Champion Matt Cooper
(TN Golf Association Photo)
COLLIERVILLE, TN (September 9, 2017) - The best way to describe the 3rd and final round of the 30th Tennessee Mid-Amateur Championship was a roller coaster ride. It was an up and down day for everyone that was in the final group.
Local Memphian, Matt Cooper, was able to hold off all of his competitors en route to winning his first Tennessee Golf Association Championship since winning the 1996 TGA Junior Amateur Championship. Cooper started off with four straight pars followed by one of his two birdies on the front nine. The par-4 6th hole was the most difficult hole on the week and proved that with Cooper making his lone bogey on the front nine on that very hole. He made a birdie on the 9th hole to make the turn at 1-under and carried a 5 shot lead over Whit Turnbow to the back nine.
The big drop in the roller coaster round started immediately on the back nine with Cooper making a bogey on the 10th. On the 11th hole it looked like the wheels were about to come off for both competitors when both made a double-bogey 6 on the difficult par-4. Cooper was able to right the ship immediately making pars at the next 4 holes. Turnbow made a bogey at the par-4 12th and was now staring a 5-shot deficit with just 6 holes to play. Turnbow turned it on in those last 6 holes making 4 birdies coming in including birdies on 16, 17, and 18. Cooper, however, was able to make 2 birdies in the last 3 holes and never let Turnbow get within 3 shots of the lead.
As their fellow-competitor and former player under Turnbow at Middle Tennessee State, Spencer Provow, said, “It’s hard to punch back when you are already on the ground”. Other than the two hole stretch to start the back nine, Cooper looked like he was in control of the Championship from the beginning.
ROUND TWO RECAP
Another perfect day at Spring Creek Ranch led to ideal scoring conditions that a handful of individuals were able to take advantage of.
Ryan Greer started out with a one shot advantage and looked to grow that lead early by making birdies at both the 1st and 4th holes to get to -7 for the championship. After bogeying two of his last three holes on the front side, he made the turn and found his one shot lead erased by local Memphian Matt Cooper.
Cooper, who shot a first round 68, got off to a sluggish start making 6 straight pars to begin his round. On number 7 something clicked and really jumpstarted his round. He made 5 birdies over his next 8 holes to find himself in the lead by himself. Making his lone bogey on the final hole of the day he was able to card his second consecutive -4, 68 to grab a four shot lead going in to the final day.
Three players are in that group currently sit four shots back at four-under par. Dan Crockett, who played in the final group with Greer, had a roller coaster of a day. He made 4 birdies and 4 bogeys in route to an even par round of 72. He will be playing in the penultimate grouping tomorrow with Lee Maxwell and Josh Coley, who ended the second round on a high note making the only eagle on number 18 all day.
Cooper will be joined by the Spencer Provow, who carded the low round of the day with a 67, and Whit Turnbow, who continued his steady play firing a bogey-free 69. All three men in the final pairing are looking to win their second Tennessee Golf Association event.
ROUND ONE RECAP
After a cool morning at Spring Creek Ranch the competition heated up this afternoon. There are currently 15 players at even par or better on a day when the scoring average was 77.071.
2014 Mid-Amateur champion Ryan Greer went out and grabbed an early one shot lead with a 67 (-5). After getting the round started with birdie on the first hole of the championship, he quickly gave the shot back on the difficult 2nd hole. He finished the front nine adding a birdie on the hardest hole on the golf course, number 6. After a -1, 35 on the front side, he caught fire on the back, with birdies at 10, 11, and 12. He added another birdie on the sixteenth hole to card a -4, 32 on the back side.
4 players sit just one shot back of Greer at -4. This group includes a past Mid-Am Champion Dan Crockett who lit up the scoreboard with 7 birdies in the round. He along with Josh Coley will join Greer in the final group of the day for Friday’s second round. The penultimate group of the second round will include local Memphian, Matt Cooper, who joined the group at -4.
Cooper, who decided to forgo attempting to qualifying for the US Mid-Am after his qualifying date was changed due to Hurricane Harvey, has positioned himself perfectly to make a run at winning his first TGA Championship since the 1996 Tennessee Junior Championship.
Seniors Tim Jackson (71) and Danny Green (72) are tied 6th and 12th, respectively.
Round 2 should prove to be just as exciting as round 1 with players trying to make the cut of 30 players and ties. The golf course is in perfect condition after receiving five plus inches of rain last week and should be a stiff test for the competitors on day 2.
View results for Tennessee Mid-Amateur
ABOUT THE Tennessee Mid-Amateur
Open to amateurs age 25 and older who are
of a TGA Club. Qualifying is required for those
not meet the exemption criteria. Format consists
holes of stroke play with a cut following the second
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