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Golfers struggle with pin placement in opening round of tourney

Dedrick Greggs watches his tee shot from the tee box on the 16th hole during the Harvest Club golf tournament Saturday morning at the Duncan Park Golf Course in Natchez. (Jay  Sowers \ The Natchez Democrat)
Dedrick Greggs watches his tee shot from the tee box on the 16th hole during the Harvest Club golf tournament Saturday morning at the Duncan Park Golf Course in Natchez. (Jay Sowers \ The Natchez Democrat)

NATCHEZ — Nearly 100 participants from several states descended on the Duncan Park Golf for the 2013 Harvest Club Open.

But despite the ideal weather conditions for Saturday’s first round, most of the players’ scores were well over par. One player that did manage to navigate the tough pin placements was Pete Powell, who shot a 2-under-par 69.

“I played pretty fair. I putted really well. Didn’t strike the ball well,” Powell said. “They had the pins in extremely tough positions. I made three birdies and one bogey.”

Greg Brooking usually has the home course advantage at Duncan Park, but even he struggled on Saturday as he finished at 3-over-par 74.

“I had a hard time out there. Didn’t putt real well. The pins were put in some tough places,” Brooking said. He had three birdies and six bogeys.

K.G. Watkins said he was pleased with the turnout for this 38th year of this tournament. Yet there were a few things he wished were different.

“I would have liked for it to go over 100 (players). We’re at 97, 98. We have golfers from Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, Florida, Texas, Chicago, Ill., and St. Kitts, Jamaica. But we only have seven golfers from Natchez,” Watkins said. “We’re going to keep trying to grow.

“I don’t know what we’re going to do if we keep growing. They only have 50 golf carts (out here). I don’t know what to do then. We used 46, 47 today. I can’t afford to rent them.”

And because so many of this year’s participants have to travel for several hours, today’s final round will have an 8 a.m. shotgun start.

Watkins added that while the course at Duncan Park is in outstanding shape despite the recent rain events, he was not too happy with the recent raise in fees.

“The golf course is in great shape, but it’s disappointing to me and to Harvest Club,” Watkins said. “Economically, they made it a little tougher.”

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