Tour titles decided at Big Oaks

SALTILLO – Players on the North Mississippi Coca-Cola Junior Tour had their final opportunity to qualify for next week’s championship during Monday’s stop at Big Oaks.
The top eight points leaders in each age division – boys 10-11, 12-13, 14-15, 16-18 and girls – will qualify for the two-day, 36-hole event scheduled for Monday and Tuesday at the Country Club of Oxford.
The championship this year returns to stroke play after two seasons of match play.
“We wanted to try something different, something the old-fashioned way,” said Tour official Brian Kendall. “We’ll play two days of stroke play instead of three days of match play.”
In Monday’s 18-hole event, Saltillo’s Corbin May won the regular-season points title in the 16-18 age division with his scorecard win in a playoff against New Albany’s Austin Holt and Saltillo’s Adam Hall.
Fulton’s Taylor Boggs recorded a 2-under-par 70 to win the 14-15 division.
In the 12-13 division, Aberdeen’s Will Thompson shot a 1-under 71 to beat points leader Tucker Jenkins of Guntown.
In the 10-11 division, points leader Parker Brooks of Tupelo solidified his hold on the lead with a scorecard win against Jackson’s Wilson Furr. Both recorded 39s on nine holes.
In girls play, Molly Hale of New Albany shot an 87 to win.

‘Tough course’ ahead
Kendall expects a “competitive” two days of play for the championships in Oxford.
“It’s a tough course, a really hilly course,” he said. “It’s going to be new to a lot of them. A lot of golfers like courses they’ve never seen.”
Tour participation this summer was up 12 percent, Kendall noted.
“This year ran a lot smoother than last year,” he said. “I think the players are starting to get a grasp of the rules. They’re understanding more how to play the game. They’re more independent.”

Gene Phelps/NEMS Daily Journal