Rain delays play in MJGA first round

KPY7_djournal_stock_sports_golf_jisi_shaneBy GENE PHELPS
Daily Journal

WEST POINT – One of Ian McAdams’ duties this week at the Mississippi Junior Golf Association State Tournament is to announce the golfers on the No. 1 tee at Old Waverly.

At 4:10 p.m. Tuesday, the MGA intern called out: “Now teeing off in the 12:30 starting time is Austin Clark of Pascagoula.”

A 3-hour, 40-minute rain delay interrupted play in the opening day of the 54-hole MJGA event. The golfers in Division A, age 16-18, didn’t begin teeing off until 4:10.

The defending champion, Braden Thornberry of Olive Branch, teed off at 4:20 with Ole Miss signee Jacob Ross of Brookhaven.

Many of the division’s golfers did not complete their first rounds because of the delay.

‘Plenty of daylight’
“We’ll have plenty of daylight to get them started (Tuesday),” MGA executive director Margo Coleman said. “We’ll be fine once we get the first round completed.”

Coleman expects the 16-18 division and 14-15 division to complete their rounds this morning. The second round is scheduled for this afternoon.

“Obviously, this is not what you want,” said Tupelo golfer Hayden Buckley as he practiced on the putting green. “It’s going to be hard on everybody. You’ve got to try to get off to a good start, knowing you’re not going to finish (Tuesday).”

Buckley’s group teed off at 4:40 on No. 1.

The Tupelo High golfer placed third in the tournament last year at the Country Club of Jackson.

MGA tournament director Don Hershfelt said the course absorbed “a little over an inch” of rain. It rained three-fourths of an inch Monday afternoon.

“The course will be fine; it might be sloppy walking,” he said. “The greens will be a hair slower, but not a lot. They will be more receptive to shots.”

Greenville’s Kathleen Gallagher leads the girls 16-18 division with a 3-over 75. Vicksburg’s Katley Whittington has a 1-shot lead in the 13-15.

gene.phelps@journalinc.com