November 25, 2019 - Mississippi Golf Hall of Fame Class of 2020 Announced
Pearl, MS - The Mississippi Golf Association is honored to announce that five individuals have been selected to be inducted into the second class of the Mississippi Golf Hall of Fame. The Mississippi Golf Hall of Fame celebrated its inaugural class in January of this year as it inducted James Ray Carpenter, Cissye Gallagher, Ken Lindsay, Mike Taylor, and Robbie Webb, Sr. to the class of 2019. The Mississippi Golf Hall of Fame recognizes those individuals who have made a profound impact on the game of golf in the Magnolia State. The class of 2020 embodies the core values and honorable traditions of the game of golf. The Mississippi Golf Association and Golf Hall of Fame are honored to announce the class of 2020 and look forward to their induction which will take place on January 18, 2020 at the Country Club of Jackson during the annual Celebration of Golf Dinner.
Tickets and sponsorship opportunities are now available by visiting the Mississippi Golf Association website at www.missgolf.org/celebrationofgolf. We encourage everyone to join us for the Celebration of Golf Dinner as we will remember the tremendous year of golf for Mississippi, recognize our 2019 Champions and Players of the Year, award the Robbie Webb Award for Outstanding Contributions to Junior Golf, and unveil our 2020 Class of the Mississippi Golf Hall of Fame.
Eddie Merrins was born on August 4, 1932 in Meridian, MS and achieved great success as a junior golfer early in his career. Merrins claimed the Mississippi Junior Amateur Championship in 1948 and 1949 while attending Meridian High School where he also won the Mississippi High School State Championship in 1949 and 1950. In 1950 he also claimed the Jacyee National Junior Championship. Merrins signed to play collegiate golf for LSU where he claimed second in the 1952 NCAA Championship, third in the 1954 NCAA Championship, back to back SEC Individual Championships in 1953 and 1954, and led the LSU Tigers to team titles in 1953 and 1954. Continuing upon his Amateur success in Mississippi, Merrins won the State Amateur in ’50, ’53, and ’55 and qualified for the USGA Amateur Championship four consecutive years from ’52 – ’55. He was the New Orleans Invitational Champion in 1954 and the Colonial Invitation Champion in 1955. Following his amateur career, Merrins became a member of the PGA of America in 1961 and has served as the Golf Professional at Bel-Air Country Club in Los Angeles, CA; a role that he holds to this day. As a professional Merrins qualified for the US Open eight times (’57, ’61, ’65, ’66, ’67, ’68, ’71, ’73), qualified for the PGA Championship six times (’62, ’63, ’67, ’68, ’69, ’71), was the Player of the Year in Southern California in 1970, and Professional of the Year in Southern California in 1977. Merrins’ success did not just come as a player. He coached the UCLA Golf Team from 1975-1989 where his team claimed the PAC 10 Conference Championships in ’82, ’83, and ’85 and won the NCAA National Championship in 1988. Along with being named the PAC 10 Coach of the year in 1985 and Southern California Golf Teacher of the year in 1987, Merrins has been named as Golf Magazine’s Top 100 Golf Professionals from 1990 to present. Authoring two books (Swing the Handle, Not the Clubhead and Golf for the Young), Merrins also has been inducted into the PGA Golf Hall of Fame (1989), Southern California PGA Golf Hall of Fame (1990), NCAA Coaches Hall of Fame (1992), UCLA Athletic Hall of Fame (1996), and the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame (2000).
Pete Brown was born in Port Gibson, MS on February 2, 1935 and lived in Jackson from 1940 - 1970. Brown learned the game of golf by caddying at the Jackson public golf course that now bears his name. Brown turned professional in 1954 and claimed the Negro National Open in ’61 and ’62 and also won the Michigan Open in 1962. In 1963, he became only the second African-American to earn his PGA Tour Card and in 1964 became the first African-American to win a PGA Tour Event, the old Waco Open. In 1970, he won the Andy Williams/San Diego Open coming from seven shots behind in the final round and beating World Golf Hall of Famer, Tony Jacklin, in a sudden death playoff. (Jack Nicklaus claimed 3rd). Brown competed on the PGA Tour from 1963-1980 and the PGA Champions Tour from 1985-1990. Brown served as Head Golf Professional at Madden Golf Course in Dayton, OH for over 20 years. Brown then moved to Evans, GA from 2012-2015 before passing on May 1, 2015 at the age of 80.
