Collins wins junior golf opener

local_icon_greenBy Kyle Alford

Special to the Journal

SALTILLO – The Northeast Mississippi Coca-Cola Junior Golf Tour began Tuesday at the Natchez Trace Golf Course – a course where golfers can find themselves following one bad swing with another.

Baldwyn’s Cason Collins mainly stayed out of trouble and picked up a victory in the boys 16-18 division.

Collins and Tupelo’s Kirk Reeder each shot rounds of 81, with Collins winning in a scorecard playoff.

“Compared to other courses, it can get you into a lot of trouble,” Collins said of Tuesday’s layout. “You can hit one shot in the wrong place and it will cost you three or four shots instead.”

But opening the Tour with a challenging course has its benefits, Collins said.

“I play to stay in rhythm,” he said. “If I know I can win at a place like this, then I know I can win at other places If I can just keep my game the way I had it (Tuesday).”

Collins attributed his success in the opener to the way he drove the ball.

“I was able to hit my driver down the fairway,” he said. “On this course I’m able to hit it into a wedge distance and get it onto the green, and hit two puts for par.”

The Tour includes different age divisions for ages 6 through 18.

Other boys winners: Tate Dickerson (12-13) with a 78 and Brooks Wing (14-15) with an 82.

Karli Knox of Amory won the girls 13-18 division on Tuesday with a score of 99. Hannah Grace Hall won the girls 10-12 division with a 50.

The Tour will last eight weeks and will play at local golf courses in North Mississippi. Play will resume June 2 at the Pontotoc Country Club, the first event of the season for players in the age 6-9 Powerade division.

Oxford Country Club will host the Tour Championship on August 4-5.

Click video to hear audio