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Mannings make their mark on inaugural North Mississippi Classic

Oxford Country Club. Photo courtesy of MWB Advertising

The inaugural North Mississippi Classic has teed off in Oxford, but it was proceeded by the Manning-Pro AM on Wednesday which got things started.

The event took place at the Oxford Country Club, which is the same course where the tournament will be played over the weekend. As the name suggests, the Pro-Am was hosted by two people who need no introduction in Oxford, Archie and Cooper Manning.

Proceeds from the event will benefit charities across the state, including Blair E. Batson Children’s Hospital. Cooper Manning was not only a host, but he also took part in the Pro-Am and says that this event was a great way to help Mississippi children.

“Everybody playing was proud that it was going to a great cause. People love golf, and people love being philanthropic. This was the right combination of both, and we are hoping that this is a tournament for years to come,” Cooper said.

Manning said that Oxford was the perfect location for such an event, and that players from all across the South descended upon the small Mississippi town for the tournament, and that while golf was the main event, many first-timers were able to get the full Oxford experience.

Cooper Manning. Photo courtesy of MWB Advertising

“Everybody was thrilled to have Oxford on the schedule. They enjoyed coming early and getting to play the course, but also getting to eat at some restaurants, see the nightlife and see the things that people who spend a lot of time in Oxford love and appreciate. It was a lot of the guys’ first time here, and they’re excited about the idea of coming back next year,” he said.

As for his performance on the course, Manning was paired with Rick Lamb, a Tennessee grad. While the pairing did not win the Pro-Am, Manning says that a good time was had by all.

“We had a lot of fun. I had done a little research and had a few buddies who had played on the Tour and they mentioned to me to play with him, so I took their advice and they were right. We had a fun day, we all played well. No hardware, but we were proud of our effort,” Cooper said.

During the tournament, Lamb got the call that he had received an invite to the Valero Open, a PGA Tour event, and Manning said that was an added level of excitement for the round as Lamb worked on a plan to make it to San Antonio by the end of the day. As for as how Manning fared, he was happy with the round, but he didn’t get a chance to compare scores with the patriarch of the Manning family.

“Dad was smart, he got in a cart, rode around and harassed everybody,” Cooper said. “He left the golf to me, and he was PR’ing and he’s the best at it.”

The North Mississippi Classic will be the third PGA TOUR-sanctioned event to be held annually in Mississippi, joining the PGA TOUR’s Sanderson Farms Championship and the Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic on PGA TOUR Champions. Mississippi is one of only five states to host an annual tournament on all three tours, with California, Florida, Georgia, and North Carolina rounding out the list.

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