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Taylor captures East Tennessee Amateur in style

Joe Avento • Jun 28, 2020 at 9:00 PM

ELIZABETHTON — Chance Taylor thought his opportunity to win the William B. Greene Jr. East Tennessee Amateur might have been washed away when the skies opened up on Sunday.

But Mother Nature intervened and Taylor birdied the final two holes to win the 27th edition of the tournament at Elizabethton Golf Course.

Taylor’s 6-under-par 210 beat Ryan Terry, Clint Lowe and Tyler Lane by one shot.

“It feels great,” said Taylor, who posted three rounds of 70 and became the first champion to win without a round in the 60s. “It was a little ugly out there at times, but that didn’t matter.”

Taylor’s wild final round featured seven birdies, all kinds of bogeys, thunder, lightning and rain. In fact, when the skies opened up during the second of two lightning delays, his chances of winning seemed to be gone. Had the course become unplayable — and it was getting close — the final round would have been cut to nine holes. Taylor wasn’t in good shape at 1 over for the day.

Luckily for the Gate City native and Tennessee Tech golfer, he got back out there and did most of his damage.

Still, Terry seemed to be in the driver’s seat, holding the lead until the final four holes.

“I thought I had to go birdie-birdie-birdie to have a chance,” Taylor said. “At 16, I missed a short one and that kind of took the wind out of my sails.”

Instead, Terry bogeyed the 16th, one of the shortest par 4s on the course, giving Taylor and the others a chance.

Taylor’s tee shot at the par-3 17th stopped 12 feet from the hole, and he drained a curling putt to forge a four-way tie for the lead.

With Lane, the two-time defending champion, already in at 5 under, Taylor, Lowe and Terry went to the 18th hole knowing a birdie could win it.

Lowe’s driver slipped as he hit and his tee shot was as far right as anybody could ever remember on the 18th hole. He still managed to find the green some 20 feet from the hole.

Meanwhile, Terry and Taylor both hit their approach shots to about 6 feet.

When Lowe missed his birdie try, the stage was set.

Terry went first after a measurement determined he was away and he narrowly missed a slippery putt. Taylor stepped right up and drilled the putt for the victory.

“It feels great to be able to do that,” Taylor said.

Lane fell just short in his quest to become the first golfer to win the ETA three years in a row. He put himself behind the 8-ball on Saturday when he shot a 75 that left him at even par and needing a big final day. He fashioned a 67 that gave him a chance — until Taylor came in two groups later.

“At the beginning of the day, if you’d tell me I’d shoot 67 on Sunday, I’d take it,” Lane said. “I knew I had to make some birdies, which I did. I’m pleased.

“I really just had nine holes, the back nine yesterday, I shot 40. That’s probably going to be the difference. That’s the fun of this course. If you hit good shots, you can make birdies. If you get out of position, you struggle to make pars. That’s why we love coming here.”

Terry closed with a 70. Lowe, who began the day with a two-stroke lead, shot 73.

“Chance did what he had to do at the end,” Lowe said. “It was fun to be in that position.”

First-round leader Joe Brooks (69), Lawrence Largent (70) and Gibson Miller tied for fifth at 3 under. Former ETA champion Bryan Sangid was two shots behind them after a 70.

ACE GREER

Cole Greer made a hole-in-one during the match-play portion of the tournament.

Greer aced the 10th hole, playing about 120 yards, with a sand wedge. He did it in a consolation-round victory over Brad Headrick.

Greer was awarded the flag from the 10th hole after the conclusion of the tournament.

SENIOR CHAMPIONSHIP

In the senior championship division, Riceville’s Rick Mays held off a challenge from former Dobyns-Bennett High athletic director Cary Daniels and won by three shots.

Mays, in his first year as a 50-year-old golfer, shot 69 to finish at 7 under.

The two were tied at 5 under at the turn before Mays pulled away thanks to some birdies and an untimely double bogey by Daniels on the 12th hole.

Daniels also shot 69 and finished at 4 under.

Bryan Rodgers was third at 1 over, followed by two-time defending champion Mike Woods at 4 over.

