Bracket set, Jackson on top at Tennessee Match Play
Tim Jackson (USGA photo)
Tim Jackson (USGA photo)

CHATTANOOGA – The stroke-play qualifying portion of the 18th annual Tennessee Match Play Championship was completed Tuesday, and a familiar name has claimed the top seed for the bracket.

Tim Jackson, who earlier this year won his record 20th TGA amateur tournament title, fired a round of 4-under 67 to finish the 36 holes of stroke play at 7 under.

He was tied atop the leaderboard with Union University golfer and day one leader Jordan Botwinick, who played his prep golf at Briarcrest Christian School.

The rounds of 16 and eight will be played on Wednesday, while the semifinals and championship match are set for Thursday.

Jackson got the top seed via a tie breaker.

The Williston, Tenn., native has played 36 holes of bogey-free golf. Back in May, Jackson won the Senior Match Play at The Club at Fairvue Plantation to increase his state record of titles won.

Jackson will take on another well-accomplished amateur player in Steve Golliher in a rematch of this year’s Senior Match Play finals.

Golliher has eight TGA titles to his credit. He won a three-for-one playoff on Tuesday to earn the final spot in the match play bracket, defeating Austin Peay State University golfers Austin Lancaster and Garrett Whitfield.

On the other side of the bracket, Botwinick is the No. 2 seed and will face former Tusculum University standout Warren Cheney, the 15th seed.

The winner of Jackson/Golliher will face the winner of the 8-9 match featuring former Tennessee Tech University golfer Lee Maxwell and Oliver Simonsen, who is currently at the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga.

On the bottom half of that side of the bracket are No. 4 Ben Rebne vs. No. 13 Bracton Womack and No. 5 Cayman Ratliff vs. No. 12 Trey Poteet.

Rebne (Ringgold) is currently at Dalton State College, while Womack (McMinnville) plays at Tennessee Tech University.

Ratliff (Kingsport) recently graduated from East Tennessee State University and was part of the winning team, along with cousin Brandon Worley, at the 2018 Tennessee Four-Ball Championship at Toqua last month.

Trey Poteet (Knoxville) is a Halls High School product who is headed to Louisiana Tech to play golf.

The winner of the Botwinick/Cheney match will face whoever comes out victorious in the Big Orange showdown. Current Vol golfer Chase Roswall (Bristol) faces Tennessee alumnus Jack Smith (Knoxville).

Seventh-seeded Roswall is the defending Tennessee Match Play champion, while Smith teamed up with Ryan Greer to win the Tennessee Four-Ball in 2016.

On the bottom half of the bracket, soon-to-be Middle Tennessee State University golfer Michael Barnard is the No. 3 seed and will face Furman University’s Garrison Hogan.

Another University of Tennessee golfer, Nolan Ray, is the No. 6 seed and will take on 11th-seeded Chase Harris, who stars at the University of Memphis.

ABOUT THE Tennessee Match Play

This match play event adopts the format used by the PGA Tour for the World Golf Championships Match Play tournament. Under this format, a field of 64 players will be divided into 16 groups of four players each. Each group will play a round-robin format with each competitor playing three matches within their group. A player will receive one point for a win, a half point for a tie, and each group’s winner will advance to the round of 16. Applications are open to amateurs who possess an active USGA/GHIN Handicap Index of 8.0 or less from a TGA member club or course.

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