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Defending champion Taylor up by 3 shots at LPCC

Kevin Mays • Jul 20, 2019 at 10:12 PM

BIG STONE GAP — Play in the first round of the 88th annual Lonesome Pine Invitational matched the sweltering temperatures Saturday.

Four players, led by the golf tournament’s defending champion, scorched the Lonesome Pine Country Club course and finished under par.

TAYLOR MAKES A STATEMENT

Defending tournament champion Chance Taylor, a sophomore at Tennessee Tech and former Gate City golfer, set the tone for the field with a 5-under-par 66.

Taylor led Garland Green and Mike Damron by three strokes in the longest-running golf tournament in the region.

Matt Love (70), Robert England (72), former tournament champions Craig Winchell (72) and Mike McCall (73), former Eastside golfer Hunter Lunsford (74), George Roat (75) and nine-time tournament champion Bill Sergent III rounded out the top 10 in the championship division heading into Sunday’s final round.

NOT BIG ENOUGH

Taylor, who recently finished his freshman year as a member of Tennessee Tech’s golf squad, was happy to have the lead after the first day. But he said he is in no way taking anything for granted going into the final round.

“I feel comfortable playing here. It’s good to come back to a place I really, really enjoy,” Taylor said of Lonesome Pine Country Club. “You can never have a big enough lead, so it’s good to have a lead.

“It really should have been more than it was. I probably left a solid four or five shots out there through mental mistakes. But you can’t complain about a 66.”

Having made the adjustment from the high school game to the collegiate level has been a big plus for Taylor.

“It’s a different level. You’ve got to always shoot 5 or 6 under for three days to win. It’s made me a much smarter player, as to knowing when I get in trouble and try to minimize my mental mistakes,” he said.

SUMMER FUN

The invitational is Taylor’s seventh tournament of the summer. He’s been playing a lot in the Knoxville area as well as the Tri-Cities.

He won the Great Smoky Mountains Amateur Championship in early July at Gatlinburg Golf Course and last month lost the championship of the Tillinghast Invitational at Johnson City Country Club in a playoff with former Emory & Henry golfer Tanner Davis.

VERY FAMILIAR

Sunday’s final round will have a familiar look with Taylor and Green playing in the final group. Taylor and Green, a former Virginia Tech and eGolf Professional Tour player from Tazewell, Virginia, battled throughout the final day of last year’s event before Taylor edged Green by one stroke for the title.

SENIORS AND SUPER SENIORS

Tony Green and James White shot a 1-over 72 Saturday to tie for the lead in the senior flight. Mike Haney was just behind them after a 73.

In the super seniors division, Kingsport’s Bob Ross shot a 67 and led Allen Blanken by four strokes. Andy Black (74), Oscar Neece (78), Jim Hughes (80) and Wayne Mahan (80) rounded out the top five.

TEEING OFF

The tournament starts Sunday at 9 a.m. The final group in the championship division is scheduled to tee off at 11:50 a.m.


88th annual Lonesome Pine Invitational

At Lonesome Pine Country Club, Big Stone Gap

First Round

Saturday, July 20

Championship Flight

Chance Taylor 66

Mike Damron 69

Garland Green 69

Matt Love 70

Robert England 72

Craig Winchell 72

Mike McCall 73

Hunter Lunsford 74

George Roat 75

Bill Sergent III 75

Nate Clark 76

Matt Dotson 76

Evan Sturgill 76

Lucas Lowe 80

Brett Richards 83

First Flight

Charlie Glenn 74

Andrew Horsman 74

Jeff Gowder 74

Matt Ward 76

Justin Wilson 76

Second Flight

Steve Lockhart 78

Rick Morgan 78

Mark Clendenon 79

Walt Grace 79

Bill Damron 79

Matt Smith 79

Third Flight

Matt Horsman 80

Rick Meade 80

Jimmy Taylor 81

Landon Slone 82

Ben Sousa 82

Drew Adkins 84

Fourth Flight

Glen Pearson 85

Elmon Walters 85

Thomas Glenn 86

Mike Gannon 87

James Hughes 87

Fifth Flight

Robbie Carrico 92

Kevin Hughett 95

Kevin Black 99

Jim Caudill 102

Jason Deloney 104

Seniors

Tony Green 72

James White 72

Mike Haney 73

Pudge Vanhoose 76

Super Seniors

Bob Ross 67

Allen Blanken 71

Andy Black 74

Oscar Neece 78

Jim Hughes 80

Wayne Mahan 80

Johnny Black 82

Lester Bowman 90

Martin Stanley 91

Sunday’s Tee Times

9 a.m. — Johnny Black, Lester Bowman, Martin Stanley

9:10 a.m. – Jim Hughes, Wayne Mahan, Oscar Neece

9:20 a.m. – Andy Black, Allen Blanken, Bob Ross

9:30 a.m. – Tony Green, James White, Mike Haney, Pudge Vanhoose

9:50 a.m. – Kevin Black, Robbie Carrico, Jason Deloney

10 a.m. – Jim Caudill, Kevin Hughett, Thomas Glenn

10:10 a.m. – James Hughes, Mike Fannon, Elmon Walters, Glen Pearson

10:20 a.m. – Drew Adkins, Ben Sousa, Landon Slone, Jimmy Taylor

10:30 a.m. – Mark Clendenon, Matt Horsman, Rick Meade, Matt Smith

10:50 a.m. – Steve Lockhart, Rick Morgan, Bill Damron

11 a.m. – Walt Crace, Justin Wilson, Matt Ward

11:10 a.m. – Jeff Gowder, Charlie Glenn, Andrew Horsman

11:20 a.m. – Brett Richards, Lucas Lowe, Nate Clark

11:30 a.m. – Evan Sturgill, Matt Dotson, George Roat, Bill Sergent III

11:40 a.m. – Hunter Lunsford, Mike McCall, Craig Winchell, Robert England

11:50 a.m. – Matt Love, Chance Taylor, Mike Damron, Garland Green

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