The youth movement continues in the Chattanooga Women's Amateur.
For the fifth consecutive year, the champion will not be old enough to celebrate at the 19th hole. And barring a disqualification of both finalists, there will be a repeat champion crowned this afternoon at Chattanooga Golf and Country Club.
Haley Cothran, a rising sophomore at Middle Tennessee State, and Emily Javadi, who begins her freshman year at Sewanee in a few weeks, will compete for championship beginning this morning at 8:50 beside the Tennessee River.
"There's no telling how many times we played against each other in high school and other events," Cothran said. "She's been a great high school player, and I'm looking forward to playing against her again."
Carol Massey, who claimed the championship in 2007, is the most recent champion who was beyond high school or college age.
Cothran, who prepped at Soddy-Daisy, won in 2008. Javadi, who recently graduated from Baylor won in 2010. Former Notre Dame golfer Shelby Gilbert won in 2009, and Mercer rising junior Mary Alice Murphy won in 2011.
"I don't think technically they are better than we were, but they have more experience and better technology at a young age," 10-time champion Betty Probasco before the tournament. "In Chattanooga, we've always had good players."
Cothran advanced to the championship match by defeating Signal Mountain senior Haley Davidson 2 and 1 in the quarter-finals, then by topping veteran Carlene Ryon 3 and 2.
Cothran lost the first two holes of her semifinal match. She and Ryon were all-square through eight holes before Cothran won four straight holes to take command of the match.
"This is my favorite tournament because my brother [Kyle] can caddie for me and match play is my favorite format," Cothran said. "I was feeling good our there all day, and I kept thinking about hitting fairways and greens."
Javadi advanced to the championship match by dispatching two of her friends on Wednesday. She beat former Baylor teammate Blakesly Warren 1 up in the semifinals.
Then Javadi beat recent Signal Mountain graduate Sarah Dolmovich 4 and 2 in the semifinals. Warren played the role of caddie for Dolmovich in the afternoon while Javadi's father, A.J., caddied for her which created a fun family competition.
"I was paying attention to every shot," Javadi said. "It really helped that dad was my caddy. He really helps me calm my nerves."
Once again, regardless of the outcome, the championship trophy will need to be filled with PowerAde or sparkling cider instead of champagne.
David Paschall is a sports writer for the Times Free Press. He started at the Chattanooga Free Press in 1990 and was part of the Times Free Press when the paper started in 1999. David covers University of Georgia football, as well as SEC football recruiting, SEC basketball, Chattanooga Lookouts baseball and other sports stories. He is a Chattanooga native and graduate of the Baylor School and Auburn University. David has received numerous honors for ...
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