Mary MillsMary Mills was born in Laurel, MS on January 19, 1940. Beginning golf at age 11, Mills quickly made a name for herself as an amateur player claiming medalist honors at the U.S. Girl’s Junior Championship and Western Junior Championship. She is an 8-time Mississippi Amateur Champion, titles in which she claimed in consecutive years from 1954-1961. Mills also claimed the Gulf Coast Amateur Championship twice in her career. Following her junior career, Mills played collegiate golf for Millsaps College in Jackson, MS where she was the #1 golfer for the Men’s Golf Team for four consecutive years. In 1962, Mills joined the LPGA Tour where she was named Rookie of the Year and she competed at the highest level well into the 1980’s. She posted multiple wins in three different seasons on tour, and was in the Top-10 on the Money List five times. Mills’ LPGA career included 9 victories, three of which were Major Championships. (1963 U.S. Women’s Open, 1964 and 1973 LPGA Championship) A philosophy major at Millsaps, Mills returned back to school in the 1990’s to earn a master’s degree in landscape architecture from Florida International University. She puts that degree to use these days designing golf courses as well as continuing her time as a well-regarded golf instructor in Boca Raton, FL.
Johnny Pott was born November 6, 1935 and grew up in Gulfport, MS. His father, Ben Potts, was a Club Professional on the Mississippi gulf coast. Pott competed for Louisiana State University from 1952-1956 and was a NCAA Champion in 1955. Pott turned Pro in 1956 and won five times on the PGA Tour in the 1960’s including the ’60 Dallas Open, ’60 West Palm Beach Open, ’62 Waco Turner Open, ’63 American Golf Classic, and ’68 Bing Crosby National Pro-Am. Pott was also a member of three Ryder Cup teams. (’63, ’65, ’67) As his time as a Tour Professional was winding down, Pott became involved in the golf course design and golf services business with several other former Tour Pros. He oversaw the Design and Construction Division of Landmark Golf and the Golf Operations Division of Landmark Golf Management. Pott and fellow PGA Tour player, Dave Marr, are credited with creating “Corporate Golf Outings” which Pott continues to host today. Pott was also instrumental in developing the PGA Tour standard for television programming and packaging. Pott continues to maintain a close working relationship with the PGA Tour as Landmark Golf’s primary liaison with the PGA Tour.
October 30, 2019 - MGA-MPGA Cup Matches to Honor W.E. Morgan, PGA
Starkville, MS - The Mississippi Golf Association and the Mississippi PGA will honor longtime PGA member William Earl Morgan by naming their annual cup match competition in his honor. The William Earl “W.E.” Morgan Cup Matches pits the best Mississippi amateur golfers against those of the Mississippi PGA in a Ryder Cup style 36-hole format.
William Earl “W.E.” Morgan chose professional golf as a second career. A native of Greenville, W.E. played football and ran track at Mississippi State University then received his master’s degree from Ole Miss. He served as the Head Coach of the Greenville High School Hornets football team and went on to become Assistant Superintendent of the Greenville Public Schools.
W.E. received his PGA membership in 1983. His employment affiliations included Greenville Municipal Golf Course, Clear Creek Golf Club (Vicksburg), Brookhaven Country Club, Rolling Hills Country Club (Crystal Springs), the Mississippi Golf Association and the Country Club of Canton. He served in every office of the Mississippi PGA and Gulf States PGA, was President from 1996-97 and a 2000 Gulf States PGA Hall of Fame inductee.
The annual event is a highlight on the golf calendar for those competing. Bragging rights for the winner of the competition are at stake but take backseat to the fellowship and fun of this great game. W.E. was always visible at the event, as a competitor early in his golf career and later serving as a PGA Rules Official. W.E. was a servant to his faith, to his family and to his friends. He always made time for those in need. He had a way of bringing comfort and calm during difficult times. Mississippi Golf lost a legend of the game when William Earl passed away on May 4, 2018.
The winning team is presented the Ralph Hershfelt Memorial Trophy which is appropriately inscribed “A man who loved the Game”. Ralph was introduced to golf in 1960 and immediately fell in love with the game. He played or practiced whenever he could; playing at the old Tupelo Country Club nine-hole course. Ralph became very proficient at the game often shooting par or better. He later moved to a home adjoining the new Tupelo Country Club course and would often slip out in the evening for a few holes with his family. Ralph played golf well into his later years always excited to spend a day with his buddies on the course and at the card table. Sadly, he passed away in 2011 but will forever be remembered for his love of the game of golf and the great friends he made on the course.
The 2019 W.E. Cup will be played November 2-3 at Mississippi State University Golf Course.
About the Mississippi PGA
The Mississippi Chapter of the Gulf States Section, Professional Golfers’ Association of America, was chartered in 1968 (PGA of America, 1916). It is an association of golf professionals whose mission is to promote interest, participation, and enjoyment in the game of golf; establish and maintain professional standards of practice; and enhance the well-being of golf professionals.
