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There’s a new tournament on the Southwest Missouri high school boys golf calendar this year, and its rewards go well beyond the end of the 18-hole competition.

The Horton Smith Invitational, presented by the Joplin Golf Foundation, will be played on Monday at the Schifferdecker Municipal Golf Course in Joplin. A coaches’ meeting will be held in the clubhouse at 8 a.m., and a shotgun start is scheduled for 8:30.

According to Joplin Golf Foundation president Gary Vernon and Carthage Municipal Golf Course professional Mark Peterson, the goal is to develop this tournament into a showcase for area players and teams. Plaques will be given to the top two teams, and medals will be awarded to the top 10 individuals.

In addition, the top-10 finishers will be given spots on the Joplin Boys Horton Smith Cup team that will play Springfield this summer.

And, as many as four $500 scholarships will be offered to seniors in the tournament. The criteria used to determine scholarship recipients:

• top-10 tournament finish and playing in the Horton Smith Cup event;

• a one-page essay on “What Golf Means to Me;”

• a resume of golf and academic achievements.

Sixteen teams are entered: Carthage, Joplin, Webb City, Carl Junction, Lamar, Seneca, Nevada, Neosho, College Heights Christian, Thomas Jefferson, Diamond, Purdy, Aurora, Cassville, Pierce City and Sarcoxie.

The tournament is named after Smith, the “Joplin Ghost” who won the first Masters in 1934 and again in 1936.

From staff reports sports@joplinglobe.com

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