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Powell, Sheppard headed West in search of title

By By Tony Krausz/assistant sports editor
May 22, 2004
Two area junior golfers will be packing their bags (and clubs) on Saturday and heading West.
Meridian Community College's Winston Powell and East Mississippi Community College's Gary Sheppard will be venturing to the Palm Valley Golf Club in Phoenix to take part in the NJCAA Division II Men's Golf Championship. The national tournament starts on Monday and runs through May 27.
Powell, a former Lamar School golfer, finished tied for second place in the MACJC and Region XXIII golf tournament to earn his bid to go to Phoenix.
Sheppard, who is from Scotland, finished third overall in the state, and he came in second in Division II play to earn a trip to the four-day tournament.
The two golfers from eastern Mississippi will share a room together in Arizona, as they represent their respective schools.
Along with getting a shot at the Division II national crown, the two golfers will be getting an education on the golf course, according to MCC golf coach Lou Hart.
Sheppard said being able to represent his team at a national tournament was one of the main reasons he chose to come to EMCC from Scotland.
Palm Valley's course lays out in Powell's favor. The Phoenix links is not a very long course, which favors straight drives and has a strong short game.
Powell said Hart has been working with him extensively in the days leading up to the tournament to refine the parts of his game that will be most important during competition.
Hart said she has been doing most of the talking during their practice sessions on the links.
The two golfers should enjoy near perfect weather for golf at Palm Valley.
According to the forecast should be sunny for the four days, with highs in the 90s and lows in the high 60s.