published Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013

Ben Wolcott right behind leader Tim Jackson in Choo-Choo golf tournament

Hunter Wolcott has a chaperone this week for the Choo-Choo Invitational golf tournament, and it's somebody other than his father.

It's his older brother, Ben.

The Wolcotts are playing in their first tournament as brothers without parental supervision away from their home in Burns, Tenn., about 45 minutes west of Nashville.

"It's fun but it's exhausting," said Ben, who will be a freshman on the Ole Miss golf team in a few weeks. "He looks 21, he hits it 20 yards past me, but sometimes I have to remember he's still just 15 years old.

"He looks to me as a role model, so I have to walk a straight line."

Ben Wolcott tied for fifth at the Magnolia Amateur last week, tied for 12th at the Spirit of America two weeks ago, and he's alone in second after the first round of the Choo-Choo at Council Fire. He shot a 4-under-par 67 -- with the course playing as a par 71 as it did for the NCAA East Regional in 2008 -- and trails Tennessee Golf Hall of Fame member Tim Jackson by one stroke.

Dustin Smith of Nashville is in third place at 68 in the inaugural event that awards points toward the World Amateur Golf Rankings.

Hunter Wolcott is tied for 31st after a 76 with two rounds remaining.

"I putted unbelievable," said Ben Wolcott, who had 28 putts and made seven birdies. "I'd been working on my game a lot, and it started to show at the Spirit and then it carried over to the next week and then today. I've had a little momentum."

And he usually gets the better of his younger -- but not little -- brother.

"I got him once and I let him know that I beat him, and I don't think he liked that," Hunter said. "He'll bring up every other tournament where he beat me."

They're the son of Tunica National general manager Bob Wolcott, who plays in professional events across the state and the Southeast.

"Our parents joke that we were born with a golf club in our hands," Ben joked. "We've played other sports and I gave up basketball. But Hunter is 6-2, so it would be silly for him to quit playing hoops."

Jackson's 66 included a bogey on the 18th hole in his first round at Council Fire since 1994.

"I didn't recognize any of the holes," Jackson said. "There weren't this many houses out here back then."

Contact David Uchiyama at or 423-757-6484. Follow him on Twitter at

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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