Natchez hosts Magnolia Bluffs Casino Classic March 6-12

Published 11:00 pm Saturday, February 13, 2016

Professional golf returns to Natchez as the Magnolia Bluffs Casino Classic presented by Taco Bell will be played at Beau Pre Country Club March 6-12.

The tournament is part of the Swing Thought Tour.

Swing Thought Tour president Robin Waters said the tour is excited to be heading back to Natchez.

“There is more history to this event in Natchez than any other we do,” Waters said. “I really want to thank (tournament chairman) Woody Allen and his folks for their incredible efforts. It’s going to be a great tournament and great week of activities. Beau Pre is an excellent venue. The golfers will be playing for more than $120,000 and an exemption for an upcoming Web.com event. This should make for one of our best weeks ever and we are also happy to join in on Natchez’s 300th birthday celebration this year and offer the city our congratulations, as well as the 200th birthday of the Natchez Children’s Home, which has been a long-time partner and friend of the tour.”

Allen said he is very excited, as well, to have the tournament back.

“If you really like golf, it starts here,” Allen said. “A number of these players will move up to the Web.com Tour next year. We’ve had successful pros such as Joe Durant, Charlie Rymer, Craig Perks and others play in Natchez.

Practice rounds will be held March 7. A pairings party is scheduled for 6 p.m. that night.

On Tuesday, practice rounds will begin at 7:30 a.m.

The pro-am lunch and registration will be at 10:30 a.m., followed by the long drive contest at 11 a.m., Taco Bell Pro-Am at noon and Pro-Am Awards Reception and Dinner at 5 p.m.

The first round will tee off at 8 a.m. on March 9, followed by the same tee times for Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The awards ceremony is set for 2 p.m. on Saturday.

“We’re excited about the golf tour coming back and honored to be a part of it,” said Magnolia Bluffs Casino Marketing Director Maggie Fromm. “We have blocked off some rooms for events for the golfers. This is an exciting time for Natchez and a great event.”

The Swing Thought is the largest and longest running professional developmental tour in the United State (28 years), and is recognized as the No. 1 professional developmental tour in the U.S. in preparing for life on the PGA and Web.com Tours.

The Magnolia Bluffs NGA Tour was held at Beau Pre three years ago. Ryan Blaum, who is currently on the Web.Com Tour, won the event.

The purse for the tournament is $120,000.

Past members of the tour include Bubba Watson, Keegan Bradley, Stewart Cink, Lucas Glover, Ben Curtis, Lee Janzen, Zach Johnson and David Toms.

Patton Kizzire, who has finished in the top 10 at three PGA Tour events this season, won the shootout three years ago at Beau Pre.

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