About the Mississippi Golf Association
The Mississippi Golf Association was officially chartered by a constitution and by-laws in June of 1925. Over the past 80 years the association has grown from one meeting a year to host a State Amateur Championship to an organization dedicated to providing service to every golf course and golfer in the state of Mississippi.Over time the MGA has built and maintained strong working relationships with the USGA, the PGA of America, and other state, regional and local golf associations to promote the game of golf. The Mississippi Golf Association stands as the governing body for amateur golf in the state, looked upon to provide the leadership necessary to uphold the traditions and values of the game and to ensure its future growth.
July 14, 2019 - Joe Deraney Claims Third MGA Title of the Season
Greenwood, MS - The Greenwood Invitational always attracts a stout field as it is the oldest stroke play tournament contested in the state. The field consisted of 165 players looking to claim the title of Greenwood Invitational Champion. Birdies were flying on the first day as 29 total players fired under par rounds. After the first round Greenwood Country Club member, Steve Pannell, was the round one leader thanks to an opening round of 65.
After the second round Joe Deraney and Tucker Jenkins flew to the top pf the leaderboard thanks to rounds of 68 and 67. As Hurricane Barry quickly approached the southeast, it made for less than ideal playing conditions during the final round of competition. Joe Deraney came into the Greenwood Invitational with two wins under his belt this season and looking to add a third. Going into the final round Deraney and Tucker Jenkins were tied at the top at -9 after two rounds and looking to battle it out on the final day but Hurricane Barry had other ideas. Rain came down all night and proceed to washout the final day of competition but there was just enough sunshine to have a sudden-death playoff to determine a champion. On the first hole of the sudden-death playoff Joe Deraney defeated Tucker Jenkins to claim his third MGA title of the year.
For more information on the Mississippi Golf Association and the Greenwood Invitational as well as full results including Flight Winners please visit us online at www.missgolf.org and all social media platforms.
August 4, 2019 - Ed Wall Claims The Grenada Invitational in a Sudden-Death Playoff
Grenada, MS - The first weekend in August was hot & humid, but the field at the Grenada Invitational was stout. After beautiful weather in the first round Ed Wall & Jon Wilson sat tied atop the leaderboard thanks to rounds of -3(68). Steve Wilson, Tim Roop, and Joe Monteith were lurking one shot back going into the final round hoping to go low.
Mother Nature once again did not cooperate as typical Mississippi afternoon thunderstorms surrounded Grenada Golf & Racquet Club. After a handful of lightning delays the final round was canceled due to severe weather. We managed to complete a sudden-death playoff with Ed Wall & Jon Wilson with Wall coming out victorious after the first hole!
Thank you to Robert Willis and the rest of the Grenada Golf & Racquet Club staff for hosting a fun and competitive event. We are looking forward to next year!
July 2019 - MJGA Junior Recap
The 2019 Sonny Andrews Junior Championship marks the beginning of the month of July for the Juniors’ Season. As the heat began to rise in Cleveland, MS, so did the players game on the rugged course of Cleveland Country Club. The players hit the ground running on the first day as the Cleveland Country Club played tough for the Juniors. In the boys division, Connor Mckelroy and Connor Gee were tied for second chasing after a huge first day by Connor Dunnigan shooting a 68. As Day 2 began to unfold, McKelroy and Gee kept consistent and battled it out for first place. In the end, McKelroy hoisted the first place trophy by 1 stroke edging Connor Gee. In the Boys 10-11 Division, Anderson Short took care of the competition while shooting a combine 89. Along with that, the Boys 9 & under Division was demolished by George Decker who shot a miraculous 35 and 36 for the tournament. On the other side in the girl’s division, Katelynn Altese ran the show during the tournament. She shot an opening round 75 and followed with a 78 to win the Girl’s Overall Division by 12 strokes ahead of Ella Cress. Along with the girls, Harper Hinckley and Lucy Cook battled it out for the Girls 10-12 Division. In the end, Hinckley was able to prevail and win her division. Huge thanks to Sam Dunning for hosting such a great tournament!
As the month of July continued on, players begin to arrive in Natchez for the 2019 Norman Puckett Junior Championship. Duncan Park Golf Course in Natchez is a different breed as it gave the players a different test compared to the previous tournaments they have been attending. One special attribute of the course is the Back 9 being 102 years old while the Front 9 is a newer addition which forced players to adjust to different speeds on the green. For the boys, Connor Gee played consistent through the first day and played a marvelous second day while shooting a 68 earning him the win in the Overall Boys Division. Also for the boys, Division 12-13 had a battle going on between Will Thompson and Grayson Lockhart. With Lockhart having a 2 stroke lead on Thompson heading into the final day, Thompson needed to gain ground on the tough course. Once the players headed to scoring, Thompson was the one to prevail and win the Boys 12-13 Division. On the girl’s side, Hannah Hinckley ended the first round sitting 2 strokes behind Kayla Starr. Once the second day began to wrap up, Hannah Hinckley brought in an amazing 69 to earn her the win in the Overall Girls Division. Huge thanks to Greg Brooking for hosting such an amazing tournament!
