First season has been a hit, junior tour organizer says

Tuesday, June 18, 2002

The future of golf visited the area Monday when the first-year Tri-State Junior Golf Tour made one of its 10 stops at Cape Girardeau Country Club.

Forty-eight boys and girls turned out for the event, the final of three stops in Missouri. The Tour visited the Bootheel Golf Club and Sikeston Country Club on successive days last week and now swings into Illinois for its final three events. The three-week tour began June 3 at the Princeton Golf & Country Club in Princeton, Ky., the first of four tournaments in Kentucky.

The series, which has age divisions for boys and girls up to age 18, has 125 members from Illinois, Kentucky and Missouri, the majority hailing from the former two states.

"We had all three states represented here today," executive director Bob Jones said.

Jones said as many as 85 golfers have turned out for an event.

"We've been tickled to death with it and most of the parents we've heard from have been too," Jones said.

And as evidenced on Monday, the field contains some talent.

Brandon Jones of Louisville, Ky., fired the day's low round of even-par 70 in winning the boys 16-18 division by six strokes.

Greg Stewart of Cape Girardeau shot a 76 to win the boys 14-15 division. He was the only area competitor to gain a top-three finish.

"We have a lot of good scores coming out," Jones said. "And we play all different type courses -- tight, open, some longer, some shorter, tree-lined and even links style."

Jones said a few of the players will participate in all 10 events, but only the top five tournaments rounds count toward qualifying for the tour championship. He added that roughly the top 10 in each age division will qualify for the tour championship event June 28 at the Silos Golf Club in Paducah, Ky.

Cape Girardeau Country Club will be the site of another junior tournament next month when the SEMO Junior Golf Series visits on July 1.

jbreer@semissourian.com

(573) 335-6611, extension 124

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