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Slavic Invitational has reach way beyond Magnolia state

Published: Sep. 24, 2021 at 7:04 PM CDT
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BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - It’s known as the greatest amateur golf team tournament in Mississippi. But it’s clear in the Slavic Invitational’s 46th year, its influence goes way beyond the Magnolia state.

There are good reasons why the Slavic Invitational golf tournament has been around for more than four decades.

“It’s world-class as far as how it’s run,” said North Carolina resident J.P. Hansen. “They treat everybody equally, depending on your handicap level. And it’s great competition.”

And Hansen is serious about his golf.

“I wouldn’t tee-up unless I’m going to be competitive out here,” said Hansen. “But he’s also serious about the fringe benefits.

“We have about 12 guys that come down every year - give or take,” Hansen said. “And we just stay in the same house, go the casino afterward, drink and have a good time.”

The Slavic is divided up into five courses. At the Sunkist course, it’s clear this isn’t just a local tournament.

This year, 428 two-person teams are playing. Each of the courses used in the tournament has 212 players teeing off at different times.

And among all those players, 20 states are represented. Chad Quesenberry of Tucson, Ariz., is another long-time player traveling from a long distance.

“We bring about 8 to 12 from all over, all pretty much Air Force guys,” said Quesenberry. “So, it’s the camaraderie for us. And then, meeting all the new people, some great food, lots of good golf. Really just love the tournament.”

This is Texas resident Curtis Overstreet’s first Slavic tournament after being hounded for years to come.

“We had some good friends that had played in this tournament for 20 years,” he said. “They have told us again and again and again that we need to come. And, so, this year, we said, ‘We’re going to the Slavic.’ "

And now, he’s hooked.

“No. 1, it’s the hospitality of the people,” Overstreet said. “The courses are fun, you get to play a variety of courses. And, the city of Biloxi, they said, you’re going to be surprised.”

The final round will be played Sunday at Beau Rivage’s Fallen Oak.

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