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Davis, Golliher out front after Day 1 of Ridgefields Invitational

July 12th, 2014 12:15 am by Dave Ongie

Davis, Golliher out front after Day 1 of Ridgefields Invitational

Steve Golliher watches his shot off the first tee Friday during the opening round of the 65th Ridgefields Invitational at the Club at Ridgefields in Kingsport. (Dave Grace photo)

KINGSPORT — Tanner Davis and Steve Golliher got rolling early on Friday at the Club at Ridgefields, both figuratively and literally.

As a result, Davis and Golliher went straight to the top of their respective flights on the first day of the 65th annual Ridgefields Invitational. Davis fired a 5-under-par 66 to take a one-shot lead over Eddie Karst in the championship flight while Golliher's 65 put him four shots clear of Mike Freels and David Reynolds in the senior championship flight.

Afterward, both leaders credited hot putters for their fast starts.

"I kept it in play for the most part and just putted really well," Davis said. "From playing here for so many years, I feel like I know the greens as good as anybody. I know pretty much all the breaks."

That local knowledge was enough to give Davis the slightest amount of breathing room on a day when seven golfers in the championship flight broke par.

Ben Campbell finished a shot behind Karst after carding a 68, and four other golfers posted rounds of 2 under, putting them just three shots behind Davis heading into Saturday's second round.

Golliher did Davis one better by firing an opening-round 65 to jump-start his tournament. Golliher wedged a nifty par save on the second hole between a pair of birdies on Nos. 1 and 3, and he said everything seemed to go right from there.

"I think I putted it well and hit it well," Golliher said. "It was just one of those days when everything went my way. It was a fun day."

When all was said and done, Golliher found himself four shots clear of a loaded senior championship flight. Freels and Reynolds sat just two shots back heading into Saturday, but a talented group of five golfers fired even-par rounds of 71 to stay well within range of the lead.

The super senior championship flight was also hotly contested on Day 1, and Billy Dickson and Hal McHorris shared the lead after shooting matching 74s. Sam Martin was two shots back of the leaders and Mack Patton turned in a round of 78 to stay in contention.

With two rounds left to play, Davis and Golliher seemed more interested in keeping the momentum rolling into the weekend than reflecting on the masterful opening rounds they managed to put together. The recipe for continued success is to simply continue doing what they did Friday, but in golf, that's often easier said than done.

"For me, personally, just keeping the ball in play off the tee (is the key)," Davis said. "That's what's killed me the last few years. That, and just keep the putter going."

Saturday's second round will start at 8 a.m. with the super senior flight teeing off first.

The tournament will wrap up on Sunday.

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