Signal Mountain dominates golf district tournament

Signal Mountain dominates golf district tournament

September 15th, 2017 by Kelley Smiddie in Sports - Preps

Signal Mountain's Benjamin Burns watches his drive on number 18. The District 6 Small Golf Tournament was held at Brown Acres Golf Course on September 14, 2017.

Photo by Robin Rudd /Times Free Press.

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Signal Mountain's boys registered the top five scores in the District 6 Small high school golf tournament Thursday at Brown Acres. And the Eagles' alternate carded an even better score.

Freshman Carson Johnson, with a 4-over-par 76, ended up medalist for Signal Mountain, which swept all four of the tournament's top prizes.

"I started out good," Johnson said. "I had mostly pars on the front. I had a few slip-ups. My short game really saved me sometimes. My putting saved me a few times."

The boys' score of 310 easily outdistanced second-place Grundy County. And Signal's champion Lady Eagles had the top two girls' finishers in medalist Taylor Gardner and runner-up Lindsey Hollis.

Sale Creek's girls were runners-up at 166, which was 14 shots behind the Lady Eagles. They, along with third-place boys' team Bledsoe County, will move on to Monday's Region 3 tournament at Chatata Valley in Cleveland. The remaining individuals from this district will move on as well.

Gardner, who left the course not long after finishing her round because she's on the homecoming court and had duties to fulfill before tonight's football game against Loudon, shot 1-over 73. That was the best score among all the golfers — or at least all the golfers whose scores counted.

Sophomore Carter Kelly was among the alternates allowed to play the course Thursday, and he played it in 2-under 70. His round included a hole-in-one on No. 14.

"Carter is a really good player," Signal Mountain coach Rodney Mitchell said. "He's been in the top four at times throughout the year."

Johnson's score was one stroke better than Eagles teammate Foster Wood's, which was one stroke better than Benjamin Burns', which was one stroke better than Ben Seay's. One stroke behind that was fifth-place finisher Wesley Portera, whose 80 was Signal's drop score.

"We have quite a few players that could be in that top six," Mitchell said. "Golf is a popular sport on Signal Mountain."

Gardner had been sick for the couple of weeks leading up to last week's City Prep tournament, even missing out on playing in the WillowBrook Invitational on the course where the state tournament is held. Hollis, who shot 79 in the district tournament, had a 78 in the WillowBrook tournament and finished second there, too.

"They're a good tag team," Mitchell said of his top two girls' golfers.

Sale Creek had Thursday's third- and fourth-place girls' finishers in Hannah Holland (81) and her sister Ashley (85). Signal Mountain's Ashley Portera (96) was fifth.

Contact Kelley Smiddie at or 423-757-6653. Follow him on Twitter @KelleySmiddie.