PGA junior tournament draws 26 golfers to Natchez

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 29, 2006

NATCHEZ &8212; Twenty-six aspiring golf stars flocked to Beau Pr/ Country Club Tuesday for the first round of the Gulf States PGA Thanksgiving

Junior Classic.

Will Black of Calhoun City and Charles Valluzzo of Baton Rouge took the overall lead, each shooting a 75 on a day of stiff winds and hard greens.

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Holly Jenkins of Boyce, La. leads the girls&8217; 14-18 division, Jacob Ross of Brookhaven leads the boys&8217; 12-13 division and Hannah Schorr of Broussard, La. leads the girls&8217; 10-13 division.

Dwayne David, PGA professional at Beau Pr/, said the tournament has always been a good way to wrap up the golf year.

&8220;We&8217;ve had it the past couple years,&8221; David said. &8220;It&8217;s a good tournament. We have it on the holidays so it gives the kids something to do. It&8217;s a good time, the parents come out and get to spend some time with their kids. It&8217;s a good way to kind of end the season.&8221;

Jackson Bryant, 15, of Natchez, a Trinity 10th-grader, shot an 84 to sit nine shots back of Valluzzo.

&8220;I felt like I did bad,&8221; Bryant said. &8220;I&8217;ve shot a lot better. If I hadn&8217;t four-putt on No. 2 I would&8217;ve done better.&8221;

While Bryant was unhappy with his score, he and several other members of his group all said they enjoyed their round.

&8220;We had the best group, and we had fun,&8221; said Travis Wilmore, 15, of Alexandria, La. We played good, we were all calm and we just had fun. We weren&8217;t joking around or anything, we were serious when we needed to be.&8221;

&8220;We were serious, but we had fun,&8221; said Valluzzo.

While Valluzzo is tied for the lead, he still felt he could have done better.

&8220;I didn&8217;t do great on the front,&8221; he said. &8220;I got more relaxed and had a good time on the back nine. I could&8217;ve done better. I&8217;ve shot a 70 before.&8221;

With a day to go, Bryant was unsure he would be able to catch Valluzzo.

&8220;He&8217;s good,&8221; Bryant said. &8220;He&8217;s a tough player.&8221;

Not only will it be tough for several players to come back to the front of the back, the course conditions have made it even tougher, and with a frost expected this morning, things could be interesting in today&8217;s final round.

&8220;I&8217;ll have to light it up to catch up,&8221; said Don Breaux, 14, of Baton Rouge.