sports 4 days ago

Longtime friends win four-ball state golf tournament in Gulfport

The Meridian Star, Miss. — Elton Hayes The Meridian Star, Miss.

July 15--Lou Hart and Pam Posey first met in 1984 during a Mississippi state amateur golf tournament in Jackson. Although they lived in different cities at the time, they just knew a companionship would ensue.

A three-decade friendship between the two has been the byproduct of their love for golf.

Their bond was further strengthened last Tuesday when Posey and Hart won the 2017 Mississippi Women's Golf Association's state four-ball tournament at Gulfport's Windance Country Club. The duo closed out the tournament in dramatic fashion.

"At the end of the day, we were one shot out going into 18, and Pam hit a great drive down the middle of the fairway and knocked a rescue up about eight feet," Hart, 65, recalled. "Our opponents bogeyed, and Pam and I took the hole for birdie and the rest is history."

Hart and Posey combined to shoot 143 (71, 72) during the two-day tournament to defeat three-time tournament champions Shiela Haynes and Shannon Adams. Their victory sent ripples through the field of the more than 40 golfers who competed.

"Everybody was just shaking their head walking off the green -- I think everybody was in shock," Hart said. "It had been a good match. It was back-and-forth; it could have gone either way. Pam just made birdie at the right time, and fortunately, there weren't any more holes."

Posey, 61, said she knew the final hole would offer a challenge after playing it the day before, so she made the proper adjustments on her tee shot which put the duo in a good position entering the last hole.

"That last day, I actually hit it far enough left in the fairway to give me a good angle, and Lou got to hit it to the green first and hit a really good shot," said Posey, a retired band director and former majorette at Mississippi State University. "I hit a five hybrid about 135 yards into that hole, and we thought it was going in. We just kept watching it roll. It finally stopped, and as we went up there we realized it was 10 feet beyond the hole. But we were fortunate to get that birdie, and that just put us one stroke up and that was the final hole."

Thirty years of friendship have forged a sisterhood between the two. Posey moved to Meridian in 1992, and she and Hart reunited shortly after when Hart returned to Meridian from Jackson. Posey said countless memories have been made since.

"It's been really, really nice," Posey said. "It has grown tremendously from a periodic, 'Let's go play golf,' to a lifelong dear friend who I can go to about anything: family, golf, religion. We're very close and very interested in the same things. She's made a huge difference in my life."

The friendship has also seen its share of competition.

"We've also had to compete against each other in individuals tournaments, so that hasn't been the fun part," Posey said with a laugh. "It's much more fun having her as a partner."

While Posey moved to Meridian later in life, Hart, a nine-time state amateur champion and Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame inductee, has been a fixture at area golf courses for more than 50 years. She attended Meridian High School before playing collegiate golf at Meridian Community College and Florida State University.

Hart returned to MCC as a golf coach in 1994, where she coached for 12 years. Her father, H.G. Weddington, was a three-time Mississippi Amateur tournament winner and a member of Ole Miss' golf team, and is enshrined in the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame. Her brother, Alex Weddington, also played golf at Ole Miss.

Time hasn't withered Hart's and Posey's friendship, and as long as the two remain in good health they'll continue playing together in tournaments and at Meridian's Northwood County Club.

Next year, the duo plans to again partner to defend their championship.

"I'm sure we will -- Lord willing," Hart said. "No question about it."

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(c)2017 The Meridian Star (Meridian, Miss.)

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