By Gene Phelps/NEMS Daily Journal
Bo Reed played a practice round last week at Colonial Country Club’s Deerfield course, the site of this weekend’s annual MPGA Trustmark Invitational.
His impressions of the Madison-based course? Let’s just say they were big and small. The Tupelo golfer experienced playing the course’s wide-open spaces on the front nine and its narrow fairways on the back nine.
“On the front you can bomb it,” said Reed, a sophomore on the Meridian Community College golf team. “On the back you have to be more precise with your shots.”
Reed is one of 20 Northeast Mississippi golfers teeing off today in the 54-hole event that matches the state’s top amateurs against the state’s club professionals.
Three of the pros in the field are the Tupelo Country Club’s Jim Rose and Old Waverly’s V.J. Trolio and Tim Yelverton. Along with Reed, who won the 36-hole Butch Lambert Invitational last month at the Natchez Trace Golf Club, Houston’s Alex Rowland is in the field. He was a contender in last month’s state amateur won by Tupelo’s Fletcher Johnson.
“There are a lot of good golfers in the field,” Reed said. “You’re going to have to post something really low to win.”
Defending champion Alan Ellis, of Greenwood, has entered and is considered the favorite. He recently won the Greenwood Invitational.
Rose, one of 31 club pros entered, agrees with Reed’s assessment of Deerfield’s narrow back nine.
“The front’s wide open, but the back’s like hitting down a hallway,” he said. “I’ve heard the course is in good condition. I’m looking forward to playing.”
Reed hopes some of the momentum he generated with his victory in the Butch Lambert, also a stroke-play event, will carry over this week.
“Your confidence rises when you win,” he said.
MPGA Trustmark Invitational
What: 54-hole stroke play
Where: Madison, Colonial Country Club’s Deerfield course
Field: 96 amateurs, 31 club professionals
Northeast Mississippi entries: (Pros) Jeff Adkerson, Mississippi State; Scott Bufkin, Starkville; Ken Bush, Amory; Joseph Hanko, Starkville Elm Lake; Jim Rose, Tupelo CC; V.J. Trolio, Old Waverly; Tim Yelverton, Old Waverly
(Amateurs) David Allen, Starkville; Tracey Cockerham, Hamilton; Barrett Edens, Okolona; Jon Howell, Starkville; Keith Larson, Oxford; Bobby Lehman, Tupelo; Bo Reed, Tupelo; Austin Rose, Tupelo; Alex Rowland, Houston; Nick Sparks, Belmont; Tanner Sparks, Belmont; Mike Thompson, Tupelo; Scott Uithoven, Belden