Amateur hour: Pros lose their chance at cup

Published 12:00 am Monday, November 20, 2000

The Natchez Democrat

The top amateurs in Mississippi kept the Mississippi Cup for the fifth year in a row after tying the top Mississippi PGA Golf Professionals 12 points to 12 points in the 2000 Mississippi Cup Matches at Beau Pr\u00E9 Country Club.

Sunday’s final round ended up the same way Friday’s first round did — a tie.

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Both teams had four points after completion of play on Friday.

Rain and cold temperatures cancelled Saturday’s action.

That meant all the amateurs had to do Sunday to keep the cup with them was to do no worse than win eight of the 16 singles matches. And that’s exactly what happened.

The amateurs won the first three matches Sunday to take an overall 7 point-4 point lead.

Bill Collins defeated Mark Powell 7 and 6, Don Hershfelt beat Kevin Walls 1-up and team captain Benji Nelson defeated Reed Hughes 1-up.

&uot;First, I watched Bill Collins annihilate Mark Powell,&uot; Hershfelt said. &uot;And then Mr. Walls and I were even through 15. Then I birdied 16, he won 17 and I won 18. It was back and forth all day.&uot;

Jim Rose started a four-match winning streak for the golf pros by beating Robert Parnell 3 and 1.

&uot;We both played pretty well,&uot; Rose said. &uot;I won a couple of holes late. It was a good match.&uot;

Jud Brewer then beat Billy Nowell 5 and 4 in a match that ended after 14 holes.

Jim Dorman defeated Sam Hall 4 and 2 in a match that ended after 16 holes. Jerry Covich then gave the golf pros an overall 8 point-7 point lead by beating Royce Wilkinson 2 and 1.

&uot;I played really well today,&uot; Rose said. &uot;I was 4-up through five holes and 5-up at the turn. Once I got there, I just wanted to make pars.&uot;

The amateurs then won the next three matches before the golf pros won two straight to set up a down-to-the-wire finish.

For the amateurs, Michael Stringer beat David Lee 4 and 3 and Randy Smith defeated Bryant Himes 5 and 4.

For the pros, Russ Fransted made a 15-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole to defeat Duke Simmons 1-up and David Jenkins beat Stan Hall 1-up to tie Sunday’s competition at eight points apiece, but it was not enough for the pros, who were trying to win their first Mississippi Cup since 1995.

&uot;We would have liked to have won outright, but we were happy and pleased to keep the cup,&uot; Nelson said. &uot;We were disappointed that the weather kept us from playing (Saturday). But we had some great weather today and I’m glad we got today’s round in.&uot;

Only four of Sunday’s matches — Hershfelt vs. Walls; Nelson vs. Hughes; Fransted vs. Simmons; and Jenkins vs. Hall — went 18 holes.