During the first two days of play rounds were decided via stroke play, with the top 16 teams advancing into weekend match play to decide the tournament.
A pair local faces will be appearing in Sunday’s semifinal round of match play for a chance at the championship, fighting off a field of 42 teams to get to this morning’s action.
Former Lee University teammates Matt Robertson and Matt Hadden will be facing off against Austin Garrett and Dustin Thomas in the first semifinal match, slated for 8 a.m. this morning. The other semifinal match will be between the teams of Hayden Anderson/Elliott Wickenden and Ryan Greer/Jack Smith, who will tee off at 8:10.
Robertson and Hadden got off to a slow start in the tournament, shooting a 3-under-par 69 in Thursday’s opening round with birdies on No. 1, 7, 9 and 14 and a bogey on No. 2. But, a strong second day of play found the pair in the hunt for a berth into match play.
Friday’s second round scoring saw the duo shoot a 10-under 62 with birdies on No. 3, 4, 6, 7, 10, 12, 14, 17 and an eagle on No. 11, to put the pair at 13-under overall and in the top 10 heading into the weekend’s rounds.
Brandon Cissom, also a former Flame, and current Lee head coach John Maupin fell in their first match play contest to Robertson and Hadden by a 5-and-3 score in the round of 16. Cissom and Maupin advanced into the weekend rounds by shooting an opening round 64 and a second round 67 to put them 13-under overall through stroke play.
Robertson and Hadden then defeated-16th seeded Trey Tarpley and Carson Jacobs, going the full 18 holes to scratch away a 1-up victory.
Cleveland Country Club member Bob Rice and his teammate Rick Mays also advanced into the match-play quarterfinal round, posting a 5-and-3 win over James Heath and Tyler Lockwood Saturday morning.
However, Rice and Mays dropped a 1-up squecker to Garrett and Thomas during their second match Saturday, after waiting out the rain delay.
Rice and Mays opened the tournament with a 4-under 68 and then solidified their spot in the weekend’s match play with a 10-under 62 during Friday’s round. The pair notched birdies on No. 1, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 17 and 18 in their final round of stoke play to come into the weekend tied for fifth.
Tennessee Wesleyan College teammates Cody Godfrey and Keoni Vidrine also made it past the round of 16 with a 1-up win over Richard Spangler Jr. and Jimmy White III. However, the former Walker Valley (Godfrey) and Polk County (Vidrine) fell in the quarterfinals to Anderson and Wickenden by a 5-and-4 tally.
Godfrey and Vidrine shot an opening round 67, birdinging No. 1, 8, 10, 14 and 16 and followed up with a second round 64, birdinging No. 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 10, 11, 14, 17 and 18 to finish stroke play tied for seventh.
Locals linksters Matt Crowder and David Watts just barely missed the cut for weekend play, shooting a 6-under 66 during their second round to go along with a 5-under in the opening round.
A group of seven teams all stood at 11-under after the first 36 holes, but on the first hole of the playoff, four teams birdied and advanced while the other three parred.
Gerald Burrell and teammate Pat Marcom also had to sit out the weekend’s match play after finishing stroke play at a 2-under 142.
The Athens brotherly-duo of Chris and Chuck Liner met with struggles in their final round. After shooting a 2-under 70 to open the tournament, the pair hit a road block on Friday, shooting a 2-over 74 to put them at an even 144 for the tournament.
Cleveland’s representation in the senior division of the tournament didn’t make it to the weekend’s match play when Country Club members Pudgie Payne and Gerald Burns failed to make the cut, shooting an opening round 73 and a second round 75 to put them at 4-over for the tournament.
Defending senior champions Bill Argabrite and Tony Green fell in the semifinal round to fifth-seeded Ricky Gregg and Mike Poe, who won the match 1-up.
The senior division finals will tee off at 8:30 this morning in a match up between the teams of Gregg/Poe and Neil Spitalny/John Williams, who earned their shot in the finals by beating Bob Clark and Rick Harrell in the other semifinal.