Lee University golf coach John Maupin is willing to let junior Hunter Vest finish playing in the Chattanooga TPC.
But Vest's caddie, Lee junior Matt Emery, will have to skip the final day of the season-ending championship so he and the rest of the Flames can prepare for the Chick-Fil-A Collegiate Invitational beginning Monday in Rome, Ga.
"I joked with Hunter that he has to WD, but really he's seen the [Rome] course enough," Maupin said. "Matt needs to see the course and get ready, so Hunter is going to have to finish it on his own."
Vest, who won the Brainerd Invitational to start the Chattanooga District Golf Association season, finished off Signal Mountain Invitational winner Chris Schmidt by getting up and down on 17th hole at Council Fire for a 3 and 2 victory in the quarterfinals of the TPC.
"I got up early and cut out stupid mistakes," Vest said. "He was hanging in there for the whole round. I'd go 2 up; then the next hole was 1 up. Then 2 up. We went back and forth."
Vest advanced to a morning semifinal against stroke-play medalist Brendon Wilson, who defeated Ringgold High senior Brooks Thomas 2 and 1. The winner moves on to the championship match this afternoon.
On the other side of the bracket, Richard Spangler defeated Brandon Cissom 3 and 2 and Tom Schreiner beat McCallie senior Andrew Weathers 4 and 3.
"I have to find a swing tonight," said Spangler, who chipped in to win hole No. 5. "I hit it solid about 50 percent of the time. But every time I missed the green, I chipped it close."
The semifinals are set: Wilson versus Vest and Schreiner versus Spangler. Then the winners will play to claim a glass trophy.
Maupin figures it would be a good companion on Vest's ride to Rome.
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 ...