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Local golfer heads to international tourney

By By Tony Krausz/assistant sports editor
July 19, 2003
Clay Bounds will make his way down to Florida thanks impart to the Downtown Optimist Club and his ability on the golf course.
The Lamar School student will play in the 13-14-year-old division at the Optimist International Junior Golf Championship on July 24-29 in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
Bounds qualified for the international tournament with a strong performance in the district qualifying tourney, which is played by junior golfers from Mississippi and Alabama, in mid-June in Decatur, Ala.
He tallied a 74-69 on the par-72 course over the two days for a berth in the Florida tournament.
Bounds was sponsored in the district qualifying tournament by the Optimist Club, which also sponsored J.T. Williamson in the tourney. Williamson also qualified for the international competition, but he will not participate in the tournament because of a scheduling conflict with another event.
The Optimist Club has sponsored local golfers in the international organization's golf program for 10 years.
Over the years, the organization has sent numerous golfers to represent the Queen City in the OIJGC at the PGA National Resort and Spa golf course.
In 1996, Benji Carpenter was the first golfer to travel to the OIJGC tournament with the backing of the Optimist Club. Dan Singley followed Carpenter in 1997, after winning the district tournament.
Daniel Bowles went to the OIJGC in 2001 and 2002, and Williamson went in 2002.
Scarborough said the decision for the club to sponsor Bounds was an easy one to make.
Northwood Country Club head golf pro Jimmy Gamblin, who has worked with Bounds since the young golfer was five years old, said the Optimist Club has a quality golfer and person representing them in Florida in Bounds.
At the tournament, Bounds will be matching his golf game against nearly 300 other junior golfers from the U.S. and 28 different countries.
It will be the largest field of competition the 14-year-old golfer has ever played against in his young career.
Bounds will be well prepared for the OIJGC tournament.
Prior to going to Florida, he will compete in the Pro of Tomorrow tourney in Tupelo.
After the in-state tournament, Bounds will leave for Florida with his mother and brother to play in the 54-hole OIJGC.

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