KNOXVILLE — A trio of local youth golfers had a strong showing in a very crowded field at the TMACS at Willow Creek tournament in Knoxville this week.
Playing in the tough Boys’ 16-18 Masters Division in the prestigious 36-hole event, Clark Melton, Chase Montgomery and Evan Ball posted Top 5 finishes in the 27-player field.
Earning runner-up honors, Melton fired a 2-over par 146 in the two-day tournament. The Young Harris College signee who took part in a pair of TSSAA state tournaments while playing for Walker Valley High School carded a 2-over 74 on Monday and came back to shoot par on Tuesday.
Montgomery, who played at Bradley Central and is the defending Cleveland Country Club Junior Champion, carded a 77-76 — 153 to take the fourth spot, while Ball, a Polk County standout, was just a stroke back with a 75-79 — 154 for fifth place.
Knoxville’s Conner Froning ran away with the championship, blistering the 6,967-yard course with matching 69s for a 6-under 138 and an eight-stroke victory. Josh Gamble of Clinton captured third place with a pair of 75s for a 150 tally.
Bradley Central rising senior Sloane Rakestraw tied for sixth in the Girls’ 16-18 Masters with a 91-89 — 180, which equaled Lafollette’s Lindsey Taylor, who had rounds of 92 and 88.