During the week of July 30-31, 12 of Mississippi’s finest junior players took part in the 8th Annual Southern Junior Cup Matches at Willow Point Golf & Country Club in Alexander City, Alabama. This year’s matches were against Missouri and Alabama as Arkansas was not able to compete in this year’s tournament. The players during day 1 were paired together and played Four-ball in the morning session and Foursome matches in the afternoon session. The pairings included Spence Davis playing with Katelynn Altese, Icie Cockerham with Tate Dickerson, Sarah Johnson played alongside Connor Gee, Avery Weed was paired with Hunter Bell, Ella Cress with Connor McKelroy, and Emerson Blair paired with Ross Reeder. The Mississippi Team fought hard during day one but found themselves in third place trailing the Missouri Team by 4 points. In the Day 2 singles matches Team Mississippi came out with a fire and rallied to close the gap with Team Missouri. Team Mississippi ended the two days just a half point behind Team Missouri for second place. We would like to thank all the players and parents for making the trip to Alabama to represent the Mississippi Golf Association.
July 31, 2019 - GUIDRY & MAYHEW CLAIM OVERALL TITLES AT THE JUNIOR AMATEUR
Tunica, MS - The 2019 Boys & Girls Junior Amateur held at Tunica National proved to be a challenge to all age divisions. The Mark McCumber design which opened in 2004 tested all of te juniors as the fairway bunkers and penalty areas are strategically placed throughout the course, but the main sotry of the week was the WIND! The prevailing winds made the course even more difficult as there were wind gusts over 20mph the first two days.
Riley Mayhew ended her MJGA summer with a bang as she will be going into her senior year at Nettleton High School. Mayhew opened the tournament with a sizzling round of 71, good enough to earn medalist honors after the first round in the girls division. Mayhew held a five shot lead after the first round and that proved to be too big of a deficit as Riley cruised to a nine shot victory thanks to rounds of 76 & 78 and a three round total of 225. Congratulations on a fantastic junior career and good luck at the next level!
The Boys overall division was not decided until the final putt had fallen. Cameron Guidry claimed the Carr Haskins Memorial Medalist Trophy thanks to an opening round of 69, setting the tone for the rest of the field that he would be a factor over the final two days of competition. Cohen Trolio proved to be no slouch as he has had an outstanding summer, punching his ticket to the U.S. Amatuer and the PGA Junior, and it continued in Tunica thanks to a first round 71. After very difficult wind conditions in the second round the leaderboard was jammed packed going into the final day of competition. Guidry & Trolio were tied at the top with Connor McKelroy one stroke behind. The final round proved to be a true test thanks to Tunica National's demanding tee shots. Going into the final two holes Guidry & Trolio remained tied and were in a heated battle after both birdied the par 5 16th hole. Cameron Guidry grinded out the victory over Cohen Trolio by one shot to claim the title of 2019 Boys Junior Amateur!
Over 100 juniors participated in this year’s Junior Amateur across all 9 divisions! Cameron Guidry & and Riley Mayhew took home the title in the Boys & Girls A Divisions! Collins Trolio defeated Connor Gee on the second hole of a sudden death playoff to claim the Boys B Division! Emerson Blair edged Avery Weed by one shot to claim the Girls B Division! Jacob Blanton cruised to a 13 shot victory in the Boys C Division! Karstyn Altese defeated Harper Hinckley by one shot to take the title in the Girls D Division! Jackson Knight took home the crown in the Boys D Division winning by nine shots over second place, Anderson Short! George Decker finished at an even par total for three rounds to claim the Boys E division by 7 shots! Hart Hines took home the trophy in the Girls E Division as she was crowned champion!
We would like to thank the Tunica National staff for having the course in pristine condition, the zoysia grass fairways are beautiful! General Manager Bob Wolcott and Superintendent Jason Lloyd, for the outstanding course conditions and hospitality. This was the first time most of these juniors had seen Tunica National and the reviews were nothing short of fantastic!
For more information on the Mississippi Golf Association and the Junior Amateur as well as full results including Division Winners please visit us online at www.missgolf.org and all social media platforms.
June 30, 2019 - BLAIR STOCKETT CLAIMS 2019 MISSISSIPPI WOMEN’S AMATEUR TITLE
Stockett’s Final Round 66 Catapults Her Up the Leaderboard In Come From Behind Fashion
Vancleave, MS - The buzz around the 2019 Mississippi Women’s Amateur this week wasn’t about a particular player, a recent hot streak, or just how hot it has been in the Magnolia State during the month of June! It was shock and disbelief in how they had never heard or seen the Jerry Pate designed Preserve Golf Club in the fourteen years since its opening in 2005. Ten miles north of the Mississippi Sound sits an absolute treasure of a golf course. The Preserve Golf Club provides not only a picturesque backdrop for the state’s premiere championships but an extremely challenging layout and green complexes that rival anything you have ever laid your eyes on. Serving as host of the Men’s State Amateur in 2018 it was now time to challenge the best women amateurs in the state over a three day stretch to see who would claim the Edwina Lipscomb Champions trophy.
