Casey Flenniken trailed Marshall Talkington by a shot with two holes to play in Tuesday's final round in the Ira Templeton Chattanooga Classic at Creeks Bend Golf Club. And since Talkington, a professional from Jackson, Tenn., was 7 under par at the time, Flenniken seemed in need of at least one birdie in those last two holes.
That didn't happen, but Flenniken won the tournament's regular division.facebook
Flenniken, a former Tennessee Wesleyan golfer who's now a pro at Loudon's Tellico Village, parred out for a two-day total of 6-under 134. Conversely, Talkington limped to a bogey-bogey finish and tied for second with with the highest-finishing amateur in the regular division, Nashville's Nick Garretson, at 135.
Nashville's Bill Breen and Knoxville's Jeff Golliher matched Flenniken at 134 with Breen winning the senior pro division and Galliher winning the senior amateur division. They each won by six strokes.
Knoxville pro Scott Moran, who finished 4 under, started the day 2 under and rounded out the day's final threesome with Flenniken and Talkington, the tournament co-leaders at 5 under coming into the day. None of the three landed their tee shots on the par-3 17th, but only Flenniken made par.
"I made some good par putts today for sure," Flenniken said. "My putter saved me."
Talkington had the longest drive of the three on the par-4 No. 18, but from right of the fairway some tree limbs hanging over prevented him from aiming straight for the green with his approach shot. He ended up left of the green with a lengthy downhill chip.
Meanwhile, Flenniken's tee shot was in the middle of the fairway. He said his thinking from there was to make sure he had "enough club" to get it to the green with a chance to make birdie.
"I hit it to the back of the green," Flenniken said, "and was lucky enough to two-putt."
Talkington's chip left him with a slightly closer par putt than he watched Flenniken make, but his didn't drop.
"I didn't have it early on with my ball-striking," Flenniken said. "Then I think I made birdies at 10, 11 and 13 and that got me back in the mix. I just hung in there."
Tullahoma's Jared Melson finished fourth overall in the regular division at 138, and fellow pro Jake Reeves, from Knoxville, was one shot back. Council Fire pro Richard Rebne, from Ringgold, Ga., was next at even par.
Chattanooga's Brooks Thomas shot 138 and was second among the regular amateurs. Tennessee Wesleyan basketball and golf coach Mike Poe from Athens tied for second at 140 in the senior amateur division. Chattanoogan Hunt Gilliland, director of golf at Council Fire, was the highest-finishing local among the senior pros, tying for fifth at 144.
Contact Kelley Smiddie at email@example.com or 423-757-6653. Follow him at twitter.com/KelleySmiddie.