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Jr. golf showcase set Aug. 6-7, BCC

Brookhaven Country Club PGA professional Ronny Ross had abrainstorm. Why not host a junior golf tournament, featuring thetop young players from Mississippi and Louisiana.

Ross will see his dream realized next weekend when the firstMS/LA Junior Championship takes place, Aug. 6-7, at the BCC. The2-day tournament is expected to attract well over 100 promisinggolfers from Mississippi and Louisiana.

“Hopefully, we will have around 125 kids playing in it,” saidRoss. “Not only will it be a good deal for us, it will be good forthe local restaurants and hotels. It should be a benefit to thewhole community.”

Ross has two strong sponsors in Entergy and Trustmark Bank. Thetournament entry fee is $80 for golfers age 12-18 and $50 forgolfers age 11 and under. Each golfer will receive a new pair ofNike golf shoes.

The entry fee covers a practice round next Friday plus lunchboth days of the tournament. Trophies will be presented to the topfive places in each division.

The tournament will be flighted by age divisions. 9-under,10-11, 12-13, 14-15 and 16-18. Parents must be present for playersage 11 and under.

It will be a 36-hole, stroke play event next weekend. Golfersage 11-under will play 9 holes each day. Winners of each olderdivision (18 holes per day) will receive a $200 scholarship.

Following a PGA format, golfers will walk the course. Parentswill be allowed to caddy for the 9-under division.

“We have two good sponsors in Entergy and Trustmark,” said Ross.”Nike and Titleist are going to provide support. With their help,we are going to give each kid a new pair of golf shoes.”

Sunday’s final round will conclude around 2:30 p.m.

After the first round, the golfers will be treated to a pizzaand swimming party. Trophies will be presented Sundayafternoon.

According to Ross, two rival organizations should make thetournament more interesting. There are two separate junior tours inthis area. The Gulf States Junior Tour is run by the PGA office.Also available is the Mississippi Junior Golf Association.

“Each one of these tours at the end of the season has a cupmatch,” said Ross. “What they do is put the top three golfers ineach age division on the cup teams.

“Most of the Mississippi kids are in the MJGA while theLouisiana kids are entered mainly in the Gulf States,” saidRoss.

This is the only event this year that both the Gulf States andMJGA are going to sanction. Players will receive points if theyfinish among the top five in their respective divisions.

Ross said it was important for local players to realize thatthey don’t have to be a member of either organization toparticipate in the event. “Just come out and play in thetournament.”

Ambitious area players who don’t belong to the BCC are welcome,too. Entry deadline is Monday, Aug. 1, at 3 p.m.

“We expect to have several local players participate,” saidRoss. Among them are Grant McDonnieal, Jacob Ross, Jennings Mills,Austin Mills and James Michael Patti who are regular junior tourplayers.

“The competition should be keen,” said Ross. “Grant and Jacobwon their respective age divisions in a MJGA tournament in Meridianand Jacob won a state title in Greenwood last weekend.”

McDonnieal, a standout football and baseball player for the OleBrook Panthers’ recent state championship teams, also was teammedalist on the BHS golf squad. He competes in the 16-18 agegroup.

Jacob Ross, age 10, competes in the 10-11 age division. He shot41-43 during the 2-day, 18-hole tournament at Greenwood. He won thetitle with a 1-hole playoff, making par.

Speaking of showcases, the Southwest Mississippi SummerBasketball League Boys Showcase will be held Saturday, July 30, atBrookhaven High School’s Sinclair Gymnasium. BHS coach Ronald Hinessaid action begins at 3 p.m. and three games will be played.

Hines said some of the best players from Louisiana andMississippi will participate. The event is sanctioned by the NCAA,meaning NCAA coaches are allowed to attend and scout the event.

For more info, contact Hines at 601-833-7170 or601-833-7895.

Write to sports editor Tom Goetz, c/o The DAILY LEADER, P.O.BOX 551, Brookhaven, MS 39602 or e-mailsports@dailyleader.com