After two brilliant (or lucky) days of weather the final round looked to be more of the same as players began their round at 8:30AM under sunny and calm skies. Heading into the final round it was USM women’s golf coach, Lucy Nunn, who took a one shot lead over Mississippi State golfer Hannah Levi. Throughout the first few holes on the front it was par after par until the par-5 4th when both players found trouble leading to Nunn carding a double bogey and Levi carding bogey to bring the two tied atop the leaderboard. Levi quickly got her stroke back after a birdie on the 5th which gave her a one stroke lead. Nunn then carded a birdie of her own on the short par-4 seventh to bring herself even with Levi before both players bogeyed the lengthy ninth to make the turn. Not so quietly lurking in the group ahead was Mississippi State junior, Blair Stockett, who had caught fire early and often. Stockett came out of the gates hot with back to back birdies on the first two holes and then added another at the par-5 eighth to catapult herself up the leaderboard with Nunn and Levi. Her opening nine 33 was blemish and bogey free and exactly what she needed to create some tension and excitement as the leaders made the turn.
As the excitement filled the air unfortunately the electricity did as well. As the leaders made the turn it was Mother Nature who took over as storms continued to roll northward off the coast creating bands of pop-ups in every direction. As if a dome lay over the pristine grounds of The Preserve Golf Club, the rain never materialized but at 10:40AM the lightning got too close. Play was suspended and players were pulled in from the course for a delay that lasted exactly fifty-five minutes. As play resumed the distant landscape was dark and ominous with claps of thunder echoing throughout the entire golf course but overhead, sunny skies. While mother nature may have intervened with play, she was not successful in intervening with Stockett’s stellar play! Blair opened her closing nine with two pars before carding a birdie three on the par-4, 12th. She continued adding pars on her card as the ladies behind her were also failing to find red numbers as the number of holes were slowly running out.
Enter Mother Nature Round 2. As if some sort of comeback encore the storms that had now passed by just an hour or so before began to circle back around and alternate their north eastern path to a more southeastern path. At 1:00PM play was once again suspended for lightning in the area and players were once again called in from the course, many of which only had 3-4 holes left in their rounds. The storm and lightning got within three miles of the course but as we had witnessed before not a single drop of rain fell before the storm dissipated and left us with once again sunny skies. At 2:00PM players were back in position and ready to begin their trek of their final few holes. As Stockett continued her blemish free round, Hannah Levi made par after par never quite being able to find the bottom of the hole on her birdie attempts. Nunn however wasn’t as fortunate as coming down the stretch of the final five holes she posted three bogeys.
Following Stockett’s birdie on twelve she found herself alone atop the leaderboard. A lead she would not relinquish. Heading into the par-4 18th she knew where she stood and she knew that the pressure was on. “I was watching the scoreboard all day,” Stockett said. “ I knew where I stood on 18 tee and knew that Hannah had a great shot at birdie on seventeen.” If Blair Stockett has nerves, not one of the spectators, fellow competitors, or staff members surrounding the 18th green could tell because after hitting a great drive which found the left hand side of the fairway, Stockett’s approach landed within one foot of the hole leaving her a tap in birdie to fire a closing round of five under-par, 66. In the group behind her, Levi had failed to make birdie on the seventieth and after missing the green with her approach on the final hole, Stockett knew she had just claimed victory. “It feels great! I love that the championship has moved to a stroke play event. I am really excited to win!” Stockett’s tournament total of 211 (-2) was good enough for a two shot lead over Hannah Levi who claimed runner-up honors and five shots over Lucy Nunn who took third.
For more information on the Mississippi Golf Association and Mississippi Women’s Amateur as well as full results including Regular Division Flight Winners please visit us online at www.missgolf.org and all social media platforms.
June 23, 2019 - Joe Deraney Captures 104th Mississippi Amateur
Hattiesburg, MS - Joe Deraney recently moved back to Mississippi, Belden to be exact, but it hasn’t taken him long to find his stride on the golf course. Heading into this week’s 104th Mississippi Amateur Deraney had been playing solid golf as he had recently claimed victory at last month’s Tupelo Amateur and just returned back stateside after competing in the RBC Canadian Open (PGA Tour Event) where he narrowly missed making the cut. Deraney, who competed on the golf team at Mississippi State looked poised and comfortable on the golf course all week long and that confidence was apparent during today’s final round.
