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High school senior qualifies for Sanderson Farms

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Camden Backel had plans to play the Sanderson Farms’ BankPlus Junior Pro-Am on Tuesday.

Now he’s a little too busy preparing for the real thing.

The 17-year-old high-school senior made 10 birdies during Monday qualifying, then advanced out of an 8-for-1 playoff to earn a spot in this week's opposite-field event.

“It still doesn’t feel real,” he told the Clarion-Ledger.

Backel, a senior at Madison (Miss.) Central, shot 67 in Friday’s pre-qualifier before teeing it up the 18-hole shootout that featured 86 players for four spots.

His 7-under 65 Monday was good enough for a playoff. Backel birdied the first playoff hole and then advanced when his opponent, former LSU All-American Smylie Kaufman, made bogey on the second extra hole.  

Backel’s high school coach, Todd Beach, will serve as his caddie this week.