PERKINSTON — No. 1 Mississippi Gulf Coast opens MACJC play this weekend with a trip to Eagle Ridge Golf Club in Raymond, and the Bulldogs are ready for it.
"We're qualifying well, we're playing well, and we won our first tournament," Gulf Coast coach Tommy Snell said. "We're looking forward to opening up conference play at Hinds' course. We're looking forward to playing against those other teams."
Five teams will compete in the 36-hole event Saturday and Sunday, but the league will grow by at least one next season. Northeast Mississippi announced this week it will bring back golf next academic year.
Gulf Coast will bring its entire 12-man squad to compete in Raymond. Seven Bulldogs will play as individuals.
"I'm taking everybody up there just to give them some experience," Snell said. "It'll be a good test for them. It'll give the freshmen some playing time."
Jon Hopkins (Fr., Hockerill Anglo-European College/Bishops Stortford, England), Brice Wilkinson (So., Madison Central/Madison), Carter Nicholson (So., Pearl River Central/Carriere), Jake Crosson (Fr., New Hope/Columbus) and Miles Jackson (So., Biloxi/Biloxi) made the five-man team.
Crosson finished fourth in MGCCC's intrasquad qualifying to make his first cut for the season. They played five rounds at four different courses to prepare, with four golfers finishing within nine shots of each other for the fourth and fifth spots.
They adjusted tee locations to simulate Eagle Ridge's characteristics.
"It's a short course, but the back nine is very challenging," Snell said. "It has some really good golf holes on it. It's tight. You've got to pay attention. If you're putting well and hitting the wedges well, you can go low. You can also find a lot of trouble on it."
The Bulldogs opened the season with a win at the Wallace State Fall Invitational by two shots against a tough field on Sept. 10-11
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