Tim Jackson leads Mid-Am field at Honors Course

Tim Jackson leads Mid-Am field at Honors Course

August 27th, 2014 by David Uchiyama in Sports

Tim Jackson

Photo by Staff File Photo /Times Free Press.

The Honors Course is not Tim Jackson's home golf course.

But he can certainly consider it a second home.

Jackson is a member of the Honors Circle and will stay on the property this week while competing in the Tennessee Mid-Amateur Championship, which begins this morning and concludes Friday.

Jackson, 55, has driven his son, Austin, from Germantown, Tenn., to the Ooltewah course for father-son weekend get-aways in recent years. He knows the course as well as anybody in the field this week.

"I played a practice round today and it kicked me pretty hard," Jackson said Tuesday. "I hadn't played in a couple of weeks and they had holes in crazy spots to protect the tournament locations.

"It's good to play a practice round and not be sharp, because it helps you refocus."

Jackson is one of 120 golfers age 25 and older competing in the 27th State Mid-Am. He's won it a record six times.

Earlier this month, he took a more impressive spot in Tennessee golf history. By winning the State Amateur, Jackson tied legendary Lew Oehmig of Lookout Mountain with 15 total state titles. Jackson also eclipsed the late Oehmig as the oldest player to win the Tennessee State Am.

"It was totally unexpected," Jackson said. "It was emotional for me to eclipse him as the oldest guy. It was a milestone, but it was a big deal."

Jackson again could surpass Oehmig -- who played before the inception of the Mid-Am -- if he wins the trophy Friday at his second home. But raising the trophy above his head -- should he win it -- could be a slight problem.

"I've had back problems all year, and I spend about 45 minutes a day on the floor exercising and stretching," Jackson said. "The problem this year is back spasms. You move in just a way and there it goes, like a cramp in your back."

Others in the field -- including past champions Philip Lee, Todd Burgan, Jeff Golliher, Dan Crockett and Richard Keene -- have other ideas.

They all enjoy getting to compete in this state championship for the first time at The Honors, especially considering the Tennessee Golf Association is celebrating its centennial anniversary.

"It's been a wonderful centennial," TGA executive director Matthew Vanderpool said. "This year especially, we wanted to have a championship here, and the Mid-Am is a terrific fit."

Entry applications for the championship rose by about 150 to 375, due in large part to the location of the tournament.

"It's a good opportunity for guys who may not be able to qualify for a state am to have the opportunity to compete here," Vanderpool said. "Last time we had the amateur here, there were more than 700, and about 1,000 the time before that. My thought was that we'd have a huge outpouring of entries."

Contact David Uchiyama at duchiyama@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6484. Follow him at twitter.com/UchiyamaCTFP.