Playing host to this year’s 104th Mississippi Amateur, Hattiesburg Country Club is no stranger to serving as the formidable backdrop for the state’s very best amateur golfers. Playing at a 6,893 yard par-71 this week, Hattiesburg Country Club offered up a challenging test to this year’s field which included past champions, USGA champions, and amateurs who have competed at the highest level golf can provide. Not since 2005 has Hattiesburg Country Club hosted the premiere amateur championship in the Magnolia State but with picture perfect weather all week long and absolutely perfect playing conditions, HCC proved why it is still one of the treasured golf courses in our state.
Heading into today’s final round Deraney held a slim one stroke lead over Brice Wilkinson of Madison. Wilkinson, who most recently signed to play golf at USM, along with incoming Mississippi State freshman, Hunter Logan, found themselves in the final pairing with the experienced Mid-Am looking to capture the Spec Wilson Memorial Trophy and the exemption in the 2019 Sanderson Farms Championship which will be held this fall at the Country Club of Jackson. As the group made its way through the first few holes it was Deraney who was steady throughout carding a birdie on the par-5 third and another on the par-four sixth after hitting his approach inside 2 feet. As Wilkinson and Logan had successes as well, they also failed to convert some “must-have” saves and found themselves both making the turn at one over-par for the day compared to Deraney’s two-under. Heading into the back nine it seemed as though Deraney was going to run away with the title but Wilkinson and Logan fought back. Logan almost slam dunked his approach on the par-4 tenth hole leading to a kick in birdie but Deraney was there to pour one of his own in on the tenth as well.
It was at the the par-5 thirteenth where the intensity amplified. Wilkinson found his second shot just short right of the putting service with a difficult pitch shot to a back left hole location that was guarded by a penalty area. Wilkinson hit what was easily one of the best shots of the tournament and made eagle to gain two strokes on Deraney. Calm and collected Deraney then answered with a birdie of his own to allow only a shift of one stroke in Wilkinson’s favor. “If you don’t feel the pressure out there then I’m not sure you really want it”, Deraney said. “After Brice made that eagle on the thirteenth, I knew it was important to roll in that birdie and once I did I felt pretty good about my chances and my nerves.” While the nerves may have settled after holing that putt, Deraney found trouble off the 14th tee when he hit his drive right into the tall pines that adorn Hattiesburg Country Club. After realizing there was a slim to none chance of hitting his approach on the green, Deraney wisely played out to the left side leaving himself a quick chip shot that he left about 8 feet from the hole. Once again Deraney was solid as he rolled in the par putt and Wilkinson failed to convert his birdie.
Heading to the difficult par-3 fifteenth, Deraney once again found his tee shot right and the pitch shot he had left was an extremely difficult one. Deraney carded his lone blemish of the day as he made bogey leaving the door open for Wilkinson to get within two shots with three holes to play should he convert his birdie putt. Wilkinson hit a great putt but it stopped just right of the hole and Deraney’s lead remained three. For a third straight hole Deraney’s tee shot went a little sideways and he found himself under the trees left of the par-4 sixteenth fairway. After chipping back out into the fairway, Deraney hit an unbelievably good pitch shot to three feet and confidently converted his par. “After I got up and down on 16, the nerves once again settled. That was a big up and down that I knew I needed, and it felt great to convert.”(A three shot lead with two to play!) All three players carded birdies on the short par-5 seventeenth as it consistently played as the easiest hole of the tournament coming in at almost a full shot under par. After a good tee shot and approach on the 18th, Deraney simply two-putted from about 20 feet left of the hole claiming victory of the 104th Mississippi Amateur Championship and an exemption into the 2019 Sanderson Farms Championship this fall!
For more information on the Mississippi Golf Association or the 104th Mississippi Amateur Championship please visit us online at www.missgolf.org and all of our social media platforms. The full results can be seen here.
June 14, 2019 - Sinclair's and Boothby's Both Lead Their Divisions in the Father-Son/Daughter Championsip
Jackson, MS - The Father-Son/Daughter Championship has been a huge success over the first two rounds as 72 teams have been competing. Friday's First Round was held at the Country Club of Canton and Saturday's Second Round was held at Castlewoods Golf & Country Club.
David & Grace Sinclair sit at the top of the Father-Daughter Division after firing 60 & 61 in the first two rounds. Not far behind stands Brent & Emma Smithers after posting rounds of 63 & 64. The two groups are paired together in the Final Round and will be battling it out at Deerfield Golf Club.
In the Father-Son Division the Championship flight is a tight battle as all teams are within five shots of the lead. Leading the way is John & Jonathan Boothby at -17 under par after a stellar second round of 62. The Boothby's are followed by past champions Ed & David Wall along with Mike & Greg Horlock who both sit at -16 under par.
