published Wednesday, August 15th, 2012

Baylor boys, Clarksville girls win golf Prep Preview

Chattanooga Christian's Scott Stevens plays Tuesday at Black Creek Golf Club.
Chattanooga Christian's Scott Stevens plays Tuesday at Black Creek Golf Club.
Photo by Angela Lewis.

Scott Stevens rolled in five birdie putts and shot a 4-under-par 68 in the Baylor Prep Preview on Tuesday at Black Creek.

That earned the Chattanooga Christian sophomore a spot in a four-man playoff for medalist.

He bowed out on the second hole of the sudden-death playoff by missing a putt shorter than the width of a newspaper.

"I thought too much about," Stevens said after his disbelief evaporated. "I should have just gone and tapped it in."

The Baylor boys' team waited and kept waiting for the playoff to end. The Red Raiders had secured the team championship with a 5-over 293 and wanted to pose for pictures with the plaque.

But the playoff kept going.

Nolan Ray of Battleground Academy lost on the first hole when the other three made birdies. Stevens fell on the next hole, No. 11. Then Knoxville Webb senior Jack Smith and Evangelical Christian junior Ben Pearson played another three holes before one emerged as victor.

Pearson won with a birdie on the par-4 10th hole after nearly driving the green.

"I've been a few playoffs but none that have gone five holes," Pearson said. "In the playoff I had more adrenaline. But I was getting tired because it got hot."

Smith, who is considering playing golf at Duke and taking a visit to Yale soon, won the tournament last year in a playoff over future University of Tennessee at Chattanooga golfer Stuart Thomas.

"I had a lot of positive memories from last year," Smith said. "I'm not sure what it is about Black Creek. It seems to treat me pretty well every time I'm down here."

The Red Raiders finally celebrated about 90 minutes after the tournament ended and scores became final. They beat ECS and Battleground Academy by one stroke.

"Taking this trophy back means a lot to Baylor," said senior Mikey Feher, who led Baylor with a 3-under 69. "Hopefully we can go on and get a state championship trophy."

McCallie placed fifth at 298. Signal Mountain tied for eighth at 312, Notre Dame was 11th with a 298 and CCS placed 13th at 323.

"I told you this was a strong field," Baylor coach Gary Partrick said. "Any time you can break 300 in high school golf, you've had a good day. Almost every team here -- boys and girls -- could win a state championship."

The Lady Raiders and Clarksville girls' teams each shot 5-over 149 in the tournament, which was reduced to 18 holes when a gully-washer canceled Monday's first round. The Wildcats won in a scorecard playoff -- comparing scores from the golfers playing in the No. 1 position on each team. Samantha Gotcher shot 74 to edge Baylor's Blakesly Warren by one for the team title.

Lindsay Miller of Ensworth was the medalist with an even-par 72. Baylor's Lauren Johnson tied for second at 74 and Warren placed fourth. Signal Mountain, the only other area team, placed fifth at 174.

"They're defending state champions with everybody back, and they're good," Partrick said. "We need to putt a little better. We had a 74 and a 75, and I think that's a good day for us."

Contact David Uchiyama at duchiyama@timesfreepress.com or at 423-757-6484. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/UchiyamaCTFP.

about David Uchiyama...

David Uchiyama is a sports writer at the Chattanooga Times Free Press who began his tenure here in May 2001. His primary beats are UTC athletics — specifically men’s basketball and athletic department administration — and golf, which includes coverage from the PGA Tour to youth events. He also covers other high school sports, outdoor adventures, and contributes to other sections of the newspaper when necessary. David grew up in Salinas, Calif., and began working ...

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