Northeast Mississippi’s thriving golf tournament schedule is a

Northeast Mississippi’s thriving golf tournament schedule is about to get into full swing.

Mixed in among the early team events in May are two of the area’s most popular medal-play tournaments the Butch Lambert Memorial and the Coy Glenn Invitational.

One of the older tournaments of any kind in Northeast Mississippi, the Butch Lambert is set for May 18-19 at the Natchez Trace Golf Course in Lee County. The tournament is named in honor of A.C. “Butch” Lambert, a local businessman, sportsman and state government official, and the proceeds from the tournament go to the Lou Gehrig Foundation.

“The team events are more popular, but the medal play events attract your more serious golfers,” said Augusta Hershfelt, assistant manager at the Natchez Trace Golf Course. “We’ve just mailed out a few entry forms, but we’ve had several people calling about it already.”

Last year, the Butch Lambert expanded its field to about 140 golfers for the two-day event. The entry fee for this year’s edition is $60 with the entry deadline at May 15. For more information call 869-2166.

Last year, Ole Miss assistant women’s basketball coach Steve Curtis won the event with a 141 total. Former champion Steve Yeoman was one stroke back with a 142 total, with Jack Crouch at 145 and Hunter Buatt and Rusty Lanphere at 146.

Another important part of the Butch Lambert in recent years has been the high school division, which was won last year by Kyle Stephens.

While the Butch Lambert is an elder member of the area golfing scene, the Coy Glenn Invitational is still in its infancy. That’s not to say that it is not already one of the biggest tournaments in the area.

In only its second year in 1995, the Coy Glenn drew almost 200 golfers for the three-day event. This year’s tournament is set for May 24-26, and River Birch Golf Course Director of Golf Andy Franks is expecting to host another great turnout.

“We’ll probably have the top 20 amateurs in the state here,” said Franks, who is mailing out 500 invitations.”Having the (Mississippi) Mid-Amateur here last year helped a lot, and a lot of the good players are looking forward to coming back and enjoying the course.”

When the players are flighted for Sunday’s play in the event, Franks expects eight to 10 players per flight, with the top five in each flight claiming a prize. This year, first place in each flight receives a set of Titleist DCI irons, on down to fifth place, which will receive a dozen golf balls.

Other extras at the Coy Glenn will be a closest-to-the-pin every day on the par 3s, and a car awarded for a hole-in-one on Sunday of the tournament. The entry fee for the event is $150, which includes dinner for two each night and social tickets.

The entry cutoff will be at 200 players, and for more information, call 256-5976.

“You should get your entry back in entertainment alone,” Franks said. “We want any golfer to come play in the tournament and have a good time.”

Last year, Vernon, Ala., native Mike Greer drained a 30-foot putt on the first hole of a three-way playoff to win the Coy Glenn. Chad Jones ended up second and Clay Homan was third, each totaling 217 for the three days.

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