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Duncan Park to host annual golf tournament

NATCHEZ — Young golfers will make their way to Natchez for the annual Norman Puckett Memorial Golf Championship.

And even a couple of local faces will tee off at 9 a.m. Monday, hoping to get the grand prize.

The Mississippi Golf Association at Duncan Park hosts the annual junior golf tournament, and local junior golfers Garrett Rentfro and Chase and Matt Kaiser will be among those participating in the event.

“It’s a pretty big deal,” Duncan Park Golf Course Superintendent Greg Brooking said. “People from all over the state — and even some from Louisiana — participate.”

Golfers will be divided by age groups, with flights of girls ages 14-18, 12-13 and 11 and under and flights of boys ages 16-18, 14-14, 12-13, 10-11 and 9 and under. The cost of signup is $50, which includes lunch, golf balls, range balls and tee prizes, Brooking said.

Generally, the event has drawn approximately 40 golfers every year, Brooking said, and the tournament has helped promote Duncan Park to people from out of town.

“The tournament has been growing because of the quality of the course, so the word is out already,” Brooking said. “Play increases from out of town for tournaments like this because of word of mouth.”

Brooking said the field is tough, and only the best local golfers would be able to compete.

“These kids are good — they’re as good as anyone in the state, and they would beat the average grownups in Natchez,” Brooking said. “On any given day, they can beat people like me or Bill Byrne. We’ve had a lot of good golfers come out of Mississippi, we just haven’t had a lot come out of Natchez recently.”

And that’s one of the reasons Brooking is promoting the Norman Puckett Memorial Golf Championship.

“We hope through the Norman Puckett (summer instructional) program, we’ll put out better players,” Brooking said. “We’re having the tournament to encourage youth to get better in golf. Hopefully the tournament will be full of Natchez players eventually.”

For more information on the tournament, call the Duncan Park at 601-442-5955.