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ETSU alum Enoch set for first U.S. Open

Joe Avento • Jun 13, 2019 at 5:00 AM

Rhys Enoch will be making his first U.S. Open appearance when the tournament gets underway Thursday morning at Pebble Beach.

The former East Tennessee State All-American golfer tees off at 11:46 a.m. (EDT) and is grouped with Americans Rob Oppenheim and Richard Lee.

Enoch, who has played in two British Opens, qualified for the U.S. Open in England and is No. 358 in the Official World Rankings, making him the highest ranked Welsh player. He has reached a high of 330 while playing on the Sunshine Tour in Africa and the Challenge Tour in Europe.

Oppenheim is ranked No. 731 in the world and has one Web.com Tour victory. Lee is 2,072nd in the World Rankings and also plays on the Web.com Tour.

Enoch managed to pick the brain of former ETSU star Rhys Davies, who finished 74th the last time the U.S. Open was at Pebble Beach.

“The main thing Rhys said was not to be afraid of the course,” Enoch told the BBC. “People say it’s so hard, there’s so much rough. But if you hit the fairways and the greens, it doesn’t really matter.”

That’s easier said than done at the U.S. Open, but Enoch has some “major” confidence, having finished 67th at Carnoustie last year.

“I just feel so much more comfortable out there,” he said. “Making the cut at Carnoustie was the highlight of my career, but I hope to go better at Pebble Beach.

“I know if I play well I can be in the mix.”

Enoch is 30 and has been a pro for seven years.

TRI-CITIES AMATEUR TOUR

Registration is underway for the Link Hills Invitational, the second event on the Tri-Cities Amateur Tour.

The tour consists of the Tillinghast Invitational, Link Hills Invitational, East Tennessee Amateur, Ridgefields Invitational and Lonesome Pine Invitational.

The entry fee at Link Hills is $120. Contact Bob Ward at (423) 639-2961.

They’re also taking entries for the newly named William B. Greene Jr. East Tennessee Amateur at Elizabethton Golf Course. That tournament is set for July 5-7. Call (423) 542-8051 for entry information.

STATE JUNIOR

Carter Counts led the field at a local qualifier for the Tennessee Junior Amateur.

Counts shot a 74 at Johnson City Country Club, beating out Jack Tickle and Zach Wood, who both shot 75 and made the Junior Am field as well.

Lucas Lowe shot 78 and will be the first alternate.

The Tennessee Junior Amateur will be held June 25-27 at Cleveland Country Club.

SENIOR STATE OPEN

Volunteer High School basketball coach Mike Poe followed up his senior victory in the Tillinghast Invitational by tying for low-amateur honors in the Tennessee Senior State Open on Tuesday.

Poe had rounds of 73 and 71 at Stonehenge Golf Club in Fairfield Glade. That left him at even par and tied for fourth with two other amateurs, Todd Burgan and Ray Morton.

Walt Chapman of Knoxville won the event with rounds of 68 and 71. His five-under-par total was three shots better than Jared Melson and Harry Taylor.

Allen Fennell, an assistant at Warriors Path, held the first-round lead with a 66. He shot 79 in the second round and finished tied for seventh.

Mark Houser, the retired pro at Warriors Path now living in Gallatin, tied for 10th with rounds of 75 and 72.

ELIZABETHTON-U.S. OPEN

Elizabethton Golf Course is hosting a U.S. Open tournament this weekend. Golfers can pay $10 to enter and will have a player in the top 20 of the U.S. Open leaderboard drawn to be their partner. The U.S. Open participant’s score is added to the player’s net score.

Players must have a USGA handicap index to participate. The U.S. Open players will be selected via a blind draw.

Call the course at (423) 542-8051 or email Elizabethton pro/general manager Chad Odom at [email protected] to enter.

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