The first week of January of 2017 will mark another year, another huge golfing honor, another prestigious tournament and the longest trip of young Wilson Furr’s life.

Furr, an 18-year-old senior at Jackson Academy, is one of six United States junior golfers invited to play in the Master of Amateurs Championship at Royal Melbourne Golf Club in Melbourne, Australia, Jan. 4-7. The event is a 72-hole stroke-play tournament.

Wilson Furr
Wilson Furr

Among the golfers who have played in the tournament in recent years: Jason Day and Rickie Fowler. As in The Masters, the winner receives a green jacket along with his trophy. Day, now the world’s No. 1 ranked player, won it (in 2006); Fowler, currently 11th, did not.

Royal Melbourne, designed by Alister MacKenzie, is one of the world’s most renowned golf courses.

Said Furr: “I’m excited. Royal Melbourne is ranked as one of the top 10 courses in the world. I’ve always wanted to go to Australia and to get the opportunity to play in this golf tournament is awesome.”

Most recently, Furr represented his country, playing for the victorious U.S. team in the Junior Ryder Cup in September.

Furr, ranked No. 4 among U.S. junior boys, is no neophyte when it comes to representing his country. At 15, he played for a U.S. team against China in China. The U.S. lost 8-4, but Furr scored three of the Americans’ four points. Mississippians probably better remember his waltz to the 2015 State Amateur championship, when he became, at 16, the youngest winner in State Am history and what’s more won by eight shots at Country Club of Jackson with a 72-hole score of 14-under-par 274.

Furr will play his college golf at Alabama.

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Rick Cleveland, a native of Hattiesburg and resident of Jackson, has been Mississippi Today’s sports columnist since 2016. A graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi with a bachelor’s in journalism, Rick has worked for the Monroe (La.) News Star World, Jackson Daily News and Clarion Ledger. He was sports editor of Hattiesburg American, executive director of the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame. His work as a syndicated columnist and celebrated sports writer has appeared in numerous magazines, periodicals and newspapers.
Rick has been recognized 13 times as Mississippi Sports Writer of the Year, and is recipient of multiple awards and honors for his reporting and writing.