For Complete Resluts Click Here
April 27, 2019 - Birdies Falling in the Second Round of the Bill Cass Senior Four-Ball Championship
Hattiesburg, MS - Too many birdies to count for the fifty-four teams competing at the Bill Cass Senior Four-Ball Championship at Hattiesburg Country Club today. Senior, Super Senior and Grand Master division players battle on toward Sunday's final round. Grand Masters team Ronny Cowser and Don Coleman held onto their lead after the opening round and are now joined by Alan Leach and Bob Abney who posted the low round of 67. Both are tied at three under par, 141. Super Senior Division is led by Ken Lee and Mike Darby of Hattiesburg. A smooth nine under, 63 was plenty enough to place the team one stroke ahead of first round leaders, Earl Aycock and Alex Weddington who came out hot with a 66 yesterday. Senior Division is all tied up with Jeffrey Anderson and Tom Bryant who took the lead with a 64 yesterday joined by Robert Sanford and David Allen who took their 64 in today's round. These Senior Division teams are tied at eleven under, 133. The Bill Cass Senior Four-Ball title is yet to be determined and still in reach for a number of teams. Many thanks to the preparations that Hattiesburg Country Club staff has made to welcome the top senior amateurs of Mississippi. The Mississippi Golf Association looks forward to awarding the Senior Four-Ball Championship Sunday.
For complete results and to follow the final round, click here.
April 26, 2019 - Bill Cass Senior Four-Ball Championship Wraps Up Opening Round
Hattiesburg, MS - The first State Championship of the 2019 season is underway at Hattiesburg Country Club. Conditions were quite near perfect on the spring day for the Bill Cass Senior Four-Ball Championship. Fifty-four teams teed off this morning in Senior, Super Senior and Grand Master Divisions. At the top of the field in the Senior Division sits Tom Bryant and Jeffrey Anderson, both of Natchez. Three Super Senior teams will be battling it out for the remainder of the championship after low rounds of 6-under, 66. Earl Aycock and Alex Weddington, Randy Pool and Kelly Swain, Bill Hood and Brother Sandifer all start the second round at the top of the Super Senior Division. Coming out hot in the Grand Masters Division was Don Coleman and Randy Cowser after posting a score of 1-under, 71. With beautiful days forecasted ahead we are sure to have some scores fall into the weekend rounds.
For complete results and to follow the remainder of the Bill Cass Senior Four-Ball Championship, click here.
March 13, 2019 - Mississippi Golf Association Names New Executive Director
Jackson, MS - The Mississippi Golf Association Board of Directors is pleased to announce the successor to longtime Executive Director, Margo Coleman. Russell “Carter” Page has been named the new Executive Director, effective April 1, 2019.
Upon Margo’s departure in January, directors began a search for the best candidate. Their focus was to select the finest individual to continue the progress and growth that both the Mississippi Golf Association and Mississippi Junior Golf Association witnessed with Margo at the helm.
Carter Page has been with the West Virginia Golf Association for the past five years in the position of Senior Director, Rules and Competitions. Previously, Page was with the Texas Golf Association as Tournament Director and prior to that, the Tennessee Golf Association as Director of Course Rating and Member Services. The experience Carter brings in all facets of association business will be of great benefit moving forward. As you know the state golf association is responsible for a growing membership, handicapping, USGA Course and Slope Ratings, Rules of Golf education, growing the game, championship golf and a number of other tasks, all of which Carter has been involved with in his past rolls.
“I feel extremely blessed to be given the opportunity to be the new Executive Director of the Mississippi Golf Association,” Page said. “I look forward to building upon the success, relationships, and history that Margo, staff, and members of the Association have built within the MGA and look to utilize by experience, vision, and love for the game to elevate the Association in all areas. My family and I could not be more excited for the opportunity and we look forward to joining the community of Mississippi.”
The Mississippi Golf Association and Board of Directors is pleased to welcome Carter to the Mississippi family of golfers and member clubs. See these remarks in MGA President, Ben Snow's Letter to MGA Membership.
Please join me in extending a warm Mississippi welcome to Carter as you see him throughout the season.
January 26, 2019 - Memorable Night at the 2019 Celebration of Golf Dinner
Jackson, MS - It was a beautiful evening at the Country Club of Jackson where over 300 people gathered together to celebrate all of the great accomplishments from the 2018 season. The night began with the recognition of all 2018 Champions, followed by honoring our two Robbie Webb Award recipients, Hal Graves and David Huggins. Hal and David have made outstanding contributions to Junior Golf in Mississippi over the years, most notably for their hard work and effort towards the Big I National Championship and are both very deserving of this award. You can view the complete list of Robbie Webb Award winners here.
