Natchez junior golfers honored to be in Farm Bureau

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 21, 2001

Two golfers were a little more nervous than the rest of the field on Friday at the Farm Bureau Invitational at Beau Pr\u00E9 Country Club.

Mark Carter, 16, and Lee Jones, 14, both of Natchez, teed off with Mississippi’s best amateur and professional golfers. Carter shot an 80, and Jones fired an 82 in the first round, landing them well off the pace of the 65 shot by David Lee. But before their rounds started, Carter and Lee were both just happy to be a part of a solid field.

&uot;It’s an honor to get to play with the good players in this tournament,&uot; said Lee, who has a handicap of three.

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&uot;I’ll definitely be in awe (Friday),&uot; said Carter, who has a six or seven handicap.

Jones plays the Beau Pr\u00E9 course nearly every day. When he isn’t he’s knocking the ball around at his home course, he’s on the Gulf States Professional Golf Association’s Junior Tour. His best finish on the tour was 8th place at the Canton Junior Classic. Two weeks ago, he competed in the Future Masters at Dothan Country Club, making the cut on the first day to advance to the final two rounds.

&uot;That was one thing I really wanted to do,&uot; Jones said.

Jones wouldn’t mind playing golf professionally down the road, but he knows that decision is a long way off.

&uot;It would be nice, but everybody’s real young.&uot;

Jones will be a freshman at Trinity Episcopal Day School next year, where he also hopes to make the basketball team.

Carter plays Beau Pr\u00E9 four or five times a week. He also participates in junior tournaments throughout the summer. He knows this tournament is for the big boys, but he’s just looking to make a solid showing.

&uot;I’m just going to try to come out here and break 80,&uot; Carter said. &uot;If I break 80 every time (this weekend), I’m going to be real happy.&uot;

But he also wouldn’t mind making sure people know who he is. He hopes after his first day jitters, he can settle down and make a little run.

&uot;It probably would be Saturday or Sunday if I do it. I’ll be a little nervous (Friday),&uot; he said.

Carter got a little of the nervousness out of the way on Thursday in his practice round. He was teamed up with defending champion Rob Autry.

Carter would like to continue his golf career in college, but, like Jones, he realizes that’s a tough task.

&uot;It takes a lot of hard work, more than people think, to make it in college, especially a big university.&uot;

Carter attends Cathedral high, where he was a member of last year’s state championship team.

Jones tees off today at 7:40 a.m. at the No. 1 hole. Carter goes at 8 a.m. at the first hole.