Local to play in Mississippi Cup Matches

Published 11:38 pm Thursday, October 22, 2009

NATCHEZ — Duncan Park golf course superintendent Greg Brooking will be representing Natchez as he will participate in the 2009 Mississippi Cup Matches this weekend at Colonial Country Club in Jackson.

This will be the first time Brooking will be playing in this event, which he said has gone on for more than 15 years. He will be one of 16 amateurs on the Mississippi Golf Association team that is captained by George Hinman.

“I’m excited about playing for the state of Mississippi. I get to represent Natchez. I’m the only one representing Natchez,” Brooking said. “Hopefully in the future, more golfers from Natchez will qualify for this.”

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Among those players he would like to see eventually qualify and possibly play in such a prestigious tournament are Casey Ham, who participated in the 2003 Mississippi Cup as an amateur, Jordan Farmer, Bill Byrne and K.G. Watkins.

“Madison and Jackson have a tremendous number of players on the team. I’d like to see four or five from Natchez on the team,” Brooking said.

While Brooking will be just the second amateur from Natchez to play in the Mississippi Cup Matches, two golf pros from Natchez played in this event in 2005 — Tom Bryant and Mark Powell.

The Mississippi Cup Matches pits the top 16 amateurs (MGA) against the top 16 pros from Mississippi PGA. All 32 players are from Mississippi.

“You qualify the year before. I qualified last year for this year,” Brooking said. “You qualify by how you place in the state tournaments — the Mississippi Open, State Amateur, State Match Play Championship, State Mid-Amateur. There’s eight tournaments. The higher you place, the more points you get. They take the top five seniors, the top eight regular amateurs and three captain’s picks.”

The format is that of the Ryder Cup. The four-ball matches start at 7:30 a.m. Saturday. The foursome matches start at 12:30 p.m. Saturday. The singles matches are scheduled to start at approximately 8 a.m. Sunday.

Brooking will team with Rob Rupnik in the third four-ball match Saturday morning, and then will be paired up with Hinman in the second foursome match Saturday afternoon.