Kye Meeks goes back-to-back at Mississippi Amateur
Kye Meeks (Mississippi State Golf Association Photo)
Kye Meeks (Mississippi State Golf Association Photo)

Ole Miss rising senior Kye Meeks wins the 109th Mississippi Amateur presented by Twain Insurance. The Walnut, Mississippi, native fired rounds of 67-71-67-66 to shoot 17-under at Tupelo Country Club to secure his second state amateur title in as many years.

Meeks trailed Ole Miss men’s assistant golf coach Emerson Newsome by a stroke heading into the day. Together in the final group, alongside 2024 Mississippi Boys Junior Amateur champion Tucker Gutirrez, the pair of Rebels duked it out across Tupelo CC for the state title.

Meeks and Newsome were not the blue and red at the top of the leaderboard, as rising Rebel sophomore Collins Trolio lurked five shots back of the lead at the beginning of Sunday’s final round. Also giving chase to the lead was TCC member Joe Deraney.

Deraney was battling back injuries throughout the week but nonetheless, played his way into the penultimate group on Sunday, looking to close the four-shot gap between him and 54-hole leader, Newsome.

With a stacked top ten, the patrons that graced Tupelo Country Club’s grounds on Sunday were dazzled with spectacular play from the best amateur golfers Mississippi has to offer.

As Meeks and Newsome battled throughout the front nine, Newsome grew his lead to three shots as the group made it to the par-4 9th hole. Pulling his drive nearly out of bounds, Newsome was forced to punch out and scramble for bogey. With Meeks carding a birdie and bringing Newsome’s lead back to one, we had ourselves a tournament.

Deraney threw his hat into the ring, one group ahead of Meeks and Newsome. Using his local knowledge to navigate tough pins, Deraney quickly closed the gap. He got to 5 under on the day and 13 under for the week through 12 holes, getting him well within striking range with just six holes remaining.

Behind him, the battle between player and coach had only begun.

Gaining momentum with the two-shot swing on No. 9, Meeks rattled off two more birdies to start his back nine. With seven holes to go, Meeks took his first solo lead of the tournament at 15 under.

Newsome struggled to get anything going after being electric around and on the greens all week long. Struggling with iron play and shots off the tee, Newsome was putting to save par rather than scoring to hang with Meeks.

With Deraney in at 12 under, Meeks at 17-under, and Newsome at 13-under made it to the drivable 276-yard,  par 4 No. 16, knowing it was practically a two-horse race. Meeks laid up shy of the water that protects the left side of the green while Newsome, forced to make something happen, pushed a 3-wood pin high but into the crowd right of the green.

Meeks came away with par following an up-and-down attempt that nearly went in while Newsome followed suit with a par of his own. All that stood in the way between Meeks and his second Mississippi Amateur title were two holes.

Following a routine par on No. 17, Meeks left his birdie putt just a couple of rolls short on the 18th green. With Gutierrez already holed out, he nearly hurried his tap-in for par. Newsome spoke up while Meeks caught himself. Coach Newsome wanted his player to have his winning moment all to himself.

Marking the tap-in, Newsome cleaned up his par, leaving Meeks with a tap-in to officially secure his second consecutive Mississippi Amateur Championship.

Immediately, the two shook hands which quickly turned into a congratulatory hug, illustrating that a coach is always proud of his players, even if they’re competing against one another.

With the victory, Meeks was awarded an exemption into the 124th U.S. Amateur (His third time to compete in the event), hosted by Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minnesota August 12-18th.

Hazeltine National has hosted 12 major golf events since 1966, most notably the 1970 & 1991 U.S. Open, the 2016 Ryder Cup and most recently the 2019 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship.

Results: Mississippi State Amateur
1MSKye MeeksWalnut, MS30067-71-67-66=271
2MSEmerson NewsomeOxford, MS20068-68-68-71=275
3MSJoseph DeraneyBelden, MS10070-67-71-68=276
4MSCollins TrolioWest Point, MS10068-70-71-73=282
T5MSDrew WilsonPotts Camp, MS10077-68-71-67=283

View full results for Mississippi State Amateur

ABOUT THE Mississippi State Amateur

Format: The tournament is scheduled for 72 holes of stroke play with a cut to the low 60(+ties) after 36 holes of play. Field size is limited to 120 players. Qualifiers will be held for the State Amateur, including an Open Qualifier, the week of the event. Each is scheduled for 18 holes of stroke play. The number of players to advance will be determined by the number of entries for each qualifier and the number available in the field after the exempt players have reserved their place. The same percentage from each qualifier will advance to the championship.

Eligibility: The Amateur Championship is open to male amateurs who are bona fide residents of the state of Mississippi for at least 60 days prior to the first round of the tournament. Participants must conform with the USGA Rules of Amateur Status. All participants in Mississippi Golf Association State Championships are required to have an active GHIN Handicap through a USGA Licensed Mississippi Club.

View Complete Tournament Information

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