Eddie Karst (Contributed by Stephen Moore)
KINGSPORT — Youth was served Sunday in the final round of the 65th Ridgefields Invitational golf tournament.
Eddie Karst, a rising junior at Dobyns-Bennett, became the youngest winner of the event when he cruised in with a final-round 3-under-par 68 to finish with a three-day total of 8-under 205.
William Nottingham, who will be a senior at D-B this fall, blistered the course with an 8-under 63 to vault up the leaderboard and finish in second place at 209. Tazewell's Buck Brittain came in third at 210 after a 68.
In the senior championship, Knoxville's Steve Golliher, the reigning Tennessee senior player of the year, birdied his first three holes and went on to shoot a final-round 64 to win the event by eight shots over defending champion Bill Argabrite.
Golliher, who opened with rounds of 65 and 72, closed out the tournament at 12-under 201.
Argabrite shot 70 on Sunday to finish at 209, and Tony Green had a final-round 69 to sit a stroke back in third.
Hal McHorris shot a 71 on Sunday to win the super seniors title. McHorris, who had matching 74s on the first two days of the tournament, finished at 219. Billy Dickson closed with a 75 to place second at 225.
Karst started the final round with a two-shot lead and a simple game plan.
"I just wanted to hit fairways and greens," he said. "I didn't want to get ahead of myself, just wanted to stay in the moment."
Three birdies on the front nine allowed Karst some breathing room. Birdies on the 14th and 16th holes coming in offset a double bogey at the par-3 13th.
"It really feels good to win this tournament," Karst said. "This should give me plenty of confidence and motivation heading into the high school golf season."
Nottingham, who was coming off a 77 on Saturday, started his final round just wanting to make a few birdies.
Eight seemed like a nice number.
"I didn't think I had any hope of getting close to (Karst)," Nottingham said. "All I hoped to do was go as low as possible.
"Saturday I couldn't make any putts. Today I hit it pretty close a bunch of times so there weren't many long putts."
It was Nottingham's lowest competitive round by one shot.
Golliher's fast start never allowed the competition to think about a rally.
"I sank a 30-footer on the first hole for birdie," he said.
Golliher followed that with birdies at Nos. 2, 3, 7, 9, 10 and 11.
"I hit it inside 15 feet 10 times today," he added. "My iron play was just so good."
Golliher bogeyed the par-3 13th and added a birdie on the par-5 16th to close out his stellar round.
Argabrite closed with a 1-under 70, but he knew from the beginning that Golliher would be a hard man to chase down.
"Steve got off to such a fast start and I didn't hit enough good shots to put any pressure on him," said Argabrite, a three-time winner of the Ridgefields senior title.
Green is a four-time Ridgefields senior champ.