The Quarter Century Partnership is one of the signature events hosted annually by Odessa Country Club.
The 2020 edition looked a lot different compared to what it was in years past because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Fast forward to this year and the tournament resembles something closer to what it was according to head golf professional Jake McCullough.
The 58th edition of the tournament gets underway Thursday and continues through Saturday on both the Old Course and Links Course.
174 two-man teams have entered the event — the same as 2020 — and McCullough complimented the quality of competition heading into the tournament.
“I think it will be extremely competitive,” he said. “I feel like this is one of the stronger fields that we’ve had.”
Teams in the championship flight will try to take the title from defending champions Hunter Hendrix and Lee Prucka.
The championship flight will play the Links Course for the first and final rounds and the Old Course for Friday’s second round.
The duo finished at 20-under par to win by two shots after a late charge from Coby Harwell and Creighton Honeck.
Hendrix is looking forward to getting back out on the course.
“We’re excited, that’s for sure,” Hendrix said. “It was a lot of fun last year and we played really well.
”I don’t think we were on anybody’s radar to win it so now we’ll have to go out and play good, compete and give yourself a chance.”
Winning in 2020 was unexpected because the partnership wasn’t even set until three weeks before the tournament.
Hendrix said that both he and Prucka had played in other tournaments together before but had not teamed up for the Quarter Century Partnership before last year.
It ended up working out and the team is back looking to become the first team to win the tournament in consecutive years since Brett Nichols and Allan Hill in 2004 and 2005.
Hendrix added that the key to winning will be simple: “You just got to make putts. That’s all there is to it.”
The tournament will also look something closer to normal off the course.
There will still be precautions taken but most of the dinners and social events surrounding the tournament will return after being canceled in 2020.
Having the social events away from the golf course is something that McCullough is looking forward to after having to put those on pause last year.
“I’m looking forward to being back to closer to normal,” McCullough said. “The ability to have people back for dinners and things like that is going to be really nice.
“We were able to have the golf last year and that part didn’t really change but we’ll have a lot of things that’ll be back that we’re looking forward to.”
Hendrix added that the social aspect of the tournament helps make the event even more enjoyable for everyone involved.
“Last year, it was nothing but golf,” Hendrix said. “It makes the tournament a lot different when it’s not just go play golf and go home.
“You get to hang out with friends and socialize. That part of it will be nice to have back for sure.”
>> Follow Tony Venegas on Twitter at @OA_TVenegas