Jackson’s Rett Crowder wins third Farm Bureau Invitational; Lessley finishes second

Published 12:00 am Monday, July 23, 2001

Rett Crowder didn’t mind the sunburn on his face and neck. David Lee didn’t mind finishing three strokes behind him, either.

Crowder took home the winner’s cup at the Mississippi Farm Bureau Invitational for the third time since 1997. Lee took home a $4,000 check.

Crowder, an amateur from Country Club of Jackson, bettered Lee – club pro at Windance Country Club in Gulfport – and two other golfers’ 211s by three strokes Sunday to take home the trophy.

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He went into the third round tied with Lee, who finished the day with a one-over-par 73, and outlasted the pro, along with Beau Pr\u00E9 amateur Jay Lessley and Tupelo amateur Jonathan Dismuke to pick up the win.

&uot;This course really showed it’s teeth today,&uot; Crowder said of the par-72, 6,935-yard challenge. &uot;The greens were a lot firmer than they have been this weekend, and the course was really tough.&uot;

Lessley, who had a wild front nine, birdied the par 5 eighth and par 4 ninth, after bogies on one, three and six. He preceded the bogey on six with a birdie on five.

&uot;I didn’t play badly,&uot;&160;he said. &uot;I had a bad tee shot on six and bogied that hole, but&uot; got it back together.

Lessley missed finishing alone behind Crowder by less than an inch.

Debris on the 12th green caused Lessley’s birdie putt to bounce off line and miss the cup by inches. He finished strong, however, as he blasted his way onto the par-5 18th in two, and birdied in front of a large hometown gallery.

&uot;I’m happy with the way I played,&uot; said Lessley, who hasn’t competed in a state tournament in more than five years. &uot;I’ll take it.&uot;

Dismuke -&160;who played collegiate golf at Auburn – also played himself out of a lone second place finish when he couldn’t get up and down on the par 3 16th.

Dismuke’s tee shot fell short of the pin, which was less than 15 paces from the front of the green. A short chip left Dismuke with a harder par putt that he couldn’t convert.