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Golf gives you good, bad days

No, it wasn’t the end of the world. The sun did rise Thursdaymorning.

On a sunshine-filled Wednesday, a dark cloud followedBrookhaven’s golf team around the Brookhaven Country Club.Thankfully, there were no lightning bolts involved, just misfortuneon top of bogey, double bogey and triple bogey.

Arrrrrrrrrgh! Charlie Brown’s exclamation of frustration wasevident in the Class 4A State Golf Tournament. Fans, parents andeven a sports editor grimaced as the Panthers struggled through thesecond round.

Visions of a state championship had danced in their headsTuesday night. The Panthers led the 14-team field by one strokeafter the opening round. They confidently believed Round Two wouldproduce better scores, perhaps even a par-buster.

Call it state tournament pressure. Golf is a mental game. Someexperts call it 90 percent mental and 10 percent physical. Whilethe host Panthers wilted, other teams picked it up a notch.

Many PGA professionals will tell you they would rather trail theleader by a few strokes rather than carry the lead into the finalround. Depends on who’s in the lead.

There’s always next year. Four of Brookhaven’s top five playersreturn so optimism reigns supreme. Steve Huey did a good jobcoaching them in his first-year at the helm. Huey maintains aregimented practice routine.

BCC PGA professional Ronny Ross, assistant Jay O’Hern and otherstaff members did an outstanding job hosting the state tournamentfor a second straight year. There was praise from all sides,coaches and players.

Tournament medalist Greg Gowen of Oxford shot a 3-under68-69–137. Gowen, a University of South Alabama scholarshipsignee, said he enjoyed playing the course.

Gowen doesn’t belong to a country club or golf club in Oxford.He plays a variety of courses in the Lafayette County area.Obviously, he enjoys the game.

“There were no complaints,” said Ross, reviewing the 2-daytournament. He congratulated the golfers for their efforts at theawards ceremony. He also invited them and their families to visitagain and play another round of golf.

Brookhaven is a great location for a state tournament. It iscentrally located. There are plenty of motel rooms and restaurantsavailable. Certainly, the state tournament is good for the localeconomy.

During the 2-day tournament we introduced photographer JoelBonner to some of the intricacies involved in shooting a golftournament. Try to be as obscure as possible. Don’t distract thegolfers.

In other words, don’t rip a velcro strap, cough, sneeze, pop atop or talk loudly during a player’s backswing. Also turn off allbeepers and cell phones. If the players ask you to move out oftheir line of vision, move.

Bonner, a freshman at Copiah-Lincoln Community College, wasfascinated by the wide variety of putters used by the golfers. Theycame in all shapes and sizes.

You know the saying, “Drive for show. Putt for dough.”

I tried to explain the special bond formed between a golfer andhis putter. Really, it’s the most important club in the bag. Oftentaken for granted, that putter can save you a bundle ofstrokes.

Golfers of all ages need to spend more time on the putting greenand working on their short game in general. It’s a lot moreimportant than driving the ball 300 yards down the fairway.

Lady Panthers win South 4A

Congratulations to the Brookhaven girls on winning the SouthMississippi Class 4A Track Meet at Biloxi. The Lady Panthers wereled by senior Kenyatta Coleman who won the 200 and 400-meterruns.

Shalecia Trunner won the 300 high hurdles for Brookhaven. TheBHS 400 relay team, composed of Coleman, Trunner, Alicia Hawkinsand Joanna McDaniel, also prevailed as the Lady Panthers amassed 82points to outdistance runner-up West Jones with 68.

In the boys division, Brookhaven finished fourth with 39 points.St. Stanislaus won it with 97 points and McComb was runner-up with94 1/2. Jim Hill was third with 50.

Junior Jimmy Johns paced the Panthers with a victory in thediscus, throwing the platter 157-7.

Brookhaven, coached by Patrick Hardy and Rod Henderson,participates in the 4A state track meet Friday at Hughes Field inJackson.

Diamond Dust: A large crowd is expected tonightat Moyer Field as the Panthers host the West Jones Mustangs in GameOne of the South State 4A Championship Series. Game time is 7 p.m.The concession stand folks are working overtime and stocking up onsoft drinks, hotdogs and sausages.

Game Two will be Saturday at West Jones, starting at 1 p.m. Athird game, if necessary, would be played Monday night atBrookhaven, starting at 7.

BHS head football coach Tucker Peavey said a fund-raising fishfry will be held Monday on King Field, starting at 5:30 p.m. Ascrimmage also is scheduled that afternoon.

On Tuesday, May 11, BHS athletic awards will be presented duringa ceremony at the Brookhaven/Lincoln County Multi-Use Facility,starting at 6 p.m.