published Thursday, September 27th, 2012

Greater Chattanooga area locals slide at AAA golf tourney

There are no mulligans in the Class AAA state championship. If there were, the Region 4 representatives would have bought them in range-ball buckets.

Three of four participants from the greater Chattanooga area slid down the leaderboard with multiple bogeys during the final round Wednesday at Willowbrook Golf Club in Manchester, Tenn.

Clarksville senior Samantha Gotcher won girls' medalist honors at 3-under 141 and helped her team win the team title at 292. Siegel won the boys' team title at 593, topping Farragut by four.

Future University of Tennessee at Chattanooga golfer Stuart Thomas of Farragut won medalist honors. He tied for first with two others at 4-under then won with a birdie on the first sudden-death playoff hole.

Ooltewah junior Samantha Griffith began the last round six shots off the lead and tied for eighth place. She shot 8 over on her first nine holes and 10 over on the day for a two-round total of 159 resulting in a tie for 17th place.

"I'm upset, I'm kind of mad," Griffith said, via cell phone. "I wanted to shoot in the low 70s and that didn't happen. I'm going to practice harder now, and I'm going to be ready for next year."

McMinn County junior Cody Housley shot 7 over — five shots worse — on Wednesday to finish at 9-over 153 and in a tie for 30th place.

"There were some difficult pin placements and the wind was blowing," Housley said, via cell phone. "I think a lot of people wonted to make a move and I think a lot of people were too aggressive with their putts.

"My swing wasn't there from the start. I did have fun."

Bradley Central junior Chase Montgomery shot 4 over the first day and 8 over in the second round for a 12-over 156 and a tie for 42nd place.

On the flip side, Walker Valley junior Katie Bishop shaved 14 strokes off her first-round 88 to finish at 18-over 162 and in 18th place.

"She got off to a good start today and her putter was working a lot better considering she three-putted the first four holes on Tuesday," Walker Valley coach Bob Williams said. "Today, she played like she's capable of playing."

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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