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Loy family spends time with NGA pro at Taco Bell Pro-Am

Josh Loy hits a chip shot toward the 16th hole while his cousin, Jeremy Loy, center, and uncle, Barry Loy, look on during the National Golf Association Pro Tour’s Pro-Am at Beau Pré County Club on Wednesday afternoon. (Jay Sowers / The Natchez Democrat)
Josh Loy hits a chip shot toward the 16th hole while his cousin, Jeremy Loy, center, and uncle, Barry Loy, look on during the National Golf Association Pro Tour’s Pro-Am at Beau Pré County Club on Wednesday afternoon. (Jay Sowers / The Natchez Democrat)

NATCHEZ — The Beau Pré Country Club got ready for the Magnolia Bluffs Casino Classic with the Taco Bell Pro-Am Wednesday that allowed local golfers to get some shot talk with National Golf Association professional golfers.

The event permitted a group of four amateur golfers to learn some tips from the pros as they completed 18 holes together.

Josh, Jeremy, Jeff and Barry Loy hit the green as a foursome called “The Markets.” They named themselves The Markets because their family owns seven grocery stores in the Miss-Lou, including Natchez Market and Southside Market.

Tagging along with them was NGA member Patrick Wilkes-Krier. Wilkes-Krier said it was a fun day on the course before the tournament started.

“Most of the rounds I play are intense and pressure-building, so to be able to come out here and relax on the golf course is nice,” Wilkes-Krier said.

The five golfers started at hole 16 and worked their way around within a five-hour span.

They played with a scramble-format in which each golfer takes a shot at the sight of the best lie of a golfer’s previous shot.

Josh Loy said the event was fun, but it was just as much of a learning experience for him as well.

“This is the first time I got to play with the pros,” Josh Loy said. “I want to pick his brain a little bit and see how he approaches his shots.”

Wilkes-Krier came through for Josh Loy, as he was willing to share his knowledge with the amateurs, giving them advice about the bend in the putting green to help his group have a better approach on how to conquer their short game.

After 18 holes, Wilkes-Krier made some new friends and got a better feel for the course on which he will compete for the classic. The Loys, meanwhile, learned how to improve their golf game.

Wilkes-Krier said he has had a chance to explore parts of Natchez so far during his stay.

“I got to stay at the Monmouth Historic Inn and see the history in the town, and it’s very nice,” he said.

The classic will tee off beginning at 7:30 a.m. today at Beau Pré.

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