Local duo playing for Gov’s CupPublished 12:02am Monday, March 31, 2014
NATCHEZ — Duncan Park Golf Course director Greg Brooking is proud to have Natchez-native Pete Powell alongside him, as they were recently selected to represent Mississippi in the Mississippi Governor’s Cup at Greenville Country Club May 9.
The Governor’s Cup is a Ryder cup-format event. Team Mississippi competes against Team Arkansas in four-ball match play, foursome (alternate shot) match play and singles match play. Each match is worth one point.
Brooking, the director of Duncan Park Golf Course, said he remembers his first time at the prestigious golf tournament, and he hopes Powell shares the same experiences he did.
“I couldn’t believe the first time I got on the team (in 2008),” Brooking said. “All my life I have been trying to get on the team. I got to meet a lot of the good players in the state, and it’s a lot of pride you have to represent Mississippi.”
Brooking is excited 2014 is the second year in Governor’s Cup’s history where two players on the Mississippi team hail from Natchez.
“On the score board they put up everybody’s name and the city they are from, and it’s publicity for our area because people come to and watch (the tournament),” Brooking said. “It shows that we have a pretty good golfing base in Natchez and make people proud.
“Just like we’re proud of the Lady Bulldogs basketball team for representing Natchez.”
The criteria needed to be selected to the Mississippi team includes racking up as many player of the year points as possible at state tournaments throughout the year.
The cup team is comprised of 20 competitors: 10 regular, eight seniors and two super seniors.
Brooking scored 425 points in 2013 while Powell amassed 545 points before receiving word they were selected for the team last week.
Though Powell tallied the most points, he said he wouldn’t have been selected without Brooking.
“Greg talked about the cup team a few years ago and encouraged me to play in some more tournaments,” Powell said. “Before, I just played in the state senior tournament and would try to qualify for the state amateur tournament, but you get your points by playing well in other tournaments besides just those two.”
With five weeks left until the duo heads to Greenville, Brooking and Powell are getting some extra swings in.
“I really want us to win so I might practice a little more than I usually do,” Brooking said.
Powell said he is anxious about playing on a team, rather than as an individual.
“You don’t want to let the team down,” he said. “When you play bad for yourself, it’s just yourself, but if you play bad here, it hurts the team, so it’s a lot more pressure.”
Brooking doesn’t think Powell has much to worry about, especially since Powell has been succeeding in a more competitive age group.
“He is competitive in the senior division, but he has 10 years on the seniors,” Brooking said.
“He should be playing in the super senior division, but it would be much easier for him.”
The Mississippi Governor’s Cup is May 9 and 10 in Greenville.