Brooking, Powell win senior city golf tourney

Published 12:01 am Tuesday, October 30, 2018

NATCHEZ — Greg Brooking didn’t know if he wasn’t even going to play in the 2018 Natchez Senior Men’s & Ladies City Golf Championships at the Duncan Park Golf Course this year.

Brooking, the Duncan Park Golf Course Superintendent, said late Monday morning that there were so many late entries that he had to put one of the players in his spot. But when another player decided to drop out, that opening was left for him.

After shooting an opening-round 2-under-par 69 on Saturday, Brooking was tied for second place with K.G. Watkins and three shots back of Paul Guido in the super senior (60-69) division, as well as Dean Brown, who led the seniors (50-59) division after Day 1.

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Brooking caught fire on Sunday as he shot a bogey-free round of 7-under-par 64 for a two-day total of 133 to not only win the super seniors division, but the overall senior men’s championship by two shots over Pete Powell, who shot 67-68 over the weekend to finish second overall and win the grand masters (70 and older) division.

“Saturday, I wasn’t prepared to play. I didn’t play too good. But I wasn’t that bad,” Brooking said. “Sunday, I came out prepared to play. I knew I was way behind Paul, Pete and Dean. They are really good players.”

As to if he knew he would shoot such a low score on Sunday, Brooking said, “Yeah I did. There’s an old saying that goes ‘nobody shoots low without putting well.’ And that pertains to me.”

Powell said he played well throughout the weekend, but he added that he didn’t pitch or chip as well as he could have.

“I had five birdies and one bogey on Saturday. I had three birdies and no bogeys on Sunday. I played OK,” Powell said. “Overall, my ball striking was good. I had no three-putts. Greg had the course set up where everyone had fun. It wasn’t set up real hard. It was set up for good scoring.”

Guido struggled on Sunday, shooting even-par 71 to end up third overall and second in the super senior division with a two-day score of 137. He wasn’t the only one who couldn’t carry the momentum from Saturday into Sunday. So did Brown, who still won the seniors division by 15 shots, but his final-round 1-over-par 72 put him in fourth overall at 138.

Watkins came in fifth overall and third in the super senior division after firing a final-round 1-under-par 70 to finish at 139. But it was three holes that kept him from having a better overall showing.

“I started off well, but I didn’t finish,” Watkins said. “The front side I was even par with a bogey on No. 8 and No. 9. Had a double bogey on No. 16. Those four strokes – if I played better and more consistently I would’ve had a lower score. But I’m satisfied.”

He said the course played OK. However, he added, “I would’ve liked to have the back side greens a little less sandy.”

Judy Powell was the only female player in the field, meaning all she had to do was play all 36 holes to win yet another ladies city championship. And on the back nine on Sunday, she did so in grand style.

She shot an opening-round 77 and, as Pete said, at one point was 9-over-par after six holes on Sunday and remained that way for her final round after a birdie on No. 7 and a bogey on No. 9. Then something clicked after she made the turn. Judy shot 4-under-par 32 coming in, including two birdies and an eagle on the par-4 11th hole. She ended up firing a final-round 76 for a two-day total of 151.

“On the back side, she started playing better,” Pete said.

For Judy Powell, this was her unprecedented eighth ladies city championship.

And the weather over the weekend could not have been any better for this year’s participants.

“We had a lot of players. Beautiful weekend. Not a cloud in the sky,” Brooking said. “The temperature was great. We played in short pants, which is always a good thing in October.”