17-Year-Old Will Play PGA Tour Event
By Torleif Sorenson on 11/5/14

Camden Backel is just 17 years old and a senior at Madison Central High School in Madison, Mississippi. But this week, don't look for him in the hallways — he will be on the fairways, instead.

On Monday, Backel qualified to play in this week's PGA Tour event, the Sanderson Farms Championship at the Country Club of Jackson in nearby Jackson, the state capital. The big show begins Thursday morning.

Reporter Riley Blevins of the Jackson Clarion-Ledger was along for the qualifying round and was able to report that the young man shot 7-under at Lake Caroline Golf Club, site of the Monday qualifier. But that 65 merely got into into an eight-way playoff that included three tour pros. After a birdie at the first playoff hole at #10, Backel outlasted former Louisiana State University golfer Smylie Kaufman (who presumably was not smiling afterward) with a par at the 11th hole.

The young man was scheduled to play practice rounds with David Duval, Trevor Immelman, and David Toms — major champions all. His caddie will be his high school golf coach, Todd Beach:
"I've won four state championships — and this is the greatest thing I've witnessed in my coaching career."
We believe him.


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