Coach, students play it off in final round

By Gene Phelps/NEMS Daily Journal

WEST POINT – The coach – Clay Homan – is playing the players today for the championship of the MGA State Amateur.
Homan, Mississippi State’s golf coach, takes on one of his own, Alex Rowland of Houston, along with Southern Miss’ Nicholas Brown and Mississippi College’s Ryan Ratcliff.
The four are the top contenders for the title. Brown, the tournament’s three-stroke leader, will join Homan and Rowland in 10:50 a.m. threesome at Old Waverly Golf Club. Ratcliff, who is four shots back, goes off at 10:40.
“You’re not thinking about that (playing against college players),” Homan said. “You don’t pull against them. You’re not thinking about who you’re playing.
“I’ve got enough to worry about with my own game. I’m trying to get the ball in the hole.”
Rowland said today’s final round should be an “interesting” one.
“Coach and I are good friends,” he said. “It ought to be fun.”
Tough putting
Rowland has been pleased with his putting this week on Old Waverly’s Bermuda greens.
“Out here you’ve got to go with the greens, because it’s Bermuda grass,” he said “You can judge it by the slope. The green’s always going to be true.”
Rowland has recorded 13 birdies, 32 pars and nine bogeys through 54 holes.
“It’s tough out there,” he said. “I had a putt on 18 that was uphill and it got away from me. Some of the downhill ones, they look quick, but they’re not. I ran some uphill putts by the hole and left some downhill putts short.”
NEMiss golfers
In all, 20 players from Northeast Mississippi, qualified for the final two rounds.
Other than Homan and Rowland, Hamilton’s Tracy Cockerham is tied for seventh (73-73-74 – 220) while Fulton’s Chad Ramey is tied for ninth (74-74-73 – 221).
Contact Gene Phelps at 678-1593
or gene.phelps@journalinc.com.