Golf tournament to benefit Relay for Life

Published 12:08 am Wednesday, February 24, 2010

NATCHEZ — Although the Cliff Merritt annual Invitational Golf Tournament isn’t until April, tournament officials are urging people to have their registrations in by March 1.

The 72-person tournament will be divided into two teams of 36: the black knickers team and the khaki knickers team. Because the knickers have to be custom-made, partner Howard Jones said they needed to have registration sheets submitted by next Monday.

“This tournament is the brainchild of Bill Hurt, and he and Cliff played a lot of golf together,” Jones said. “When they’d play golf, they’d wear knickers.”

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The tournament will be held at Beau Pre Country Club, and proceeds for the April 16 event will help fund cancer research, Jones said.

“This goes towards the Relay for Life fundraiser that goes on here every year. We have a lot of sponsors and a lot of people who have donated.”

The slogan for the event is “A tournament as unique as the man,” and Jones said there’s good reason behind choosing such words.

“Cliff is a unique guy, and that’s why we came up with the title,” Jones said. “We did game broadcasts for the Trinity Sports Network, so Cliff’s a good friend of mine.

“He has a very upbeat and uplifting personality, and always looks at the positive side of things,” Jones said. “He just has a really positive affect on people around him.”

Jones said he has about 43 people signed up already, and hopes to fill things out by next week.

“That’s pretty good for this area. It’s hard to get people to sign up ahead of time for a tournament, especially one that’s one to two months out, but it’s filling up fast. I would encourage people to go ahead and sign up. It’s going to be a lot of fun for a great cause.”

Jones said people wanting a registration sheet could reach him by phone at 601-431-1285, or by e-mail at He also said a copy of the registration sheet can be picked up at Beau Pre Country Club.