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Brooking out of USGA tournament

CASHIERS, N.C. — After second-round play was completed Monday morning at the 59th United States Golf Association Senior Amateur Championship, 71 players made the cut and moved on the match-play format.

Unfortunately, Greg Brooking of Natchez was not among those. He finished at 25-over-par 169 after posting a second-round score of 11-over-par 83 at Wade Hampton Golf Club as he finished in a tie for 138th place.

Brooking played what turned out to be his final three holes of the tournament at even par. He bogeyed the par-4 16th hole, parred the par-3 17th, and closed out with a birdie on the par-5 18th.

“I didn’t play them very well. Well, actually I did play well today. I shot even par,” Brooking said.

“I parred the 17th hole, which is a difficult par-4. I pushed my drive to the right (on 18) and ended up in some real thick rough.”

Brooking said he shot an 8-iron from there to about 225 yards away. That didn’t come out very good forhim a he then hit a 3-wood to a pot bunker about 40 yards from the green.

Later, Brooking said he hit a sand wedge and hit it short of the pin and it rolled into the dead center of the hole. Brooking said that was the first good break he had in the tournament.

“The fewer times I had to put, the happier I was,” he said.

Brooking added that he had 34 total putts in the second round after having nearly 40 putts in his rain-plagued first round.

It was a tough course for me to get around. I didn’t know if I was going to play because of my back hurting when I was playing the Mississippi Seniors in Tunica in August.

It was a stretch for my back,” Brooking said. “But I wouldn’t miss it for the world. It was the greatest golf experience I ever had. It was truly phenomenal.”

He added that because of his recent back issues, he was offered free physical therapy.

“You showed your golf credentials they would take care of you. They stretched you. They messaged you,” Brooking said.

Brooking described the golf course at Wade Hampton as a miniature edition of Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Ga., where The Masters takes place.

“There’s not a blade of grass out of place. The fairways are tight,” Brooking said. “They are as good as the greens in Mississippi. The greens are like putting on porcelain.”