Words and Images by Al Blanton
The town of Leeds, Alabama, has reason to celebrate. One of its own, 17-year-old Sam Burns, recently won the 52nd Annual Pigeon Dove golf tournament at Musgrove Country Club in Jasper. Burns shot 1-over par to capture the 36-hole tournament, held this past Monday and Tuesday.
The 34-player field included participants from all over the state of Alabama, as well as Georgia and Florida.
“We were excited to host our 52nd Pigeon Dove Junior Championship. This is a longstanding tradition for junior golf in Alabama,” said Cade Diehl, Head Golf Professional at Musgrove.
Burns led a field that included several individuals with Walker County ties: Whit Watson, who hails from Savannah, Georgia, is the son of Winslett Long Watson and grandson of Bud and Susan Long; Dillan Wade of Vestavia, Ala., is the son of Heath and Diedre Wade and grandson of James Wade of Jasper; and Florence’s Clark Hayes, who is the son of Chad Hayes and Lori Clark Hayes, and grandson of Jim and Jean Clark, formerly of Jasper.
Prior to winning the Pigeon Dove, Burns finished tied for third at the AJGO Woodward Golf and CC tournament and 11th at the RTJ Oxmoor Valley NB3 Local Qualifier in 2023. Burns attends Briarwood Christian School and his home club is Greystone Golf & Country Club.
“The tournament a great opportunity to show off the beautiful club we have as well as being new folks to Jasper,” Diehl said. ‘A big thanks goes out to the Alabama Junior Golf Association for helping us out on this championship.” WL
For tournament results, please visit alabamajuniorgolf.org.