JACKSON – Chad Ramey rarely changes his stoic facial expression when he’s playing golf.
His 20-foot birdie putt face is the same as his bogey face.
“I’m all business pretty much,” he said, cracking a slight smile. “I like to stay in my own little world.”
Ramey’s world Thursday was him against the Colonial Country Club course. Ramey won, firing a 1-under-par 71 for a three-day, 54-hole total of 8-under 208 to capture the Mississippi Golf Association’s State Junior Amateur by nine strokes.
Nobody else in the field of the state’s top junior golfers had a chance.
Last year’s champion, Tupelo’s Fletcher Johnson, finished with a 2-over 218 for three days work, but still trailed his Fulton rival by 10 strokes and ended the tournament in third place.
“Chad’s doing it all right now,” Johnson said. “I’m not.”
Brandon’s Kevin Brady and Meridian’s Chad Bounds tied for second behind Ramey in Division A with 1-over 217s.
Johnson says he’ll miss having the MGA’s huge Ted Schroder Memorial Trophy in his bedroom. He gave it up last week to MGA officials when they were in Tupelo to officiate the annual Pros of Tomorrow junior tournament. Maybe he should have given it to Ramey, who won the Pros event by eight strokes.
“This feels good,” Ramey said moments after signing his scorecard. “I felt coming in that it was all there. I had to just go out and do it.”
Ramey, 16, who will be a senior this fall at Itawamba AHS, held a six-stroke lead heading into the final round.
“I just tried to play my game and hit fairways and greens,” he said. “I was good off the tee today and kept it in the fairway. I didn’t hit my wedges well and I didn’t make many putts.”
He did record an eagle on the fifth hole when he hit a 5-wood to within eight feet and sank the putt on the par 5.
He played 1-under on the front nine of Thursday’s round, then dropped to 9-under with a birdie on 10. He bogeyed 13, then rolled in an 8-foot, uphill birdie putt on 14 to go back to 9-under. However, he bogeyed 15 when he missed a short par putt.
Ramey’s not sure where he’ll keep the Schroder Trophy. “Probably in my bedroom,” he said.
Jenkins wins C title
Guntown’s Tucker Jenkins recorded a three-day total of 2-over 217 (72-75-71) to win the Division C competition for players ages 12-13.
Tupelo’s Austin Rose, the first-round leader, placed fourth overall with a 237 (75-83-79).
Ross Jacobs of Brookhaven recorded a 4-over 220 to win the Division B competition for players ages 14-15. He defeated second-round leader Grant Motter of Hattiesburg, who finished with a 222.
Tupelo’s Noah West tied for third with Vicksburg’s Parker Rutherford with 230.
Gene Phelps/NEMS Daily Journal