MGCCC’s Wedgeworth wins Coast Amateur Open in playoff

Leave it to the Bancorp South Coast Amateur Open to provide drama in overtime.

Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College freshman Jackson Wedgeworth birdied the first playoff hole at Shell Landing Golf Club Sunday to win the Coast Amateur Open. This is the second straight year the tournament went to extra holes.

After 27 holes, Wedgeworth was tied with Biloxi’s Brandon Laird and Casey Ham of Natchez at 1-over, two strokes ahead of Isaiah Jackson.

But Jackson birdied holes 10 and 11 to pull even with the trio. However, a quadruple-bogey 9 on the par-5, 13th hole that included a two-stroke penalty doomed Jackson. He finished tied for fourth with Meridian CC teammate Malachi Spiers at 150.

Ham and Wedgeworth traded birdies and pars for the first part of the back nine. Ham’s birdie on 13 and Wedgeworth’s bogies at 13 and 14 allowed Ham to take a 1-shot lead into the final four holes. Playing one group in front of Ham, Wedgeworth birdied 16 and 17 to finish with a 3-under 69, level par for the tournament.

Ham birdied 16 to tie Wedgeworth at 144, sending the duo into a playoff. Wedgeworth hit his approach to three feet on the 413-yard first hole while Ham’s short iron dropped on the green 12 feet from the hole. Ham’s putt slid past the right lip, opening the door for Wedgeworth who slam-dunked his putt for the victory.

“I hit my driver really well today,” Wedgeworth said. “With the way I putted, I felt confident on every hole.”

Laird, looking for his first win in the over 40-year-old tournament, started slowly with a double-bogey 6 on the first hole, but birdies on 2, 3, and 6 put him right back in the thick of it. The St Martin golf coach couldn’t get any putts to fall on the back nine and made bogies on 12 and 15 to finish third, three shots out of the playoff.

Madison’s David Sellers finished at 10-under 134 in the Senior Division, a whopping 11 shots ahead of Laurel’s Joey Landrum and 13 better than Gregory Brooking of Natchez.

“I played really well,” said Sellers.

Dr. Reid Sheftall of Biloxi shot a 1-under 71 to finish at 1-over to win the Super Senior Division, nine shots better than Fred Brister of Jackson. David Pepper finished third in the 60-and-over group with a 155 total, followed by Lynn Pippin and Ron Posladek at 157.