Chattanooga Christian sophomore Scott Stevens is a pint-sized pup with braces, curly hair like Rory McIlroy and flexibility that even the No. 1 golfer in the world could envy.
Like McIlroy these days, Stevens is winning.
Stevens shot an even-par 72 in the first round of the Class A/AA state tournament at Willowbrook Golf Club in Manchester on Tuesday and is tied for first place with Jermey Fultz of Carter High School.
"He did not play his best round, but he played well enough to get himself in contention," CCS coach Don Holwerda said over the phone. "I give him a lot of credit. It would have been easy to fold after a couple of early bogeys. He hung in there. He has a shot at the title, and I'm excited."
Stevens has the best shot to bring a trophy back to Chattanooga. The East Hamilton boys' team sits in fourth place and 31 shots off the lead of Macon County. Signal Mountain is another two shots back.
"It was a tough day out there, and there were a lot of high numbers out there across the board," Signal Mountain coach Rodney Mitchell said. "It was a rough day for us. But the boys still want to go out and see what kind of number they can post in the final round."
Signal's Lady Eagles are in second place at 164, five behind Macon County. Signal senior Haley Davidson shot an 80, which has her in fourth place individually. The Boyd-Buchanan girls team is is more than 30 shots off the lead.
"The ladies started slowly, made the turn and finished pretty well on the back," Mitchell said. "We're not out of it. Our girls know they have a chance if they play well."