SUPER SENIORS

Morristown’s Mike Mills completed a wire-to-wire victory in the super senior division, which is for players 65 and over. He shot 77 to finish at 4-over 220.

That was good enough for an eight-stroke victory over Bob Ross, who finished with a 75. Pat Kenney was third after a closing 77.


 

William B. Greene Jr. East Tennessee Amateur

Sunday

At Elizabethton Golf Course (par 72)

Final Round

CHAMPIONSHIP

Chance Taylor 70-70-70—210

Clint Lowe 69-69-73—211

Ryan Terry 69-72-70—211

Tyler Lane 69-75-67—211

Lawrence Largent 71-72-70—213

Gibson Miller 71-73-69—213

Joe Brooks 67-77-69—213

Bryan Sangid 69-76-70—215

Lucas Armstrong 73-73-70—216

Jackson Skeen 72-75-69—216

Cody Carlson 71-72-73—216

Nick Cohen 75-71-71—217

Chip Spratlin 73-72-73—218

Lucas Tabor 73-72-73—218

Cayman Ratliff 75-73-70—218

Jeff Scott 71-74-74—219

Tanner Davis 73-76-71—220

Tory Davis 76-73-71—220

Ethan Burger 73-74-74—221

Chad Homan 68-75-78—221

Cameron Dugger 73-73-75—221

Blake Howard 79-70-73—222

Bryson Morrell 74-75-74—223

Bryce Reed 77-72-74—223

Nick York 70-75-79—224

Brandon Mathis 74-74-76—224

Wesley Jones 77-73-75—225

Wes Hall 74-76-77—227

Chris Guy 75-70-82—227

Joe Culpepper 78-72-81—231

Jacob Davis 73-74-WD

SENIORS

50-64

Rick Mays 70-70-69—209

Cary Daniels 70-73-69—212

Bryan Rodgers 74-71-72—217

Mike Wood 73-74-73—220

Randy Miller 70-76-75—221

Tim Moore 74-73-74—221

Tony Gouge 75-75-72—222

Lyman Fulton 73-77-74—224

David Greer 79-71-75—225

Mike Poe 74-76-75—225

Mark Atkins 75-78-72—225

Mark Halvorsen 77-80-68—225

Bill Hardin 75-75-77—227

Jeff Andrews 79-79-71—229

James Fender 82-75-74—231

Dwight Scott 78-77-76—231

Ron Waters 72-77-82—231

Dave Bellessa 77-79-76—232

Jeff Isaacs 81-74-78—233

Stefan Salyer 75-82-79—236

Mitch Nidiffer 80-76-80—236

Ronnie Breeden 79-80-79—238

Brad Rinella 77-85-76—238

Charlie Smith 88-77-81—246

David Croston 85-85-79—249

Danny Jones 81-84-86—251

Dan Buchannan 98-91-94—283

Felicia Nidiffer 98-102-101—301

Joe Avento 80-78–WD

Marv Orio 84-86–WD

Rick Wilson WD

65-over

Mike Mills 68-75-77—220

Bob Ross 76-77-75—228

Pat Kenney 79-79-77—235

Greg Goulds 79-82-79—240

Ronnie Burton 83-81-81—245

Scott Campbell 89-80-76—245

Ansley Bishop 86-82-80—248

Jerry Whitt 84-79-91—254

Tommy Scott 92-82-82—258

James Love 89-88-83—260

MATCH PLAY FLIGHTS

Titleist Flight

Championship: Billy Haren def. Stephen Wilson

Consolation: Josh Taylor def. Tommy Tipton; Luke Bateman def. Richard Parker

Callaway Flight

Championship: Zachary Ensor def. Dylan Wyatt

Consolation: Stephen Swecker def. Michael Hawk; Tyler Stoudemire def Eric Hall

Ping Flight

Championship: Caleb Tipton def. Zach McCamey

Consolation: Stephen Stehney def Troy Baker; Cole Greer def Brad Headrick

Bridgestone Flight

Championship: Garrett Rader def. Seth Greene

Consolation: Stephen Holmes def. Casey Goetz; Chris Tidwell def. Chad Napier

Mizuno Flight

Championship: Paul Johnson def. Ian Herrin

Consolation: Brian Scott def. James Snyder

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