Farmer claims junior crown despite Hall’s 72

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 17, 2004

NATCHEZ &045; Nothing went as right as it did on the front nine a day ago, and Jordan Farmer finished two-over-par on the second day of the City Junior Golf Championship.

But the most important goals came to fruition &045; he held on to claim his second straight city title, and he finished the grueling 18 holes on a day hot enough to turn a golf ball into Playdoh.

His 73 was good for a two-day total of 142 to edge out Matthew Hall’s 147.

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&uot;I was trying to play my game, but I was trying to play conservative,&uot; said Farmer, who had a six-stroke lead on Hall after the first day. &uot;I don’t know. I went out there and tried to hit every fairway, but I was so tired. I could not swing a club on the last five or six holes.&uot;

What started out as a three-man race for the title during into sort of a battle of attrition under the conditions. Give Farmer and Hall credit to sticking it out and playing good golf, including Hall’s 72 on Thursday to do his Cathedral teammate one shot better on a hot day.

Heat or cold, it was Hall’s best day at Duncan Park in quite some time &045; maybe ever.

&uot;I played well &045; real well,&uot; he said. &uot;This was my best round ever. I knew it was going to be rough. It was hot &045; very, very hot. But we all played well, and I had fun.&uot;

Naturally Farmer started out better on the back nine than he did later on as he started with birdies on holes 10 and 14 before coming up with another on hole No. 3. That sandwiched around four or five bogeys kept things at an up-and-down pace but good enough to remain in the driver’s seat.

At one point early Farmer was at two-under before the bogeys took care of that.

&uot;I was just trying to keep it on the fairways,&uot; he said. &uot;I was happy. I didn’t play as well as I could have.&uot;

The better day did belong to Hall, who birdied on holes 5 and 6 while playing alongside his teammate and friend.

Jeremy Ellis finished in third place with an 87 on Thursday after he shot 94 on the first day.

&uot;We knew the heat was going to get to us,&uot; Hall said. &uot;We’re really good friends. We were playing around with each other like we always do.&uot;

Mary Kate Byrne, meanwhile, claimed the girls’ title as the only entry in the girls’ 15-18 division. Nevertheless, Byrne shot a personal best over the two days with an 84 on Thursday after finishing Wednesday with an 82.

The junior-to-be at Cathedral had trouble at the end and could have gotten that second day score lower had she not tripled on the final hole. She also tripled on hole 7 but birdied on 14.

&uot;I started out better on the first nine than I did yesterday,&uot; Byrne said. &uot;My drive (on hole 7) went left, and it was downhill from there. On (the last hole) it went into the sand, and it took me two to get out. Then I three-putted.&uot;

Byrne’s solid two days and Ellis’ seven-stroke improvement made for a good day of golf in the annual junior competition. John Dicks claimed the boys’ 12-14 division trophy by shooting a 61 on the second day in the nine-hole competition.

&uot;I was happy as I could be for (Hall),&uot; Farmer said. &uot;The 75 tied his best, and the 72 was his best. Me, Matthew and Mary Kate &045; that’s three of the five Cathedral players, and everybody was pretty good. If we can do that in school tournaments, we wouldn’t have any competition.&uot;