APT professional tournament concludes

Published 12:05 am Saturday, September 23, 2017

NATCHEZ — Today marks the final day of the Magnolia Bluffs Casino Classic, a professional golf tournament at Beau Pré Country Club.

The club has hosted a full week of festivities, beginning Monday with a pro-am team shootout, continuing into Tuesday with a long-drive contest and nine-hole, pro-am tournament, and featuring the main tournament that kicked off Wednesday.

Though the country club has hosted the tournament on and off since 1992, this year marks the first time bringing the Adams Pro Tour to town, APT Tour Director Kris Neal said.

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“It’s been a really good week,” she said. “The course and the volunteers have been really good hosts for us. The town has really welcomed us here.

“It’s going to be a good finish. We’ve got a lot of guys that can still win at this point, so (Saturday) morning is going to be a really good test to golf.”

Beau Pré golf pro Bobby McCrimmon agreed that volunteers played a large role in the week’s events.

The 127 APT golfers entered the field for the tournament, with many of the golfers coming from other countries. Even after cut day, 53 golfers remain in the tournament heading into the fourth and final round, including foreign players from Australia, South Africa, Brazil, France and Canada in addition to the 48 Americans.

“We had a very large field,” McCrimmon said. “Everybody has been real complimentary of the conditions of the course, and of the staff and of the tournament as a whole. I think it’s gone very well so far.”

With the large field, the volunteers’ role becomes important, McCrimmon said. He said that many of the golf course’s members, and even some nonmembers, provided housing to the golfers.

“Quite a few of our members have stepped up to volunteer and have actually donated a bedroom, or bedrooms, at their homes,” he said. “We do have other volunteers who are not members. The community has really stepped up here and made things run a whole lot smoother.”

McCrimmon added that the tournament injects some life into the community by bringing in outsiders for the tournament.

“Between the housing that our members donated, you’ve got hotels, the restaurants — I mean, it’s been a big impact for the whole community, because some of the players brought family.

“It’s been a good thing for Natchez.”

McCrimmon said the tournament dealt with a few lightning delays Wednesday and Thursday, and he hopes the weather will hold out for today’s finale.

The APT lists the total prize purse for the event at more than $116,000, with the winner guaranteed a minimum of $20,000.