BELDEN – A competitive 121-player field is scheduled to play today and Wednesday in the 24th annual Pros of Tomorrow junior golf tournament at the Tupelo Country Club.
Grant Motter, the 2010 Class 6A high school state champion from Oak Grove, is entered in the 36-hole event, along with 6A medalist finalists Chad Cupples, of DeSoto Central, and Wilson Reeder, of Tupelo.
Austin Rose, of Tupelo, who rallied from seven strokes down in the final round to win last year’s Pros 12-13 age division title, returns to play in the 14-15 division.
In the girls’ 13-18 division, defending Pros champion and Mississippi State signee Esther Huffman, of Center Hill, returns. The Olive Branch resident won the 2010 girls high school state championship.
“I love this event,” said TCC professional Jim Rose. “We’ve got a good cross section of golfers entered.”
Playing for double points
The tournament, which is sanctioned by the Mississippi Junior Golf Association (MJGA), is also a part of the North Mississippi Coca-Cola Junior Golf Tour. The Tour’s players will earn double points for their finishes.
Players will also earn points in the MJGA standings.
The top two boys age divisions – 16-18 and 14-15 – are eligible for the overall championship. There are also boys age divisions for 12-13 and 11-under. For girls there are two divisions – 12-under and 13-18.
Rose is confident the players won’t play a better course this summer.
“This golf course could not be in better shape,” he said. “The fairways are good. The rough in some places is tough because we haven’t had much rain.”
The TCC’s Champion Bermuda greens will also present the young golfers a challenge.
“The greens are rolling 101/2 to 11” on the stimpmeter, Rose said. “That’s normal speed for this time of year.”
The tournament’s field is made up mostly of state golfers playing for MJGA points, but will include players from Alabama and Tennessee.
“This tournament’s all about giving a lot of kids the chance to play a really good course and have a good experience,” Rose said. “We give it all back to them.”
The first golfers are scheduled to tee off at 7:30 a.m. today.
Gene Phelps / NEMS Daily Journal