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Powell has strong day in senior tourney

NATCHEZ — Whether he was relaxed or just zoned in, Pete Powell had the kind of round the rest of the competition at the 2013 Natchez Senior Men’s Golf Championship wished they could have had.

Powell’s pinpoint drives from tee to green on Duncan Park’s golf course Saturday left him with multiple eagle opportunities and several short birdie putts.

That in turn allowed him to make six birdies as he finished with a round of 5-under-par 66 that left him three shots ahead of Bubba Bruce for the overall lead and seven shots clear of second place in the Super Senior (60-69) Division.

“I hit the ball really well, but my putting was shaky,” Powell said. “I putted for three eagles. The other birdies I hit real close, between 3 and 4 feet.”

The only hiccup during Powell’s round was a three-putt from 15 feet on the difficult par-3 13th hole that led to his only bogey of the day.

“The greens are in great shape. They’re a little quicker than they usually are,” Powell said. “The course is probably in the best shape it’s ever been in.”

Bruce leads the Senior (50-59) Division after finishing with a solid round of 2-under-par 69. He had three birdies and just one bogey for the day.

“We had a good time today. A good group of players,” Bruce said. “The course is in great shape. The balls were rolling real well. I left four putts right on the cup. I had a lot of birdie putts. Just couldn’t make any. I enjoyed playing with Pete.”

While Powell doesn’t have anyone too close to him in the Super Senior Division, Bruce has two golfers in the Senior Division that are right behind him. Doug Brown of Natchez is just one shot back of Bruce at 1-under-par 70 and Dean Brown of Brandon is three shots back at 1-over-par 72.

Doug Brown said he had fun playing from the gold (close) tees, which is something he had never done before. As for his round, Doug said, “It was good. I played great for me. I had three birdies and two bogeys.”

Kenny Boyd had the clubhouse lead in the Super Senior Division for quite a while until Powell came in with his impressive round. Still, Boyd is in second place at 2-over-par 73.

“We played from the gold tees, which is unusual. I shot 39 on the front and 34 on the back. I was missing putts on the front nine,” Boyd said. “I didn’t have any three-putts today. I had 34 putts today.”

Boyd had four bogeys and not a single birdie on the front nine. His only birdies on the back were on No. 13 and No. 15. But he had more than enough chances to have an even lower score.

“Out of 18 holes, I had 14 birdie opportunities and made two of them,” Boyd said. “It was nippy this morning. The greens were rolling fast, but they putted true.”

Corneluis Lewis leads the Legends (70-plus) Division after having a round of 75 and Joe Brumfield is just one shot back after firing a 76.

Today’s final-round tee times start at 11:30 a.m.