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Ace earns pro $500 instead of truck

Martha Masterson watches her drive in the Harrah’s pro-am Wednesday at Clear Creek in Bovina. Her team, which included Bucky Buckner, Steven Marcus, Charles Foster and pro Tom Gilfoil, shot a 119 to finish 12th. (The Vicksburg Post/ C. TODD SHERMAN)

[08/23/01] The winner of Wednesday’s Harrah’s Pro-Am at Clear Creek Golf Course earned a nice check, but a consolation prize got the most attention.

Kevin Grace, the pro at Rolling Hills in Crystal Springs, had to settle for $500 instead of a brand new truck after hitting a hole-in-one, while the winning team donated its prize to charity.

The excitement over the fourth ace of Grace’s life turned into disappointment. Because he is a pro, he was ineligible to win the 2001 Ford F-150. Only amateurs were eligible.

“It would’ve been nice, but that’s the way it goes,” Grace said.

Harrah’s did, however, give Grace $500 for the hole-in-one. He also won $50 for finishing in a three-way tie for fifth place.

“It was the right thing to do even though legally, we weren’t bound to,” tournament director Danny Bass said of the award for the ace. “It was the honorable thing to do.”

Jim Shannon, Eddie Murphy, Brett Newtson and Paul Kasperski part of the news team at Monroe, La., television station KNOE shot a total of 108 to win the 68-team tournament, the biggest pro-am in the state.

Because they were invited to play by Harrah’s, they opted to donate their $1,600 in gift certificates from the Clear Creek pro shop to the West Monroe Boys and Girls Club.

“The casino invited us over, and because of that, we designated it to charity if we happened to win anything,” said Shannon, the station’s news director. “And lo and behold, we won the whole thing. We were just fortunate that we did well.”

Grace also did well. Once the banter about the possibility of winning the truck died down, he hit a 6-iron on the tricky par-3 fourth hole at Clear Creek a hole that slopes uphill, has a pond along the right side and a long, open hill to the left.

“We didn’t really know because the trees in the background were blocking the view. I knew if it wasn’t in the hole, it was over the green,” Grace said.

Joey Mizell didn’t need an ace to rack up the cash. All he had to do was shoot two great rounds.

Mizell, a pro from Mandeville, La., followed up his round of 65 in the morning with a 64 in the afternoon to edge Anthony Price, whose best round of the day was a 65, for the $300 first-place prize among pros. Mizell won an additional $300 for leading his team to a second-place finish.

“I really thought that a 65 would be good,” said Mizell, who had six birdies, an eagle and no bogeys during his second round. “Then I went out the second time and really played fearless.”