Oxford, Miss. (April 22, 2018) — Even though it was a gloomy, rain-soaked Sunday at the Country Club of Oxford, it was a beautiful birthday for Tennessee native Eric Axley. Axley, who turned 44 today, was declared the inaugural tournament champion after Web.comTOUR officials were forced to cancel the final round due to heavy rains that led the course to become unplayable. Axley ended the week at 12-under 204, three strokes ahead of Willy Wilcox, Sebastian Munoz, and K.H. Lee.
“It feels good,” Axley said of his first win since the 2006 Valero Texas Open. “It’s been a while since I won on this level, and it always feels good to win.”
After a picture-perfect first three days, rain began falling in Oxford during the early-morning hours Sunday. After mid-morning play was suspended, players waited around the clubhouse and range in anticipation of news about resumption. The uncertainty was cleared up at 2:40 p.m. when TOUR officials deemed the course unplayable and congratulated Axley on his victory – his second professional win in the state of Mississippi (2003 Capitol City Open, NGA Hooters Tour).
“We looked at the forecast and knew they had moved [final-round] tee times up,” Axley recalled, “This isn’t our first rodeo, so we thought that there may be a chance that we didn’t play today. Our goal yesterday was to play like it was the final round and we went out and played well, and it ends up it was the final round, so we got the win.”
The week’s purse was $550,000 and with the victory came with a $99,000 payday, moving Axley up 38 spots on the regular season money list to No. 7. “This check will probably be the best [birthday present] I’ve gotten,” Axley joked.
Tournament staff and volunteers presented Axley with the check and trophy at a ceremony immediately following play. “We wish to thank all the volunteers and spectators who came out this week in support of the tournament, the City of Oxford who was amazing in hosting us, the Ole Miss Athletic department, and last, but not least, the staff and members of the Country Club of Oxford who graciously let us take over their beautiful facility for the last ten days,” said executive director Steve Jent.
“We started planning this tournament over a year ago on behalf of the 250 members of Century Club Charities,” said Jeff Hubbard, Century Club Charities president. “This is the first time I personally have worked with the Web.com TOUR staff, and couldn’t have asked for a more incredible team. We also want to thank Archie and Cooper Manning for hosting a stellar Pro-Am event on Wednesday.”
|1||Eric Axley||71-65-68–204 (-12)|
|2||Willy Wilcox||72-71-64–207 (-9)|
|Sebastian Munoz||67-71-69–207 (-9)|
|K.H. Lee||69-66-72–207 (-9)|
About Century Club Charities and the North Mississippi Classic
The North Mississippi Classic is a new event on the Web.com TOURhosted by Century Club Charities, a non-profit, 501©(3) organization whose mission is to promote the game of golf for the benefit of charity. The tournament’s primary beneficiary is Friends of Children’s Hospital. A portion of the proceeds from the North Mississippi Classic will donated to 60+ additional charities around the state. The total amount raised by the tournament will be announced in mid-2018.
Photo credit: Eric Axley moves to No. 7 on the Web.com Tour money list with his victory at the Country Club of Oxford. (Andy Lyons/Getty Images)