First Cathedral Fall Festival in 20 years

Published 12:12 am Sunday, September 13, 2009

NATCHEZ — It had been 20 years since the last Cathedral Fall Festival Golf Scramble was held. Back then, it was held over two days at two different golf courses — Duncan Park and the old Belwood Country Club.

This year, the four-man scramble (with a couple of five-man teams) took place in just one day at one golf course — Beau Pré Country Club. And that was due in large part because of the effort of Cathedral Fall Festival chairman Regan White and co-chairman Gary Farmer.

Sixteen teams participated in the renewal of this tournament, with the Dr. Kumi team of Dr. Kofi Kumi, Mike Cook, Akeem West and Bill McKenzie taking first place with a round of 19-under-par 53.

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“It was a team effort. Everybody played well,” Dr. Kumi said. “We all contributed.”

“He (Dr. Kumi) made most of the putts. When he didn’t make a putt, we covered up for him,” McKenzie said. “It was really a total team effort. Mike said it best when he said this was the best team effort he’s been a part of.”

The winning team didn’t have a single par on its scorecard, finishing with 17 birdies and an eagle on the par-5 18th hole.

“Akeem knocked it on the green in two and we made the putt for him,” McKenzie said.

Trey Dickey, Mel Beltzhoover, Wesley Rogers and Jason Rooks — Team Dickey — had to wait and see if any team was going to finish ahead of them after taking the clubhouse lead at 18-under-par 54. Team Dickey ended up having to wait over a half an hour before Dr. Kumi’s team finished its round and ended up in second place.

“We had 16 birdies and an eagle on No. 5. It was a team effort,” Rogers said. “We all played good at different times. The course played great. The fairways were a little soft, but we’re used to that.”

Third place went to the Natchez Path Lab team of Bill Lambert, Jeff Anderson, Tommy Geoghean and Tom Matthews, which shot a 16-under-par 56.

“We played pretty well. We dropped the ball on a couple of holes,” Lambert said. “Tom and Jeff played well. Everybody contributed. We played about as well as we could. The conditions were a little difficult with it being wet and a little windy. We had 16 birdies and two pars.”

As for the Cathedral Fall Festival Scramble itself, Tim McCann said it was a tradition that used to be at Cathedral.

“This year, the chairmen, Gary Farmer and Regan White, decided to bring the tradition back to Cathedral. We haven’t had a golf scramble in 20 years,” he said.

McCann noted that next year the tournament will be held in either mid- or late-July. He added that the timing for this year’s tournament was bad because of football season.

“Tom (Bryant) let us have it this year. Great host out here. Everybody’s super nice,” McCann said. “All the proceeds go to Cathedral School. Fall Festivals offset the cost of education.”

“Regan is the chairman and I’m co-chairman,” Farmer said. “Thank the Lord the rain held off. It’s been a great event. This is just the start of the Cathedral Fall Fest. Next weekend is the tennis tournament at Duncan Park. We’ll have a super Fall Festival event starting Oct. 3-4. It’ll be a fun-filled family event for all of Natchez.”