Better late than never

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 31, 2003

NATCHEZ &045; Ask somebody in college if they want to get up at 7 a.m. just as their summer break gets started and chances are you’d be laughed out of the room.

So the punchline went Saturday at 9 p.m. when Mike Halley asked his son Jonathan, a recent Copiah-Lincoln graduate, to fill in for his group at the St. Jude Benefit Golf Tournament when two members dropped when showers earlier in the day demanded a Sunday finish at Duncan Park.

The younger Halley, a 2001 ACCS alum who will play in a national junior college tournament next month in upstate New York, reconsidered and an hour later agreed to join the Supermarket Operations team.

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&uot;At first I wasn’t going to play, but then I didn’t have anything to do so I came and played,&uot; said Halley, who ushered his trio with his father and Barry Loy to a 57 and first place finish in the Championship Flight of the seventh annual scramble event Sunday.

Supermarket were one of several groups who played all 18 holes Sunday, after Saturday’s rains forced either postponement or cancellation of all teams.

Everyone agreed those who completed all 18 Sunday benefited from the course drying out marginally over night.

&uot;We were smoking yesterday through the first five holes,&uot; said Larry Lawrence, one part of the four-member Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 9573 team. &uot;We went ahead and played through the rain yesterday, but only finished nine. We couldn’t get back in a groove today.&uot;

Lawrence, who is commander of the post, and his group made three birdies and an eagle through their first five holes Saturday.

After parring out, the foursome came back Sunday with a pair of bogeys in its first four holes and were out of the running.

&uot;Those two bogies is what killed us,&uot; Lawrence said. &uot;We would’ve had a good round if it hadn’t been for that. It’s hard once you’re geared up to come back on a whole different day.&uot;

The VFW is in the middle of talks currently to alter its annual tournament, which takes place in late April, to where a scholarship for area high schoolers can be started in the memory of Sgt. Henry L. Brown, Lawrence said.

Brown, was a soldier from Natchez who was killed in Baghdad in early April this year during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

&uot;We really enjoyed it. It’s for a great cause,&uot; Lawrence said of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, which, located in Memphis, Tenn., is one of the world’s premier centers for research and treatment of catastrophic diseases in children, primarily pediatric cancers. &uot;We like to do whatever we can for the community and St. Jude is a worthwhile cause to donate money to.&uot;

Even though his team was fortunate to have its tee time pushed back to Sunday, Jonathan Halley said if a golfer is in a groove, having a round postponed can get under his skin.

In those circumstances, one’s focus is of the utmost importance he added.

&uot;Jonathan hit the ball long and straight for us,&uot; Mike Halley said. &uot;They key for us was hitting it close to the pin.&uot;

Jonathan Halley, who will attend Southern Miss in the fall, said Sunday’s day out on the links is off the beaten path from the tournament golf he is accustom to at Co-Lin.

&uot;You still have to be focused, but it allows you to be more laid back because it’s not the pressure of a state or national tournament,&uot; he said. &uot;We’re out here to have fun and raise money for charity.&uot;