Roommates look ahead to week in Natchez, Natchez Golf Classic at Beau Pré Country Club

Published 3:17 pm Monday, July 19, 2021

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NATCHEZ — Roommates Greta Isabella Voelker and Jacquelyn Eleey chipped golf balls after a practice round at Beau Pré Country Club Monday afternoon. They are playing in the Natchez Golf Classic with the Women’s All Pro Tour.

Players compete in the Women’s All Pro Tour, two steps below the LPGA Tour, to move up to the Symetra Tour, Voelker said. Eleey and her got into Natchez yesterday and started settling in for the tournament with two practice rounds, she said.

“It was good. I played nine holes yesterday and nine holes today,” Voelker said. “It is a nice course with pretty hard greens. It will be interesting. I am excited to play this week.”

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Coming into the tournament, Greta is in seventh place for the Race to Stage II rankings. Before her first round Tuesday, she plans to practice and rest. Listening to music allows her to keep focus and listen to any genre ranging from rap to country, hip-hop and pop, she said.

A University of Texas graduate, Voelker is from Witten, Germany. She is playing in her first year on the WAPT. A Georgetown University graduate, Eleey is from Quincy, Massachusetts. She is playing on her third year on the WAPT.

Together, they live in a condo in Orlando, Florida. As friends, they can support each other through the highs and lows of playing on a qualifying tour. Heading into the tournament, Eleey said she had not been scoring well but felt confident before Tuesday’s round.

“My mind is in a good spot,” Eleey said. “You are going to have some good days and bad days. You have to try and keep a good perspective. We have a lot of fun on tour. If you play a bad round, you take your 20 minutes to get over it, and then we get dinner together. We have a lot of fun out here. (Greta and I) play a lot together. We get competitive, but we also support each other.”

Before this tournament, the tour made stops in Paris, Texas, Texarkana, Arkansas and Hot Springs, Arkansas. Summertime in the southern states is different than summertime in Witten, Voelker said.

“Everywhere we play, it is hot. In Natchez, it is a different kind of hot,” Voelker said. “It is humid here, and there is not a lot of breezes. In Germany, we have all four seasons. It gets hot there but not like this.”

Their home course, ChampionsGate Golf Course in Orlando, Florida, prepares the golfers for heat and humidity, Eleey said.

Beau Pre’s course is in good shape, Eleey said before a thunderstorm rolled through the area Monday afternoon. Greens were rolling solid, and if players could keep their ball in play, they should have a fun week, she said.

Voelker said they have fun when they are not playing because of the places they go. In Hot Springs, she said she was able to go to the spa houses there. Their host home in Natchez is cool, she said. Eleey is staying in the same home as Greta.

“We are staying in a house off of Main Street,” Eleey said. “It is just beautiful, and it has character. I think the house was built in 1807. I’m looking forward to a great week in Natchez.”

Golfers tee off in the first round beginning at 8 a.m. Admission is free and open to the public. The tournament will finish Friday with the tournament purse expected to be $50,000 with $9,000 going to the winner.