Steven Fox, of Hendersonville, hits a ball on Thursday afternoon at the State Amateur Golf Tournament held at the Chattanooga Golf and Country Club. Staff photo by Shawn Paik
Chattanooga Golf & Country Club
Par 70, 6,571 yards
Third-Round scores, Thursday
203—Steven Fox. 204—Carson Jacobs. 207—Grant Milner, Tim Jackson, Ryan Thornton. 208. Keith Mitchell. 209— Matt Cooper, Brandon Rodgers, Hunter Kraus. 210—Ben Wolcott, Payne Denman, Ben Reeves. 211—Josh Nelms, James Stepp, John Luke Tyner, Carson Cox IV, Graham Sleigh, Craig Reasnor. 212—Chris Schmidt, Warren Cheney, Todd Burgan, Trey Trapley, Will Pearson. 213—Neil Spitalny, Lee Maxwell, Elliott Wickenden, Blake Smith, Richard Keene, Eason Lavalle. 214— Marshall Talkington, Mitch Thomas, Andrew Weathers, Tucker Snipes. 215—Brendon Caballero, Mikey Feher. 216—David Weeks, Hayden Anderson, Blake Maum, Philip Lee. 217—Richard Spangler, Brett Patterson, Cole Floyd. 218—Austin Kramer, Hunter Vest, Taylor Deming, Mason Griffin. 219—Kevin Watford, Winston Brown. 220—Danny Green, Steve Lee, Scott Stevens, Dawson Armstrong. 221—Steve McDonald, Jordan Jennings, Stoney Crouch, Alex Snyder. 222—Grant Daugherty, Matt Strube, Tyler THompson, John Corum. 223—Craig Smith. 225—Austin Garrett.
Davis Bunn put himself in a pickle.
He missed the cut at the Tennessee State Amateur on Wednesday by one stroke. Then he chose to caddie for friend Ryan Thornton on Thursday when the Chattanooga Golf and Country Club member moved into a tie for third on the club’s course.
That means Bunn, a senior at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, is working in the final grouping as Thornton tries to chase down former Bunn’s former UTC teammate, reigning U.S. Amateur champion Steven Fox. Fox leads the state tournament heading into the final round today.
“I guess I didn’t think that one out, and I’m not sure what I got myself into,” Bunn said. “Since I’m caddying for Ryan, I can’t really pull for Fox. But I will be happy if he wins, too.”
Fox shot a 2-under-par 68 Thursday to overtake the two-shot lead held by former University of Memphis golfer Grant Milner as the third round began.
Fox enters the final round at 7 under and with a one-stroke lead over his Hendersonville High School teammate Carson Jacobs, who is entering his sophomore season at Vanderbilt.
“Fox was a senior when I was a freshman, but there wasn’t much hazing because I could beat him up — he weighed 110 back then,” Jacobs joked. “It’s going to be a fun and competitive round tomorrow.”
The final group of Fox, Jacobs and Thornton are scheduled to tee off from No. 1 at 9:40 this morning. Milner, defending champion Tim Jackson and Chattanooga’s Keith Mitchell — who shot a blazing 63 on Thursday — will be one group ahead.
“It’s going to take my best,” said Mitchell, who tied the course record with a 62 last week. “Another 63 would make it close.”
Fox’s one-stroke lead over Jacobs could have been wider. Fox scored a double-bogey on the last hole.
He had been cruising. Fox shot 2 under on the front nine — his first sub-par round for those holes — and added birdies on Nos. 11 and 16 without tempting trouble at any hole on the back.
Then a 4-iron shot into the 222-yard par-3 18th flew left of the green, forcing him to chip up and then get down. The chip landed short and he signed for a double-bogey.
“I finally managed to play well on the front,” Fox said. “Today was the best round swinging-wise until 18.”
His final round will include 18 interesting holes, and they will be played with friends, some of whom he’s slumbered with at Thornton’s residence behind the fifth green.
“We’ll all be wanting to win,” Thornton said. “We just want somebody from the house to win.”
Contact David Uchiyama at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6484. Follow him at twitter.com/UchiyamaCTFP
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 ...