The greater Chattanooga area will have limited representation in the Class AAA state golf tournaments this year.
Cookeville won the Region 3-AAA boys' championship Thursday at Riverwatch Golf Club in Sparta with a total of 317. Only one team advances, and that topped runner-up East Hamilton by 14 strokes and third-place Walker Valley by 17. Warren County, Cumberland County and Ooltewah were fourth through sixth.
"These are the highest region scores I've seen in seven years," Ooltewah coach Mike McCullough said. "Only four or five guys broke 80. Last year, you had to shoot 74 to qualify for state."
Warren County won the girls' championship with a 161, which topped White County by eight and third-place Walker Valley by 18. Soddy-Daisy and McMinn County were a stroke apart in fifth and sixth.
Danny Gleeson of Ooltewah and Logan Pierce of East Hamilton advanced to the state tournament as boys' individuals by shooting 4-over 76s. Kyle Limburg of Walker Valley advanced through a sudden-death playoff that lasted three holes after shooting an 80 in regulation.
"He told me before the playoff that he could feel his heart beat through his shirt," Walker Valley coach Bob Williams said. "Then he won with a birdie."
Ooltewah senior Samantha Griffith shot an 82 and advanced to the state event as well.
"Sam is one of the best girls around in the state, and Danny wants to win," McCullough said. "This is Sam's third trip to state, and I think she and Danny have the best shot ever of anybody from Ooltewah to win state."
The Class AAA tournament will be held Oct. 8-9 at Willowbrook Golf Club in Manchester.
Contact David Uchiyama at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6484. Follow him at twitter.com/UchiyamaCTFP.