Area high school golfers ready for region tournaments

Area high school golfers ready for region tournaments

Region offers some a chance at redemption

September 25th, 2017 by Kelley Smiddie in Sports - Preps

Boyd-Buchanan's Zacori Hill, right, says goodbye to the others in her group on the 11th green after withdrawing with an injury from last week's Division II East District 2-A tournament at The Bear Trace at Harrison Bay. Hill expect to be able to play in Tuesday's East Region tournament at Three Ridges in Knoxville.

Photo by Erin O. Smith


All times EDT
Region 3 Large tournament At The Bear Trace Cumberland Mountain
Legend: Bradley Central (BC); Cleveland (C); East Hamilton (EH); Hixson (H); McMinn County (MC); Ooltewah (O); Sequoyah (S); Soddy-Daisy (SD); Walker Valley (WV)

Local boys’ tee times, No. 1: 10 a.m.—Cade Puryear (WV); 10:09—Parker Gray (WV); 10:18—Dalton Sutton (WV); 10:27—Nick McCracken (WV); 10:36—Miles Thompson (WV); 10:45—Gage Brakebill (BC), Drew Linkous (C); 10:54—Matt Marino (C), Bryce Kaufman (BC); 11:03—Tyler Ferguson (BC), Balee Miller (C); 11:12—Wade Samples (C), John McKenzie (BC); 11:21—Dillon Linkous (C), Lucas Maynard (BC); 11:30—Nicholas Thompson (MC), Miller Wick (EH); 11:39—Zane Penney (SD), Dodj Watson (MC); 11:48—Matthew Ott (EH); Bruce Wilson (H); 11:57—Jared Thomas (H), J.T. McDaniel (S).

Local girls’ tee times, No. 10: 10 a.m.—Rheagan Hall (C), Whitney Kincaid (WV); 10:09—Ellie Mills (C), Lauryn Roby (WV); 10:18—Ebie Medley (WV), Emma Crouch (C); 10:27—Macy Moses (S), Jessica Kirklen (SD); 10:36—Madeline McNeal (SD), Kelly Swabe (S); 10:45—Makayla Perez (SD), Lindsey Watson (S); 10:54—Lauren Baker (BC); 11:03—Danielle Siever (O), Cuppie Kyle (BC); 11:12—Emma Cripe (O), Madeline Standford (H); 11:21—Bridger Yowarsky (BC).
Division II-A East Region At Three Ridges in Knoxville
Legend: Boyd-Buchanan (BB); Chattanooga Christian (CCS); Collegedale Academy (CA); Silverdale Baptist Academy (SBA); St. Andrew’s-Sewanee (SAS)

Local boys’ tee times, No. 1: 9 a.m.—Hayes Wood (BB); 9:10—Jonathan Xoinis (CCS); 9:20—Casey Tull (CA); 9:30—Aubrey Black (SAS); 9:40—Riley Covington (BB), Madden Baldwin (CA); 9:50—Cameron Baubach (BB), Nathan Fisk (SBA); 10—Elijah Kirk (SBA), Trent Cooper (BB); 10:10—Colton Long (CA), Bowman Blocker (BB), Gio Hui (SAS); 10:20—Grant Rice (SBA), Morgan Baldwin (CA); 10:30—Drew Rodgers (SBA); 10:40—Logan Taylor (SBA), Tyler Rogers (SAS); 10:50—Amos Davenport (CCS); 11—Ryan Van Zyl (CA).

Local girls’ tee times, No. 10: 9 a.m.—Zacori Hill (BB), McCall Price (SBA); 9:10—Lydia Campbell (BB); 9:20—Kylan Nash (CCS); 9:30—Isha Desai (CA); 9:40—Emma Rice (SBA), Haley Helton (CCS); 9:50—Macy Balthrop (BB).

Redemption projects were in the works as some Chattanooga-area golfers prepared to compete in high school region tournaments today and Tuesday.

This time last year, things didn't end the way Walker Valley's Whitney Kincaid envisioned. Nor did things go the way of Boyd-Buchanan's Zacori Hill last week.

But both now have opportunities for atonement — Kincaid today in the Region 3 Large tournament at The Bear Trace at Cumberland Mountain in Crossville, and Hill in the Division II-A East Region tournament Tuesday at Three Ridges in Knoxville.

TSSAA Division I boys' and girls' championship teams will advance to state tournaments, along with the top three finishing boys and girls who are not on the winning teams. The top two Division II-A teams and top two finishing boys and girls not on those teams earn state-tournament berths. The Class Large tournament is Oct. 3-4, with the Division II tournament Oct. 9-10.

Walker Valley's Whitney Kincaid, shown hitting a tee shot in this year's City Prep golf tournament, missed out on going to the state tournament a year ago when she lost to a teammate in a playoff in the region tournament. She's seeking redemption today.

Walker Valley's Whitney Kincaid, shown hitting a tee...

Photo by Robin Rudd /Times Free Press.

Kincaid was a junior last year and hoped to be a contributor on a Region 3-AAA championship team at The Bear Trace at Harrison Bay. That was the same course where she and then-senior Kelsey Cassada, now on the women's team at Tennessee Wesleyan, combined for a District 5-winning 153 the week before.

Cassada was also district medalist. But she didn't play as well at region, and the Lady Mustangs ended up losing by two strokes to Bradley Central, which they had beaten by 15 shots in the district tournament.

In an additional development, Cassada and Kincaid ended up tied for the region's final individual qualifying berth for the state tournament. Cassada earned that spot by winning on the first playoff hole.

"When golf season started, I was like, 'I don't want to be part of that situation again,'" Kincaid said after finishing as the district runner-up last Monday at Cleveland Country Club. "I was sad because I didn't get to go. But I didn't want to take that away from her, because she had never been before, so I wasn't too sad. There was just that initial, 'Oh my God, I just messed this up.' But I wasn't sad for too long."

When asked about the opportunity in front of her this year, she didn't take long to sum it up.

"I really want to go," she said.

Boyd-Buchanan's Hill is trying to rebound from a wrist injury that caused her to withdraw from last Tuesday's district tournament after 11 holes. She has been taking anti-inflammatory medicine and icing her arm for the past week.

She said her wrist was already aggravated by overuse. Then when she struck the ground with her club making a swing during a practice round before last week's tournament, it increased the severity of the pain.

Hill, who lowered her nine-hole scoring average from the mid-40s last season to the high-30s this year, played the front nine at The Bear Trace at Harrison Bay in 39. She said the pain began ramping up when she was in the latter stages of the front side. She bogeyed the first two holes after the turn, then bowed out.

"On hole 10 I hit it in the trees to the right and had to punch out," Hill said. "That sent a shock down my arm and my fingers went numb. All my medicine that I'd taken that morning had worn off by then. I was taking ibuprofen, but that wasn't really working."

In addition to the physical pain, there was the mental anguish of not being able to contribute a counting score for her team. Lady Buccaneers teammate Lydia Campbell ended up medalist, so given the way Hill was playing, the team championship was there for the taking.

Instead the Lady Bucs ended up third among the three teams, which all advanced. But now the third-place team does not move on.

"Our goal is to win the region and the state," said Hill, who hit a golf ball Saturday for the first time since last Tuesday. "I honestly believe we can, if we play to our potential. I don't plan on pulling out anymore, no matter how much it hurts."

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