52nd Bud Burns junior tees off MondayPublished 5:45pm Saturday, June 15, 2013
By Daniel Evans
The Selma Times-Journal
Starting Monday, the 52nd Annual Bud Burns Junior Dixie Championship will take place at Selma Country Club. The tournament is for golfers up to the age of 18 and will run from Monday, June 17 through Wednesday, June 19.
A large field of junior golfers will be in attendance, with 125 players as the last confirmed count, according to an email sent out by Bryant Fortin, tournament director for the Alabama Junior Golf Association. Entries did not close until Friday at five o’clock, so the final number could end up being higher.
The number of participants continues to grow with the number rising from 89 players in 2011 and 117 in 2012. Tommy Burns, PGA golf professional with the Selma Country Club, credits his association with the Alabama Junior Golf Association for the growing number of entries.
“I’m tickled to death at how much bigger it is getting. It is going to be more of a challenge for me to play 125 kids a day,” Burns said. “It will go well. I’ll tell you the truth, this is the best I’ve ever seen it.”
Past winners of the tournament include 2012 Masters champion Bubba Watson and 2009 British Open champion Stewart Cink. Watson won the event in 1994 and 1995 and Cink won the event in 1988 and 1990.
“The 15, 16, 17, and 18 [year old boys] will play 18 holes on Tuesday and Wednesday, except for the ones who make A-division,” Burns said. “If they make A-division, they [have] got to play 36 holes that last day. We want to know who is the best player, but we also want to know who is the toughest.”
Burns confirmed that the 2012 boys champion, Ford Manderson will be in the field to try to defend his title. Manderson became the first Selmian in 21 years to win the event.
Although a lot of the focus will be on the older players, there will be golfers of all ages taking part in the tournament.
“The boys ten and under will play nine holes on Tuesday and nine holes on Wednesday,” Burns said. “The 11 and 12-year-old boys will play 18 holes on Tuesday and 18 holes on Wednesday and the boys 13 and 14 the same deal.”
Burns is expecting a record turnout for the girls’ competitions as well, based on early entry numbers.
“The girls that are 13 and under will play nine holes Tuesday and nine holes Wednesday,” Burns said. “The girls that are 14 and above up to 18 will play 18 holes each day, Monday and Tuesday.”
Burns believes this is the 10th year in a row that girls have played in the event.
The tournament has been held at Selma Country Club every year since its inauguration.