• 70°

Hart’s 68 sparkles in Sr. State Am

Lou Hart of Meridian made her debut in the 18th AnnualMississippi Women’s Golf Association Senior State AmateurTournament a day to remember. Hart shot a tournament-best,2-under-par 68 Tuesday at the Brookhaven Country Club, placing her10 strokes ahead of her closest challenger in the First Flight.

Today’s final round started at 9 a.m. Hart, who recently turned50, led a trio of challengers. Peggy Benandi was second with afirst round 78. Mary Hays shot 79 and Pat Ellis 81.

Hart’s opening round featured four birdies and two bogeys. “Twoof my birdie putts were miraculous,” said Hart, referring tolong-distance putts. “I was tickled to death. This golf course isvery intimidating. You have to play this golf course smart.”

Sissy Kern of Madison, the 2-time defending champion, struggledto an 85 Monday. “It was just a bad day at the golf course,” saidKern who once had relatives living in Brookhaven. “You just need toplay smart on this course.

“I’ve got to pull the right sticks (clubs) tomorrow,” shecontinued. “I’ve got to shoot 27 strokes better,” to match Hart’sopening score.

Hart, the golf coach at Meridian Community College, said sheplays conservatively. “I hit it straight and I keep it in playpretty much. I can put my game in perspective.”

Kern agreed. “Lou has a great short game. She’s tremendous withthe wedge.”

Kern was in today’s Second Flight, trailing a group of fourwomen who shot 84 yesterday. The quartet included Mary Duval,Merlyn Tyler, Kay Simmons and Ellen Walker.

Marsha Barbour and Charlene Hughes led the Third Flight at 85.Helen McIntosh, Judy Smith and Donna Gaulding led the Fourth Flightwith 90s.

In the Fifth Flight, Skip Dews, Gladys Wilson and Rachel Patelead at 92. Joyce Burks leads the Sixth Flight with a 94.

Christal Fritzsching and Joy May lead the Seventh Flight at 97.The Eighth Flight is led by Penny Fields at 101. Theda Berry leadsthe Ninth Flight at 106.

Seventy women from across the Magnolia State are participatingin the 2-day tournament. Sharon Alexander of Wesson shot 85 Tuesdayand was one stroke behind in the Second Flight.

MWGA president-elect Maxine Walker complimented the BrookhavenCountry Club and general manager/PGA professional Ronny Ross forhis hospitality at Tuesday night’s awards banquet. “We appreciateRonny and his assistant (Jay O’Hern) for all their work in makingthis tournament a success.”

Ross received a plaque of appreciation from the MWGA.

Hart was presented the Senior Medalist Trophy last night. TheTeam Championship Trophy went to Pat Ellis and Peggy Fernandez ofPass Christian Isles after shooting a 159.

Beth Tucker of Brookwood Country Club in Byram won the PuttingTrophy with 27 putts in the opening round. She also received theSuper Senior Trophy, reserved for golfers over 60 years of age.