Dixie Junior to be held at Selma Country Club

Published 9:49 pm Thursday, June 16, 2016

Some of Alabama’s best junior golfers will test their skills at the Bud Burns Dixie Junior Invitational Tournament next week at the Selma Country Club.

The tournament is one of the most grueling in the state because of its unique format for the boys that qualify for championship division.

Anyone that makes it into that group will play 36 holes during Wednesday’s final round.

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“We want our champion to be a 54 hole winner. A kid can have one bad round and still win the golf tournament,” said Tommy Burns with the Selma Country Club. “It’s not only about score. It’s about endurance and physically who can do it and mentally who can handle that pressure.”

Last year’s overall boys winner was 14-year-old Drew Smith from Montgomery. It was unclear if Smith was going to be back in Selma to defend his title this weekend.

Brooke Sansom, of Pike Road, has won the last two girls’ championships and has registered for this year’s tournament, according to the Alabama Junior Golf website.  Sansom won last year’s event by 11 shots.

Burns said 84 players had registered as of Thursday afternoon, but he said over the last week more than a dozen are registering every day.

As of Thursday afternoon, six players from Selma had registered. The final day to register is Sunday and registration is ongoing at the Alabamajuniorgolf.org.

The tournament is for boys and girls 18 and under and has a strong history because of some of the professionals that have won it before.

Two-time Masters winner Bubba Watson is also a two-time Dixie Junior Invitational winner in 1994 and 1995.

Stewart Cink, a former British Open champion, won the Dixie Junior in 1990.

Burns, the tournament’s 1969 champion, said he set up the golf course with six easy holes, six medium difficulty holes and six difficult holes in order to challenge players.

“I like to mix it up all three days,” Burns said.

“It might be the most difficult on No. 3 on Tuesday and then on Wednesday it might be the easiest.”

At the end of the event, Burns hands out the Otey Crisman Trophy to the winner winner and the Paul Grist Trophy to a Selma golfer that shows sportsmanship, character and has competes well at the tournament.