published Monday, June 4th, 2012

David Noll stays perfect at North Georgia

DALTON, Ga. — David Noll hustled home so he could answer the biggest question of the day: How many times have you won the North Georgia Invitational?

He counted the plaques including the one he took home Sunday. He has the trophies from 2002-07, 2010 and now 2012. Then he realized he did not play in 2008-09 or '11.

He's won every ... single ... time that he's entered the tournament.

Noll shot a 1-under-par 71 on Sunday for a two-day total of 4-under 140 which topped runner-up Matt Robertson by four strokes at Dalton Golf and Country Club.

"I don't know if I was expected to win today, but a lot of people figured I would," said the 39-year-old Noll. "Your club wants you to win and do well, and that's not easy. If you said I wasn't nervous, you're crazy."

Will Morrow finished third at 1 over. Brandon Cissom, Chris Schmidt and Anthony Maccaglia tied for fourth at 4 over.

"It feels good to get on that edge and that feeling of being within reach of winning a tournament," said Morrow, who prepped at Dalton.

It's no surprise that Noll won.

"He'll be in the Georgia Golf Hall of Fame," said Dalton director of golf Lowell Fritz, who will be inducted the upcoming class. "He'd be in now, but he's not old enough."

After all, Noll is a seven-time winner of Georgia Amateur of the Year including five in a row.

Oh, and Noll said, he's won more than 90 tournaments ranging from the NGI to the club championship to the Georgia State Amateur and Georgia Mid-Amateur.

"I'd trade them all in for a USGA championship and one trip to the Masters," Noll said. "I hope I win as many State Ams as I play in and as many player of the year awards I can get.

"But I'd trade it all for a U.S. Am or a U.S. Mid-Am. I want one with all my heart."

Fritz worked with Noll on his putting stroke after Noll opened the NGI with a 3-under 69 which tied him with Robertson.

Noll birdied the first three holes on Sunday to take a three-stroke lead over the field. But his approach shot on No. 4 clipped some leaves and resulted in a bogey.

"I birdied 1, 2, and 3 and it's like, 'Here we go,'" Noll said. "On No. 4, they got life and that set the tone."

Noll parred the rest of the holes. He left the rest of the elevator riding to his final-group playing competitors -- Robertson and Morrow.

Robertson suffered a triple-bogey 7 on the 11th hole after yanking his tee shot left off a tree. But Morrow birdied to pull even with Noll at 4 under for the tournament.

Robertson shot 2 under after his triple-bogey and came off the 16th green to say, "I need a few more holes."

Morrow, who was within one shot through 12 holes Sunday, shot 5-over on his last seven holes.

That's not going to beat a seven-time state player of the year, or a guy who has won this tournament every time he entered, or a future Golf Hall of Famer.

All of which are Noll.

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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