NGA Pro Tour lands at Natchez, Beau Pré

Published 7:00 pm Thursday, June 6, 2013

The Beau Pré Country Club in Natchez rolls out the red carpet next month for the National Golf Association’s Professional Golf Tour. The Pro Series event is scheduled for July 8-14. Bring your sunscreen, hat, sunglasses and a canteen full of ice water.

The Magnolia Bluffs Casino Invitational will be the Tour’s first trip back to Natchez since 1998 when Scott Fawcett took the crown. Next month’s event will include a field of 162 touring professionals, competing for their share of a $150,000 purse, with over $20,000 going to the winner.

Participants from across the United States and the world are expected to compete.

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A participant with Mississippi ties is Kyle Ellis of Tunica. Ellis, who played college golf for Ole Miss, has made over $180,000 in earnings the past four seasons.

Jonathan Randolph, NGA Co-Rookie of the Year, is from Brandon and Ole Miss. He earned All-Nicklaus honors in 2010. He won the last two tournaments of 2012.

“A lot of guys on this tour are college All-Americans,” Natchez businessman Woody Allen pointed out. “We are looking forward to the event. A lot of the stars today came up through this tour. It’s going to be a great show.”

Allen was instrumental in bringing the Tour to Natchez.

Beau Pre’ is an 18-hole, par-72 course, measuring 7,018 yards in length from the men’s black tee. It also has hosted the Mississippi Women’s Golf State Championship.

This year’s event will benefit the Natchez Children’s Home. It provides family counseling and therapeutic counseling for children in need of those services.

The NGA Pro Golf Tour is the only Tour in the nation besides the PGA Tour to offer a full week of activities. It provides pros with a free practice rounds, beverages and snacks. There is a paid participant pro-am and long drive contests for the pros.

NGA Pro Tour president Robin L. Waters praised the Beau Pre’ facility. “I am excited to be returning to Natchez and to be playing at such a top-notch facility. The players are going to love the course and the community. It will be a first-class event on a first-class golf course.”

Some of the NGA alumni include 2012 Masters Champion Bubba Watson, 2011 PGA Championship winner Keegan Bradley, 2010 PGA Tour Player of the year and 2003 U.S. Open champion Jim Furyk, 2009 British Open champion Stewart Cink, 2009 U.S. Open champion Lucas Glover and 2007 Masters champion Zach Johnson.

For more information on the NGA or the NGA Pro Golf Tour, visit the website: or contact the Tour Office at 1-800-992-8748.

Brookhaven Academy product and Ole Miss signee Jacob Ross will be among the golfers chasing the Mississippi State Amateur championship this weekend at Grand Bear Golf Course in Gautier. Ross teed off at 10 a.m. today.

Longtime golfer Jeff Henning noted that Ross is the second Brookhaven resident to sign a golf scholarship with Ole Miss. Former BHS standout Bill Pullen played for the Rebels in the mid 1970s.

Co-Lin sophomore Corbin May also will be in the State Am field. May, from Saltillo, helped the Wolfpack win the MACJC State Tournament championship. He earned medalist honors in the state and region tournaments.

In the NJCAA Division II National Championship at Goose Pond Colony in Scottsboro, Ala. two weeks ago, May finished tied for 28th. He shot a 3-under par 69 in the opening round but struggled through the next three rounds of the tournament.

Of course, “struggle” is a vague term. Most golfers would be delighted to shoot a 4-round total of 69-76-72-79-296.

May was 16 strokes behind tourney champ David Keenan of Parkland, Ill.

The Brookhaven Country Club’s annual 4-Ball Tournament is this weekend and a large turnout is expected. The $250 entry fee per team coveres two rounds of golf, including a cart; Friday practice round green fee, closest-to-the-pin prizes, lunch both days, with complimentary drinks and water on the course.

The tournament is limited to the first 80 teams to register. To register, contact the BCC pro shop at 601-833-6841.

Contact sports editor Tom Goetz by e-mail: