The final round of the Division II-AA state golf tournament could be as dramatic as the back nine of any Sunday at the Masters.
Five boys' teams are within three strokes of each other heading into the final round today at Willowbrook Golf Club in Manchester.
Baylor leads after shooting 10-over-par 298 on Monday. Montgomery Bell Academy is at 299. McCallie, Memphis University School and Ensworth are tied at 301.
"There is no favorite after today, and every shot will be precious tomorrow," Baylor coach Gary Partrick said. "Every shot needs full attention, because we are all bunched up."
Said McCallie coach Tony Meyers: "It's going to be a battle tomorrow. We need to play to ultimate best of our abilities."
McCallie senior Patrick McDonald, who won the Baylor Preview and Region championships, leads the medalist race by four strokes with a 5-under 67.
"It went really well," said McDonald, whose teammate Gordon Hulgan won the City Prep title and shot 76 on Monday. "It's going to be crazy tomorrow. Every shot counts. I'm going to go out and try to do what I did today."
Baylor's Lady Red Raiders have a similar goal after taking an eight-shot lead over Ensworth with a 145. Baylor senior Blakesly Warren is the individual leader at 70. She leads Briarcrest's Lauren Wade by two shots. Katherine Holmes shot a 75 to pad Baylor's cushion.
Girls Preparatory School counted scores from Emily Blake and Mary Mellissa Manuel for a 178.
"We broke 150, got a really good round from Blakesly and a great round out of Katherine," Partrick said. "Us and Ensworth are pretty two evenly matched teams, so we have to play as if it's tied."
Irish edge Eagles
Notre Dame coach Jeff Fisher and Signal Mountain coach Rodney Mitchell rarely saw any shots from their players in the Region 4-A/AA tournament at White Plains in Cookeville.
"It felt like I had a bumble bee in my pocket with parents texting me," Fisher said. "When I walked in, everybody had a Cheshire cat grin on their face, so I knew it was good."
Notre Dame won the title with a team total of 295, which clipped Signal Mountain by one stroke. The Irish are heading on to the state tournament next week. The Eagles' season is over.
"It's disappointing, but sometimes you play great and somebody plays a little bit better," Mitchell said. "You expect to go to state if you shoot sub-300. We're not bitter. Another team was one shot better."
The Irish were led by a 2-under 70 from senior Alexander Riddle and a 71 from Reece Scobey.
"It's a really good feeling, and not going as a team last year was not fun," Fisher said. "There was something amiss not bringing a bunch of kids up there."
Chattanooga Christian junior Lake Johnson was the medalist and advanced to the state as an individual with a 5-under 67. Teammate Scott Stevens is going to Willowbrook as well after shooting a 71, and Signal Mountain's Sullivan Baker also qualified as an individual after a 3-under 69.
The Signal Mountain girls' team finished runner-up with a 163. Macon County won with a 157. Sophomore Bethany Burns advanced to state after finishing second at 71. This Lady Eagles had won the last four state championships.
"We're very young and we had no seniors this year," Mitchell said. "Also, it's a tough region."
Contact David Uchiyama at email@example.com or 423-757-6484. Follow him at twitter.com/UchiyamaCTFP.