Furr driving for championship

Published 5:00 am Monday, August 7, 2006

Wesson’s Perry Katherine Furr is looking forward to thisweekend’s Mississippi/Louisiana Junior Golf Championship. It willbe played on her home course, the Brookhaven Country Club.

The 36-hole event is sanctioned by the Gulf States Junior GolfAssociation and the Mississippi Junior Golf Association.

“There are basically two junior tours,” said Brookhaven CountryClub manager and PGA professional Ronny Ross. “I’m combining thebest of the two tours in the final event of the year.”

Last year, 110 golfers participated in the 2-day tournament.Ross anticipates a record turnout. Action begins Saturday morningat 7:30.

Players 6-18 years of age will be competing. The players areplaced in flights, ages 6-9, 10-12, 12-13, 14-15, and 16-18. Fouror five girls will participate in a separate flight.

Furr, a 16-year-old junior at Wesson High School, is among thebest young golfers in the Magnolia State. She recently won theFirst Flight in the Mississippi Women’s State Amateur, played atthe Castlewoods Golf Club in Brandon.

“I’m a lot more comfortable playing here,” said Furr. “It’sreally a short course,” measuring 6,319 yards and playing to a parof 70. “All but one par 5 you can reach in two. There are a lot ofbirdie opportunities.”

Furr recently made a strong showing in a women’s tournament,featuring teams from Mississippi, Louisiana and Arkansas. Furr’steam beat Arkansas and finished second to Louisiana at theAlexandria Country Club. She lost by one stroke to 15-year-oldKendal Ardoin, the Louisiana state women’s champion.

“I was mad about that (loss) but I still played pretty good,”said Furr. “(Ardoin) is a very good golfer.”

This weekend, Furr expects her strongest competition to comefrom Erica Payton of Madison. She is the daughter of Jackson StateUniversity golf coach Eddie Payton.

“My favorite holes are No. 6 and No. 16,” said Furr. “They areeasy par 5s. I once eagled both of them in one round.”

During the school year, Payton and Furr finished second andthird respectively in the MHSAA Girls State Tournament at PatrickFarms Golf Club in Pearl.

On the local scene, Jacob Ross, Jennings Mills, James MichaelPatti, Austin Mills, Hunter Hood and Warren Hood are entered. TheHoods play on Wesson’s high school team.

“We have real good golfers in our local group,” said RonnyRoss.

This summer his 11-year-old son has been playing up a division.He’s competing against 12 and 13-year-olds.

“Jacob has done well playing against older competition,” saidhis father. “I’m proud of his accomplishments.”

The tournament’s main sponsors are Entergy and Trustmark Bank.Tournament play begins Saturday morning at 7:30.

Ross said last year’s tournament went exceptionally well. Thereare bonuses for entering the tournament. Last year each entrantreceived a new pair of Nike golf shoes.

This year a Nike 56-degree wedge is being sponsored.

“The players are receiving a $100 gift,” said Ross. “Everybodyleaves here with a smile on their face.”

Ross said all the hotels in town are already booked. “It will begood for the community.”