Beau Pré in line for state tournament

Published 12:00 am Monday, July 3, 2000

Beau Pr\u00E9 Golf Pro Mark Powell went to the mountain last Thursday.

He hopes to bring the mountain back next year.

The mountain in this case is the prestigious Farm Bureau Invitational Golf Tournment, which is being held at Philadelphia’s Dancing Rabbit golf course July 14-16.

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Powell is the tournament coordinator of this year’s tournament.

If Powell has his way, the Farm Bureau Invitational will be held at Beau Pr\u00E9.

What makes this tournament so special is that it is the only one in Misssissippi in which professional and amateur golfers compete against each other.&uot;

&uot;We’re having an executive meeting July 15th and the word is out that Beau Pr\u00E9 will be selected,&uot; Powell said. &uot;We’re wanting it, and we’re very excited about the chances of it coming down here. It moves around each year and the south really hasn’t had it in a while.&uot;

This year is the first time for Powell to serve as tournament coordinator.

&uot;One of my duties as secretary-treasurer of the chapter is chairman of this tournament,&uot; Powell said. &uot;I’ve come up the ranks, so I’m prepared, and I’ve helped with it every year.&uot;

Rett Crowder, a former pro who has since regained his amateur status, won a one-hole playoff to capture the Farm Bureau Championship last year.

Crowder had to birdie the final two holes in regulation, the par-3 17th and the par-5 18th, to force the playoff with fellow amateur Wayne Boler. Both finished regulation tied at 4-under 209.

”This tournament is definitely not just for the pros,” Powell said. ”It is also an opportunity for amateur players to get a taste of what it is like to play professional golf. As a matter of fact, amateurs have won the tournament the last three years.”

Greg Howell won the tournament in 1998, then turned pro. Crowder won the Farm Bureau Invitational in 1997.

Anthony Price of Jackson, who was a regular at the Hooters Tournament when it was played at Belwood, is a two-time champion in the event.

Joe Iupe Jr., has won the tournament five times, including three straight from 1981-83.

The total purse for pro golfers competing in the competition is $30,000.

The professionals will play for cash prizes and the amateurs will compete for gift certificates and merchandise prizes, including golf equipment and accessories.

Beau Pr\u00E9 hosted the Mississippi Women’s State Golf Championship last last month, and players and state officials could not stop talking about how much they loved the course.

With another year under its belt , and construction on the clubhouse continuing, the new golf course off U.S. 61 South will keep growing in size and stature.

&uot;Everybody’s talking about wanting to come play our course,&uot; Powell said. &uot;And we’re more than happy to oblige.&uot;

And at this rate, who knows what’s in the future? Maybe we can get the Hooters Tournament back or even the Nike Tour.

And with Natchez native Finley Hootsell moving up the golf ladder fast, maybe we can get his celebrity tour this way.

Joey Martin is sports editor of The Democrat. He can be reached by calling 446-5172 ext. 232 or at