By Gene Phelps/NEMS Daily Journal
SALTILLO – A field of 45 young golfers braved Tuesday’s heat to compete in the Coca-Cola Junior Golf Tour’s opening tournament at the Natchez Trace Golf Club.
The seven-tournament tour for boys and girls ages 10 to 18, will play this summer at Big Oaks, Starkville, Ole Miss, Tupelo, Old Waverly and Pontotoc.
Players earn points at each event, with the age division points leaders qualifying for the Tour Championship, scheduled for July 30-31, at the Mississippi State Golf Course in Starkville.
“All of these are good courses,” said Tour assistant William Chadwick. “After the high school golf season there’s not a lot of competitive golf to play. This help keeps you competitive. It’s also a good experience for the younger players.”
Chadwick says 75 players have signed up for this summer’s Tour. Spots remain available at www.nemsjrtour.com.
“This is a good way for young golfers to get into tournament golf, but not be overwhelmed,” said Tour assistant Trey Adams. “I heard some of the 10-11 players saying today that this was their first real tournament.”
Two golfers from Baldwyn High School’s state championship team – Will Moore and Clayton Gray – finished first and second in the boys 16-18 division at the Trace. Moore shot a 1-over-par 73 while Gray recorded a 75.
Isaiash Jackson of Red Bay, Ala., won the boys 14-15 division with a 75. Tupelo’s Parker Brooks (77) and Hayden Solomon (78) followed.
Saltillo’s Brooks Wing shot an 82 to win the boys 12-13 title. In boys 10-11, Tupelo’s Wilson Baker shot a 44 on nine holes and won a scorecard playoff against Tupelo’s Brooks Hudson and Booneville’s Austin Lauderdale.
Belden’s Margarer Hill won the girls 10-12 with a 62 over nine holes Tupelo’s Kathleen Reynolds won the 13-18 division with a 100.
Next week’s Tour event is scheduled for Tuesday at the Tupelo Country Club. It will be for nine-hole play age groups only. The next full Tour event is set for June 12 at Big Oaks.