Mekus will play in pro-am

Published 11:41 am Monday, July 11, 2011

St. Aloysius golfer Nick Mekus will have a return engagement with the Annandale Golf Club Tuesday.

Mekus, who won medalist honors last May as a sophomore at the Class 1A State Championship Tournament in Natchez, will play in the Viking Classic Junior Pro-Am for the second straight year. He is the only junior golfer from Warren County who will play in the PGA Tour event.

Mekus said he hopes to have a better outing this year. Last October, Mekus was paired with PGA Tour golfer Kirk Triplett. He was one of three Warren County junior golfers in the event along with St. Al teammate Chris Ingram and Warren Central’s Parker Rutherford. This time, he has been paired with Mark Brooks and will tee off at 5:15 p.m.

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“Last year, I didn’t think I hit my irons that well,” Mekus said. “But, I putted well. It was good to finally get to play in it last year, because it rained us out the year before.”

In 2009, the Viking Classic was rained out, making it one of the few tournaments in PGA history to get cancelled. The Viking Classic had perfect weather for all seven days last year, including the Junior Pro-Am on Tuesday. Bill Haas won the Viking Classic last year, but will not be back to defend his title since he qualified to play in The Open Championship at Royal St. George’s.

Instead of playing this year at the Junior Pro-Am, Ingram will be on the bag for Mekus.

“I’ve done it before for him down at Grand Bear and I enjoyed it,” said Ingram, who completed his prep career at St. Al last May as the Flashes won the Class 1A team title. Ingram played in the junior pro-am last year in Brad Faxon’s group.

Ingram said he will stay away from giving Mekus advice.

“He’ll make his own decisions,” Ingram said. “I’ll just carry the bag and maybe give him his yardage.”

Mekus has enjoyed a good summer on the links on the Mississippi Junior Golf Association’s mini tour. He was fourth last week at the junior event in Cleveland which was won by Rutherford. He was second at Quail Hollow in McComb and fifth at Dancing Rabbit in Choctaw.

“It’s been solid,” Mekus said of his season.

Despite his win in Cleveland, Rutherford didn’t have enough points to play at the Viking this summer.

Rutherford has played more adult events this summer. He played with Ingram in the Mississippi Amateur in early June. Last week, he was fourth at the Vicksburg Country Club Championship.

Mike Hurley, who won the Clear Creek Club Championship last month, will play in the first of the sponsored Pro-Ams today at Annandale.