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.