and Terrell Buckley (Florida State), Paul Johnson and Jon Barry (Georgia Tech), Randy Edsall and Stan Gelbaugh (Maryland), Al Golden and Gino Torretta (Miami), Dan Mullen and Fred McCrary (Mississippi State), Larry Fedora and Roy Williams (North Carolina), Urban Meyer and Jeff Logan (Ohio State), Tom O'Brien and Tom Gugliotta (NC State), Hugh Freeze and Sean Tuohy (Ole Miss), Steve Spurrier and Sterling Sharpe (South Carolina), Derek Dooley and Stanley Morgan (Tennessee) and Frank Beamer and Dell Curry (Virginia Tech) and Jim Grobe and Riley Skinner (Wake Forest).
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For these coaches, who rarely get to interact away from football, it's a welcome respite from the daily grind. "Twenty, 30 years ago coaches did a lot of trips together and I think there was a lot more camaraderie outside of the season then there is now and I think a lot of it is just the demands have changed," said Tennessee's Derek Dooley. "So anytime we get together and get to know these guys on a different level, it's a lot of fun because we go through the same challenges at every school."
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Miami's Al Golden repeated as the long-drive winner at 303 yards. Meanwhile, Ohio State's Urban Meyer won the closest to the pin competition, coming two feet from the hole. "No matter what we're all competitors and we have an appreciation for what we all do professionally and how demanding is," Golden said. "I think everyone really enjoys the opportunity to relax and enjoy it and get to know each other."
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Georgia Tech's Paul Johnson and Jon Barry successfully defended their challenge title, finishing at 10-under, one shot ahead of the teams from Florida State and Maryland.
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Needing a par on 18 for the win, Johnson hit a wedge within five feet of the hole and Barry tapped it in, giving the team $125,000 in scholarship money for their school. "I'm very fortunate to have a partner that's as skilled as Jon," Johnson said. "It got real competitive coming down the stretch."
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Virginia Tech's team of Frank Beamer and Dell Curry finished tied with Mississippi State for fourth. They were followed by Alabama and Ohio State in sixth, Miami, North Carolina, Ole Miss, South Carolina and Tennessee in eighth, Wake Forest in 13th and Clemson and NC State tied for 14th.
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Ohio State's Urban Meyer reacts to a shot by his teammate Jeff Logan.
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With so many different levels of ability among the coaches, Dooley said the main task is finding the right playing partner. "Probably the best way we show our competitiveness is the partner that we bring. Everybody's looking for that ringer to put them over the edge. So far, Paul Johnson is doing the best job of that." Added Clemson's Dabo Swinney: "It's all about recruiting. That's for sure."
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"I think everybody's a competitor, otherwise you wouldn't be in this profession," said North Carolina's Larry Fedora. "You get out there and you want to compete and you want to win."
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Alabama's Nick Saban looks on while teammate Johnny Musso hits from the green. The pair finished the day at seven-under.
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North Carolina basketball coach Roy Williams hits out of a sand trap.
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Heisman Trophy winners Andre Ware (center) and Gino Torretta share a moment.
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