WV’s Bishop bounces back
by By JOE CANNON Banner Assistant Sports Editor
Sep 27, 2012 | 515 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
WALKER VALLEY junior Katie Bishop improved her score by 14 strokes overnight at the TSSAA State Class AAA Girls’ Golf Championship. After shooting an 88 in the opening round, she came back with a 2-over-par 74 during Wednesday’s final round at the WillowBrook Golf and Country Club in Manchester. Photo by CRAIG DELK/Cookeville Herald-Citizen
WALKER VALLEY junior Katie Bishop improved her score by 14 strokes overnight at the TSSAA State Class AAA Girls’ Golf Championship. After shooting an 88 in the opening round, she came back with a 2-over-par 74 during Wednesday’s final round at the WillowBrook Golf and Country Club in Manchester. Photo by CRAIG DELK/Cookeville Herald-Citizen
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MANCHESTER — Katie Bishop must have felt a little deja vu Wednesday as she posted the fourth-best score in the final round of the TSSAA State Class AAA Girls Golf Championship.

For the second straight year the Walker Valley junior have a tough time in the opening 18 holes but then came back the second day with a very impressive round to post a strong finish.

After posting one of her highest rounds of the season in Tuesday’s opening round with an 88, Bishop turned in one of her best with a 2-over-par 74 on the final 18 Wednesday at the WillowBrook Golf and Country Club in Manchester.

The 14-stroke improvement moved her up 10 places on the leaderboard for a 19th place finish in the field of 56 players. In 2011, Bishop carded an 83-75 — 158 for an 11th place finish in the state field.

Bradley Central’s Chase Montgomery fired a 4-over 76 on Monday in the boys’ championship and backed that up with an 80 on Wednesday, giving him a tie for 42nd place in his first TSSAA state tournament.

Bishop opened her final round with eight pars and a bogey on the WillowBrook back nine, and then capped off the event with a birdie and a pair of bogeys for a matching 1-over 37 on the front nine.

“I’m proud of the way she turned it around,” declared Walker Valley coach Bob Williams. “She put a lot of pressure on herself going into the tournament. I think that’s hurt her the first day. She came out Wednesday and played like she is capable of playing.”

Her 162 total put Bishop three strokes behind a pair of fellow Region 3-AAA golfers, Samantha Griffith of Ooltewah and Cookeville’s Anna Cunningham, who tied for 17th place.

Senior Samantha Gotcher not only claimed a three-stroke victory for the individual state title with a 71-70 — 141 total, but also led Clarksville to a 10-stroke (292-302) win over Farragut in the team competition.

The par 5 16th hole proved to be Montgomery’s nemesis in the initial state tournament. After carding a double-bogey 7 in Tuesday’s round on his way to his 4-over score, on Wednesday the Bear junior stumbled to a double-par 10 to account for 75 percent of the difference in his scores from the two rounds.

After shooting a 43 on the back nine to open Wednesday’s round, Montgomery was able to battle back for a strong finish with a 1-over 37 on the front nine.

Montgomery’s 156 left him tied with Parks Hatfield of Lawrence County and Knoxville Catholic’s Joe Willenborg.

With a trio of 140s at the top of the leaderboard, a three-way playoff had to be held to award the boys’ individual crown. Farragut’s Stuart Thomas was able to claim the title on the first extra hole, edging first-day leader Arjuna Anday, of Siegel, and Dickson County’s Ben Wolcott.

Murfreesboro Siegel won the boys’ team title with a 593, putting them two strokes ahead of Houston High School, out of Memphis.