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Lovelace, van der Biest take Region 1 crowns

Jeff Birchfield • Oct 7, 2019 at 6:48 PM

MORRISTOWN — In a battle of super sophomores, Volunteer’s Jon Wes Lovelace beat Sullivan Central’s Seth Robinette in a playoff to win the individual boys title Monday in the Region 1 Large Schools golf tournament at The Country Club of Morristown.

Defending state champion Isabella van der Biest of Dobyns-Bennett finished with a 1-under 71 to claim the individual girls championship.

The Science Hill boys and Tennessee High girls won the team competitions to advance to the state tournament Oct. 15-16 at WillowBrook Golf Course in Manchester.


Lovelace was just trying to post a solid round and earn a second straight berth to the state tournament. Instead, he fired a 1-under 71 in regulation before edging Robinette by chipping onto the green on No. 1, a par 5, and laying his putt next to the hole for a birdie tap-in.

“Starting off, I was trying to hit my driver straight. I had been hitting it left all day and that was the best (tee) shot I hit all day,” Lovelace said. “Then I saw he left it short of the green. I thought if I make birdie, I have a chance. I just tried to put it on the green and it turned out well. I first thought the eagle putt was going to go in.”

His round of 71 included two birdies and only one bogey.

“I was just trying make pars, get around even, so I would have a good chance to make it to the state,” Lovelace said. “If I got too greedy and tried to go low, I was afraid I might go in the high 70s.

“It’s awesome to win it as a sophomore. I wasn’t expecting that. I was just trying to get top three individuals.”

Robinette, who also qualified for the state as an individual, had a 4-under 32 on the back nine to force the playoff. That was 15 strokes better than he shot on the same holes at the season-opening Mike Mills Invitational.

“I will take it. I got a birdie rolling on No. 10 and that got me some momentum,” Robinette said. “I had nothing to lose so I went out there and tried my best. I’m glad I made it to state. I just wanted to have fun during that playoff, but there were some good shots he made to win.”

The duo finished one stroke ahead of Science Hill’s Jackson Skeen, who swept both Big 11 Conference and District 1 titles.

Skeen is heading back to the state tournament with a chance to defend both individual and team titles after leading the Hilltoppers to a 299-318 win over runner-up Greeneville in the team competition.

Morristown East (321) finished third and Dobyns-Bennett (323) fourth at 323. Taylor Kilgore’s 73 topped the Indians, followed by William Karst’s 77 and Zac Fletcher’s 79.

Kilgore lost a playoff for the final individual state berth when Tennessee High’s Jack Tickle made a hole-out eagle to take the final spot.


Van der Biest was back atop the girls’ standings after coming up just short in the conference and district tournaments. The senior had an eagle on hole No. 10 and three birdies to withstand four bogeys.

“It feels good to finally get the job done,” van der Biest said. “It means a lot to win the region and it’s good to go into the state tournament with some momentum. It was an up-and-down round and the course played a little different once it started raining. I had two bogeys in a row and it messed me up a little bit. I had to forget about them and put them out of my mind.”

Tennessee High, led by the twin sister duo of Isabella and Noelia Adkins, won the team title 145-165 over Sullivan South. Isabella Adkins had a 72 and her sister a 73. Madeline Simcox’s 75 didn’t count toward the team total, a new school record

South’s Kara Carter, who swept the conference and district crowns, shot a 4-over 76 and qualified for the state tournament as an individual. Kirstyn Moore added an 89 for the Lady Rebels and Erin Musick shot a 94.

Dobyns-Bennett finished third, getting a 96 from Erin Colhoun and a 111 from Natalie Seal.

Grainger’s Neely Yates took the final individual state berth with a 79.


Region 1 Large Schools Golf Championships


At The Country Club of Morristown

*-medalist; ^-individual state qualifiers

BOYS (top 4 scores count toward team total)

SCIENCE HILL (299) — Jackson Skeen 72, Tarun Hoskere 75, Carter Counts 76, Jacob Oakley 76, Ross Boehling 77

GREENEVILLE (318) — Dougie Fezell 75, Joseph Gosnell 80, Charlie Strange 81, Carter Beach 82, lex Broyles 91

MORRISTOWN WEST (321) — Sloan Brooks 79, Noah Morrison 79, Kevin Campbell 80, Eli Steisslinger 83, Brock Shultz 89

DOBYNS-BENNETT (323) — Taylor Kilgore 73, William Karst 77, Zac Fletcher 79, Sam Barbour 94, Luke Lett 103

JEFFERSON COUNTY (333) — Nic Ravenborg 81, Blaise Donahoo 82, Noah Henshaw 84, Ethan Daniels 86, Jacob Moore 91

DANIEL BOONE (359) — Aidan Hyder 84, Noah Little 85, John Hale 87, Austin Moody 100


*Jon Wes Lovelace, Volunteer — 71

^Seth Robinette, Sullivan Central — 71

^Jack Tickle, Tennessee High — 71

Sawyer Spoone, Morristown East — 74

Carson Peters, Elizabethton — 76

Chase Carden, Morristown East — 82

Daniel Lindhom, Morristown East — 83

Ashton Bayse, Grainger — 86

Cole Self, Tennessee High — 93

Isaac Lindsay, Cherokee — 108

GIRLS (top 2 scores count toward team total)

TENNESSEE HIGH (145) — Isabella Adkins 72, Noelia Adkins 73, Madeline Simcox 75

SULLIVAN SOUTH (165) — ^Kara Carter 76, Kirstyn Moore 89, Erin Musick 94

DOBYNS-BENNETT (167) — *Isabella van der Biest 71, Erin Colhoun 96, Natalie Seal 111

MORRISTOWN EAST (173) — Terrie Lynn Lawson 84, Sable Burnside 89, Macy Drinnon 106

SEYMOUR (186) — Morgan Stephens 81, Chloe Dunlap 105, Josie Herndon 111

SOUTH-DOYLE (186) — Sydney Thomas 88, Cameron Woody 98, Hannah Lenhart 110


^Neely Yates, Grainger — 79

Lexi Humbert, Greeneville — 85

Mackenzie Miller, Daniel Boone — 87

Abigail Delaney, Sullivan East — 88

Grace Smith, Science Hill — 90

Madison Cline, Jefferson County — 90

Elsie Lunsford, Daniel Boone — 93

Christian Gregg, Sevier County — 93

Jo Jo Archley, Sevier County — 95

Hannah Williams, Elizabethton — 97