Meridian Star

Sports

July 5, 2014

Northwood Country Club hosts holiday tournament

MERIDIAN — The Northwood Country Club continued its Bill Davis Northwood Invitational tournament Friday as members and guests flooded the course to test their skills against a challenging course.

The tournament kicked off Thursday and will continue through Sunday. The event consisted of a Thursday qualifier and match play through the weekend to decide a tournament champion.

Additionally, the club orchestrated a dinner with live music for the participants Thursday, in addition to a long-drive contest to be held at 5:30 p.m. today.

“Outside of the club championship, this is our longest running tournament,” Northwood Country Club golf pro Billy Pomeroy said. “Players from all over the country, and some of the top golfers, would come and play here. This golf tournament has brought out the best players, and if you look at the past champions, you had to be a really good player to win this tournament.”

The such high standards from some of the participants can be attributed to former long-time Northwood Country Club pro Bill Davis, who was instrumental in helping lift the tournament to the status that it currently holds.  

“The tournament is named after Bill Davis,” Pomeroy said. “He was the second golf pro at Northwood, but he was here for 30 years, and a lot of our great players were prodigies of Bill Davis. His junior program could go up against any other in the country, and his juniors would play in the top tournaments in the southeast and they would win matches. This tournament has evolved into a memorial for Bill Davis.”

The tournament started in 1940 and individuals were crowned tournament champions, but in 1981 the tournament made the switch to match play.

Today, the tournament is comprised of 64 teams broken down into four different flight based on skill-level.

“We changed it because that’s how golf changed,” Pomeroy said. “People liked the teams, people liked doing four-ball tournaments, and so the tournament kind of evolved into that. Match play is some of the best competition for golfers out there. Match play is how the NCAA championships are won and also United States Amateur is won.

“You see it in the more traditional golf tournaments like the Ryder Cup and the Walker Cup.”

Additionally, the tournament provides an opportunity for families to spend quality time together on a special holiday weekend.

“It’s a great thing because there are so many families in town,” Pomeroy said. “You have a lot of father-son combinations, brothers, so the holiday brings the family together, and having a golf tournament on that weekend gives the family an avenue to bond.”

The tournament has already provided a pair of special moments as both Clay Bounds and Rob Wilder notched hole-in-one’s Thursday, with Bounds claiming a Yamaha golf cart and Wilder taking home a brand new BMW X3 for their incredible feats.  

“It was great obviously because (a hole-in-one) is a pretty rare shot in golf,” Bounds said. “I had one when I was 12 years old, and now 13 years later it’s just a great feeling.”

Ultimately, the weekend provides memorable experiences on a memorable holiday at one of the more spectacular courses in the state of Mississippi.

“It’s just a special holiday and there’s not a better way to spend it than to play a round at Northwood Country Club,” Bounds said. “Northwood has always been a special place, and Billy (Pomeroy) took the tournament to a new level this year. The course is in terrific shape and their format is terrific, and it’s just a great tournament.”

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