Next up was the awarding of our 2018 MGA and MJGA Players of the Year. These competitors showed great resiliency and consistency all year long and are very worthy of all of their accomplishments. Our MGA and MJGA Players of the Year are as follows:
Men's - Ben Snow
Women's - Sheila Haynes
Men's Senior - Robert Sanford
Women's Senior - Shannon Adams
Men's Super Senior - Greg Brooking
Women's Super Senior - Pam Posey
Boys Overall - Jake Kight
Girls Overall - Madeleine Yu
Boys Division B - Cohen Trolio
Girls A (16-18) - Presley Baggett
Girls B (13-15) - Madeleine Yu
Boys Division C - William Marshall
Girls D (10-12) - Harper Anne Hinckley
Boys D - Grayson Davis
Girls E (9 and under) - Karstyn Altese
Boys E (9 and under) - Jackson Knight
The last event of the night included the induction of the first class into the Mississippi Golf Hall of Fame. The first class of inductees consisted of James Ray Carpenter, Cissye Meeks Gallagher, Ken Lindsay, Michael D. "Mike" Taylor, and Robert A. "Robbie" Webb, Sr. Each one has made a significant impact on the game of golf in Mississippi throughout their lifetime and there is nobody more deserving than these five outstanding inductees. For more information and bio on all of the inductees, click here.
The night got pretty emotional as we said goodbye to our leader for the past 17 years, Margo Coleman. The sacrifices she has made for so many people that have played this game will never be forgotten. She has truly taken the game of golf in Mississippi to unparallel heights. We thank her for all of her hard work over the last 19 years and best of luck with her new job with the First Tee of Central MS.
We couldn't have asked for a better night of celebration, fellowship, and recognition of all the great accomplishments the game of golf has brought to the state of Mississippi. Thank you to all of our sponsors, the Country Club of Jackson staff, and our MC, Derrel Palmer, for all of their hard work and support in making the dinner a huge success. We are looking forward to another great season in 2019!
January 9, 2019 - Coleman steps down as Executive Director of the Mississippi Golf Association
Jackson, MS - The Mississippi Golf Association announces longtime Executive Director, Margo Coleman, will step down to pursue other golf opportunities in Mississippi. The letter below was sent to the Mississippi Golf Association membership upon the announcement of her departure.
"Today, as I celebrate 19 years with the Mississippi Golf Association and the Mississippi Junior Golf Association, I also announce that I am stepping down as the Executive Director. I would like to thank the Mississippi Golf Association Board of Directors for giving me an opportunity to start my career in golf administration in 2000. I am forever grateful for the time spent serving our membership over the past 19 years.
On January 1, 2019, I began a new chapter, as the Executive Director of the First Tee of Central MS. As most of you know, junior golf is my passion and this is an opportunity to introduce more kids to the game of golf and allow me to spend more time with my family. When I became a mom in 2013, it was one of the best days of my life! My son, Mac, is now 5 years old and I want to be able to spend as much time as possible with him and my husband Eddie. I plan to play a little more golf on the weekends and get Mac involved in junior golf.
In 2000, when I started with the MGA, as the Public Relations Director and GHIN Coordinator, I wore many hats and my duties were much more than growing our membership. That was the same year the MJGA was established, along with the Robbie Webb Award. The MJGA has grown into a large junior program and produced thousands of junior golfers. It has been fun watching the MJGA grow from only a boys' junior amateur championship to a successful junior tour, with our juniors competing in two sets of junior cup matches and the BankPlus Junior Pro Am during the Sanderson Farms Championship.
In December of 2002, I was extremely grateful for the opportunity to become the Mississippi Golf Association’s Executive Director. New programs have been established, our Player of Year system has over 16 categories, our membership has tripled and our Championship schedule includes over 50 tournaments, qualifiers and events. The association is growing and the events and programs will continue to flourish. I am so very happy to see the MS Golf Hall of Fame being established this year and the first class to be inducted on January 26th at the Celebration of Golf Dinner. The association has been successful because of our board of directors and their vision for Mississippi Golf. None of these things could have been accomplished without our volunteers, PJ Boatwright Interns, Emily Sullivan-Director of Membership, and all of the former MGA staff members. I am forever grateful for their work and service to the association.
I do not think I will miss the 16 hour days or the 10 day tournament stretches, but I will miss the people. I plan to keep up with my USGA Rules of Golf knowledge and would like to volunteer as my schedule allows. Each of you are a friend to me and I think of you as family. I will cherish the friendships I have made and the memories created over the past 19 years. My last day as Executive Director of the MGA will be January 31, 2019.
I will miss seeing you on the MGA and MJGA Tour, but I am hopeful that our paths will cross again soon. The golf world is a small one. Always know that each of you will always be my friend and if there is anything I can do for you, please let me know and keep in touch."
The Mississippi Golf Association and Board of Directors appreciate the dedication and hard work that Margo has put into growing golf for all in Mississippi. They extend a heartfelt congratulations to her and wish Margo the best in her future endeavors.