It's a major.
Along with their respective state championships, their region championships, the City Prep Championship is the one golf tournament that players and coaches would like to claim as a team and individually.
"It's one of the few tournaments where we get big schools, small schools, public and private all together, and everybody wants to see how the best players all match up," Polk County coach Jason Adams said. "There's a lot of pride for it locally. That's what makes it a little more special."
After all, it determines the yearly champions of the greater Chattanooga area. This year, boys and girls from 20 different schools are competing for their individual championship.
"I believe that this tournament has the best teams and best individuals in the Chattanooga area getting together," McCallie coach Tony Meyers said. "In the City Prep, you'd like to be competitive, hopefully win, and hope that will springboard you into regionals, and then when you get to state, anything can happen."
The 18-hole competition begins this morning at the Bear Trace at Harrison Bay with the first group of boys hitting their first tee shot at 9 a.m., and the last group of girls starting at 12:46 p.m.
"It's the mid-point of the season and a measuring-stick for our girls," said Baylor coach Gary Partrick. Baylor won both team titles last year and had medalists in Mikey Feher and Blakesly Warren. "It's our midseason testing tournament and it's always been fun. I'm looking forward to see how we stack up in the greater Chattanooga area."
There are seven boys teams from across the area and five girls teams competing for the team title. The boys competition will have five boys playing and the top four scores counting. For the girls, three will play and two will count.
The field includes seven boys and five girls who earned Times Free Press Best of Preps recognition last season.
"In the last few years, the field has always been strong, and we'll have a bunch of players who will qualify for state," Adams said. "You have to earn your way in to the City Prep."
Just like the pros earn their way into the Masters.
Contact David Uchiyama at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 423-757-6484. Follow him on Twitter 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 ...