Willow Creek Country Club in Knoxville is holding its invitational tournament Saturday and Sunday, and some of the players who usually compete at Elizabethton have decided to go to Knoxville.
The big draw? Willow Creek is the site of U.S. Amateur qualifying on Tuesday, and the weekend of competitive golf will serve as a nice warmup for trying to get into a U.S.G.A. event.
The East Tennessee Amateur will be held Friday through Sunday. A field of 115 players will be competing in several divisions. The Championship Flight has 53 players, including seven who have won the tournament in the past.
“We have a really good field,” tournament director Mike Matheson said. “That’s eight more than we had last year. We’re pretty happy with the field considering what’s going on down in Knoxville. I understand that.”
Garrett Whitfield is the defending champion. Other former champs playing at Elizabethton are Cayman Ratliff, Nick York, Ben Treadway, Blake Howard, Lucas Armstrong and Bryan Sangid.
Ratliff, a two-time champion, holds the tournament record of 200, 16 under par.
With more than 50 players in the championship field, Matheson said there will be a cut after 36 holes. The low 30 players and ties will qualify to play on Sunday.
UT’S NEW COACH
Brennan Webb was on the fast track in college golf, and now he’s entered the big time as a head coach. When Webb was announced as the new coach at Tennessee, the move received nothing but praise around the college golf world.
Leading the charge was his former coach at East Tennessee State, Fred Warren. Warren is in the Golf Coaches Association of America Hall of Fame and has coached a lot of All-Americans, so his comments carry the weight of experience.
“Brennan Webb is not only one of the best coaches in collegiate golf, he is also one of the finest young men I have had the privilege of coaching,” Warren said. “In addition to the success he has experienced both in collegiate and professional golf, Brennan is an exceptional leader and a person of the highest character. He is an excellent communicator and has successfully built relationships at every level he has been.
“He has proven that he has the ability to recruit great players, to motivate and inspire them and to win. I have no doubt that his teams will achieve unprecedented success in the years ahead. The University of Tennessee hired a winner.”
Webb spent three years as an assistant at Georgia Tech, where he learned under the tutelage of Bruce Heppler, the nine-time Atlantic Coast Conference coach of the year.
“Coach Webb has a very special way with people,” Heppler said. “Both young and old are drawn to his energy and confidence, which is a tremendous gift in recruiting and program building. Additionally, he has the special ability of helping people believe in themselves like they never have done before. He challenges everyone around him to be better than they have ever been.”
Webb was most recently head coach at Middle Tennessee State, where his team made back-to-back NCAA apppearances.
TRI-CITIES GOLF CLUB
John Fulwider has left his position as golf professional at Tri-Cities Golf Club to concentrate on his job as a wellness manufacturing company rep. He will also be giving golf lessons at Warriors Path.
After the East Tennessee Amateur concludes on Sunday, the local golf scene will turn its attention to the Ridgefields Invitational at the Club at Ridgefields in Kingsport. It’s scheduled for July 13-15, and it’s the fourth event on the Tri-Cities Amateur Tour.
LONESOME PINE INVITATIONAL
The 87th annual Lonesome Pine Invitational is set for July 21-22 at the club in Big Stone Gap.
The entry fee is $135, $105 for members, and includes golf and cart fee for both tournament rounds, plus one practice round during the week of the event.
Divisions include Championship, Seniors (50-64), Super Seniors (65 and over) and Regular Flights. Players will be flighted using Saturday’s scores. Players wanting to play in the Championship or Senior Flights must declare before Saturday’s round.
The event is the final tournament on the Tri-Cities Amateur Tour.
Call (276) 523-0739 to enter.
A. Jacks Green not only has a unique name, he has a new title — Tennessee Junior Amateur champion.
Green, who will be a senior at Christ Presbyterian School in Nashville in the fall, claimed the crown by playing just one hole on the final day.
After inclement weather forced the final round to be canceled, Green and Wofford College signee Matt Copeland were tied at two over par.
After the rest of the field left the Stones River Country Club course, Green and Copeland waited until there was a break in the weather and then went out for a playoff to determine the champion.
Green, an early Lipscomb University commit, birdied the first hole to take the title. He had previously won the Tennessee junior PGA championship.
Local tee times
Carter County Bank East Tennessee Amateur
Friday’s first-round groupings
At Elizabethton Golf Course
7:00 a.m. — Brian Pardue vs. Andrew Pisacano
7:08 a.m.. — Tyler Church vs. Luke Bateman
7:16 a.m. — Kelly Lane vs. Stephen Wilson
7:24 a.m. — Bennett Swafford vs. James Steffan
7:32 a.m. — Eric Hall vs. Brad Headrick
7:40 a.m. — Tony Southard vs. Zack McCamey
7:48 a.m. — Jeff Taylor vs. Deano Taylor
7:52 a.m. — Mitchell Nidiffer vs. Carroll Deaton
8:00 a.m. — Felicia Nidiffer vs. Harmon Duncan
8:08 a.m. — David Croston vs. Mark Dugger
8:16 a.m. — Jason Otto vs. Jerry Whitt
8:24 a.m. — Paul Johnson vs. Brian Allen
8:32a.m. — Casey Goetz vs. Michael Hawk
8:40 a.m. — Chad Napier vs. Troy Baker
8:48 a.m. — Rick Eggers vs. Keith Buck
8:56 a.m. — John Angelopoulos vs.. Andrew Julian
9:20 a.m. — Dave Dugger, Scott Campbell, Andrew Quillen
9:30 a.m. — Wayne Buckles, Jamie Shipley, Richard Parker
9:40 a.m.. — James White, Marty Eads, Bob Ross
9:50 a.m. — Eddie Lewis, Tony Gouge, Ronnie Burton
10:00 a.m. — Dwight Scott, Tommy Scott, Marc Runyan
10:10 am. — Mike Wood, Mike Poe, Bill Hardin
10:20 a.m. — Dean Batchelder, Eddie Bailey, Lyman Fulton
10:30 a.m. — Joe Avento, James Fender, Jeff Andrews
10:40 a.m. — Greg Goulds, Mike Davis, Dan Robbie
10:50 a.m. — Chris Tidwell, Ansley Bishop, Herb Smith
11:20 a.m. — Gabe Turner, Shawn Ray
11:30 a.m. — Bryan Sangid, Joe Brooks, Tommy Miller
11:40 a.m. — Hunter Chandley, Matthew Bateman, Tucker Alley
11:50 a.m. — Reid Smith, Tyler Justis, Wesley Hall
Noon — Nick Bradshaw, Josh Taylor, Jeremy Rollins
12:10 p.m. — Matt Dibella, Gibson Miller, Boddie Bible
12:20 p.m. — Sam Pleasant, Jordan Williams, Caleb Moss
12:30 p.m. — Tyler Lane, Benjamin Harris, Chad Couch
12:40 p.m. — Cameron Lane, Jacob Davis, Dakota Rash
12:50 p.m. — Ben Campbell, Chris Guy, Garrett Whitfield
1:00 p.m. — Chip Spratlin, Lucas Armstrong, Nick York
1:10 p.m. — Mitchell Sutton, Tyler Presley, Cayman Ratliff
1:20 p.m. — Carlson Cox, Jeff Scott, David Talley
1:30 p.m. — Cameron Dugger, Matt Love, Laeth Ratliff
1:40 p.m. — Jason Hoagland, Michael Kucera, Tyler Cox
1:50 p.m. — Elliott Smith, Christofer Schaff, Kolby Evans
2:00 p.m. — Hunter Adams, Brandon Mathes, Ethan Mays
2:10 p.m. — Blake Howard, Ben Treadway, Tyler Duntsch