United Way Scramble draws 55 golfers

Published 12:05 pm Saturday, April 21, 2007

Fifty-five area golfers converged on Beau Pré Country Club for an afternoon of food, fun and golf to raise money for the United Way of the Greater Miss-Lou.

Once play was done Friday afternoon — well, almost done with one team still on the course over a half an hour after the other 13 teams had completed their rounds — two teams were tied with scores of 18-under-par 54.

The AmSouth Bank team of Adrian Sandel, Wade Heatherly, Chad Huber and Jay Lessley ended up winning the 14th annual United Way Golf Scramble on a scorecard playoff with a birdie on No. 15, the third playoff hole.

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“We had a great round. Everything was clicking,” Heatherly said. “We had great iron shots into the green, which set up great birdie putts. We had two huge eagle putts on 10 and 18.”

And it had not been for a key putt for eagle that dropped in the hole on the par-5 18th , they would have had to go another scorecard playoff, only it would have been for second and third place.

“We were on the par-5’s in two. The difference was the two eagle putts,” Heatherly said.

Heatherly said that playing for an organization that makes a the kind of impact that the United Way of the Greater Miss-Lou does makes it “our desire to play well.”

“It’s a wonderful cause,” Heatherly said. “United Way spends its money locally.”

The Isle of Capri team of Jack Sours, Jose Oakley, Willie Richardson and Mike Gemmell had the clubhouse lead for a while until AmSouth carded its 54 and ended up in second place because of a par on No. 15.

“We were just putting real well,” Sours, vice president and general manager of the Isle of Capri in Natchez, said. “We just had a good time. It just all seemed to click really well for us. Willie’s a good player. Jose’s a good player”

The Isle of Capri team finished with 16 birdies, one par and an eagle on No. 10. Oakley made the eagle putt from off the fringe about 30 feet away from the hole.

But as Sours noted, this outing wasn’t about the golf. It was about the United Way.

“The Isle of Capri is happy to help the United Way,” Sours said. “It’s a wonderful organization. They do great things for the Sunshine Shelter and the food pantry. We’re happy to be here and help them raise some money. We’re going to give them $5,000.”

Kathy Stephens, chief professional officer with the United Way of the Greater Miss-Lou, said the goal for this year’s golf scramble was to raise $25,000.

“I think we’re very close to that,” Stephens said. “Wonderful United Way supporters. The Isle of Capri does a wonderful job for the community. Most major companies are here. All the hospitals, all the banks. We have our United Way youth members here. We couldn’t have ordered a better day.”

The Energy Drilling team of David Cothren, Jody Helbling, Tom Matthews and Mel Beltzhoover, who won this event last year, fell just short of repeating with a round of 17-under-par 55, good enough for third place.

“We did good,” Helbling said. “Lucky 13, the par-3, got us. We parred it. It was a pretty day. We want to thank Energy Drilling for sponsoring us.”

Jake Middleton, a member of the United Mississippi Bank team, won the trophy for closest to the pin. Plez West, playing on the Natchez Regional team, won the trophy for longest drive.