2024 MGA Season Kicks Off at Rain Shortened 2-Person Scramble

2024 MGA Season Kicks Off at Rain Shortened 2-Person Scramble

March 19, 2024

BRANDON, Miss. — The 2024 Mississippi Golf Association season got off to a soggy start at Castlewoods Country Club over the weekend.

The season kicked off Saturday with the 2-Person Scramble, a staple on the MGA annual circuit. Men’s, women’s and mixed team trophies were up for grabs as well as the obvious bragging rights that come with a buddy team competition.

The event was called early into round 2 as Castlewoods CC did everything it could to deflect the nearly three inches of rain that fell in Brandon between Friday and Sunday. However, the heavens stayed closed long enough for a beautiful day of golf on Saturday, allowing 18 holes of near-perfect conditions.

Taking the most advantage of the weather during Saturday’s first round was the men’s team of Josh Martin and Watt Whatley. The duo ham and egged their way around Castlewoods to near perfection, carding a 13-under, 59. 

Team Martin/Whatley pitched a near-perfect game on the front nine, seeing just one par on their card through the first nine holes. Opening the back side with a par on the par 4 10th, the pair rattled off three straight birdies to get themselves to 11 under par with five holes to go. Tacking on two more birdies on hole Nos. 15 and 17, their 59 was good for a three-stroke lead, and subsequently, the win.

Rounding out the podium in the men’s championship flight were the teams of Kevin Brady / Mason McKay and Ed Wall / Bryce Wilkinson both of which finished at 10-under par.

Women’s Division

Former collegiate teammates April Leonard and Maddy Malley teamed back up at Castlewoods to take home a share of the women’s division title.

The former William Carey teammates rode a three-under back nine to the lead with a 69.

Joining them atop the leaderboard were the longtime MGA standouts Shannon Adams and Sheila Haynes. Adams and Haynes trailed by a stroke heading into the final two holes on Saturday, using a birdie on the par 5 17th to take a share of the lead into what was supposed to be Sunday’s final round.

With the course rendered unplayable, both teams split medalist honors. Kandace Stringer and Terri Wheeler took home third place with a 1 under 71.

Mixed Team Division

Hattiesburg natives Paige Phillips and Sid Smith teamed up in the mixed team division, taking the championship honors with a 3 under 69. The duo scrambled well, netting four birdies to just one bogey to claim their win.

Men’s Flight 1

A handful of teams were unable to separate themselves Saturday, making it a five-way tie for the lead in the men’s first flight. Ricky Irby / Stephen Olier, Jeff Bruce / Robert Rupnik, Kody Esco / Jeb Stuart, Brian Gates / Josh Oller, and Ryan Burt / Corey Ruffin all carded matching rounds of 6 under, 66.

Men’s Flight 2

A three-way split in the second men’s flight saw matching 69s out of the following teams: TJ Holtsinger / Jeff Mylar, Zack Keup / Paul Mcphail and Chan Henry / Tommy Morgan. Taking a share of fourth place was former MLB star Corey Dickerson and his partner Will Dottley alongside the father/son duo of Billy and Tyler Butts.

The MGA is set to tee it up once again this week, this time at Hattiesburg Country Club for the Senior 4-Ball (March 22-24). The event is the first 54-hole championship of the season.