Junior golfers come to town

Published 12:01 am Tuesday, July 10, 2012

NATCHEZ — Junior golfers from all over the state will descend upon Natchez July 23 for the Norman Puckett Memorial Championship.

The tournament is open to all players under 17 years of age, and Duncan Park golf pro Greg Brooking said he expects the competition to be stiff.

“I’d say this is one of the major championships for juniors that is an 18-hole (tournament),” Brooking said. “It’s a big tournament that’s statewide, and the quality of players is equal to what you would see in (the adult Natchez City Championship).”

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Brooking said approximately 35 players have signed up so far, but none are from Natchez.

“We think we’ll have two or three golfers from Natchez,” he said. “The caliber of golfer you need to be to play in this tournament is pretty high up there. With the junior program we have now, we will develop children that will be playing in this tournament more often.”

Boys 12 and older and girls 13-18 will play 18-hole, stroke-play tournaments. Boys under 12 and girls under 13 will play nine-hole tournaments.

Brooking said this tournament is a big deal for the top golfers in the state.

“This is a state tournament,” he said. “It brings in people from all over the state, and the juniors acquire points for the state junior cup team.”

Brooking said the champion in the past two years has finished with an even-par score of 71.

Brooking said it is an honor for Duncan Park to host the tournament.

“Kids all over the state have parents that drive here, stay in our hotels, eat food in our restaurants and buy our gas,” he said.

Brooking said he hopes the tournament will continue to grow and eventually become a 36-hole contest.

Local golfers can register at the Duncan Park pro shop for $40. Players can also print the registration form online at www.missgolf.org/normanpuckett. Registration and entry fees can be mailed to: Duncan Park Golf Course, 57 Duncan Park Rd. Natchez, MS 39120. Call 601-442-5955 for more information.

An additional $10 will be charged for entries received after July 17.