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Brooking, Byrne teaming up

Published 12:01am Tuesday, May 7, 2013

NATCHEZ — Greg Brooking and Bill Byrne will team up with 20 other golfers from the State of Mississippi Friday and Saturday to attempt to bring the Governor’s Cup back to the Magnolia State.

The Mississippi team will face top competition from Arkansas when they take to the course at Texarkana Country Club in the annual four-ball tournament played between the two states’ top golfers, and Brooking said he’s looking forward to trying to help Mississippi win after Arkansas’ victory last year.

“We’re hoping to bring it back,” Brooking said. “We have a bunch of really good golfers, but Arkansas as a group of good golfers. On any given day, you can play good or bad.”

Byrne said snatching the Governor’s Cup back from Arkansas would be no easy task.

“It’s very strong competition,” Byrne said. “We will have to play our best to compete with them.”

It will be the second time Brooking and Byrne will play together in the Governor’s Cup. Brooking has made the cut three out of the past four years, while Byrne has made it two of the last four. Brooking said he’s looking forward to teaming up with Byrne, with whom he often plays four-ball tournaments.

“We’re good partners,” Brooking said. “We know each other’s game, and we know what to expect. Bill never quits trying, and it’s good to have a partner that gives his best.”

The familiarity between Byrne and Brooking goes all the way back to their teenage years, Bryne said.

“I’ve played with Greg since high school,” Byrne said. “We compete in a lot of individual tournaments against each other. Greg’s a very good player and a fierce competitor.”

Making it to the Governor’s Cup is something for which Brooking said he strives every year.

“It’s the honor and the challenge of it that makes it great,” Brooking said. “I can remember as a young person wanting to make the Mississippi Cup teams, and it’s one of the many pinnacles you can reach.”

The same proves true for Byrne, he said.

“It’s definitely a major goal each year throughout the winter, and it’s kind of a motivating factor for you to work on your game,” Byrne said. “It’s a big motivation to try and play well in tournaments.”