Natchez locals claim amateur golf title in Oregon

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 20, 2018

Natchez locals Greg Brooking and Bill Byrne took a trip to Bandon, Ore., last week hoping to have a little more baggage on their return trip to Mississippi.

The duo got their wish as they claimed the Senior Division Two-Man Links Championship Monday at the Bandon Dunes Golf Resort.

The pair golfed a 72-hole ,four-day event and overcame a host of poor conditions to claim the title.

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“It was the single greatest golf experience I’ve ever had in my life,” Brooking said. “We just love the game and really want to make Natchez known. It really helped that we won.”

Brooking and Byrne began the tournament shooting four over par to end the first day. Brooking said adjusting to a new course was one of the biggest challenges.

“We were in like sixth or seventh place,” he said. “We were right up against the Pacific Ocean and I had no idea how hard the wind was going to be coming off the ocean.”

Brooking and Byrne made a comeback in the second round to finish in second place overall, followed by a rain-out on Day 3.

“We set a resolve and got down to playing good golf,” Brooking said.

The Natchez duo then outlasted the leaders on the final day to finish with a score of 70 on Day 4.

The pair was the only one to finish under par, and it marks the first time a team from Mississippi has ever won an tournament.

Brooking noted how special the honor was to share with Byrne.

“It’s what we practice for,” he said. “To meet the people, battle those conditions and to win with one of my best friends, it was great. I’ve known Bill all my life, and I hope everyone gets to experience something like that.”

Brooking and Byrne defeated a senior field of between 20 and 30 teams.