Gray charges to Sneds Championship title

By JOE CANNON Assistant Sports Editor
Posted 7/21/17

KINGSTON SPRINGS — Turning a three-shot deficit into a three-stroke victory, a local golfer claimed the end of the summer Sneds Tour championship crown.

Playing in the Tournament of …

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Gray charges to Sneds Championship title

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KINGSTON SPRINGS — Turning a three-shot deficit into a three-stroke victory, a local golfer claimed the end of the summer Sneds Tour championship crown.

Playing in the Tournament of Champions at the Golf Club of Tennessee in Kingston Springs, Parker Gray put together the best 36 holes among 68 participants to capture the Boys 16-18 Masters Division title.

Despite bogeying half of his first six holes, the Walker Valley senior fought back with a pair of birdies on the back nine to fire a 1-over-par 72 in Tuesday’s opening round, tying him for third place with Knoxville’s Bryson Morrell.

The pair were three shots behind opening day low medalist Jake Mynatt of Strawberry Plains, who sank four birdies on his way to a 2-under 69.

Turning the tables from his first day, Gray came out of the gate strong in Wednesday’s final round, draining back-to-back birdies on the final two holes of the front nine to go with another bird on No. 4 for a 3-under 33 at the turn.

Going to 4-under to take the tournament lead when he birdied No. 12, Gray slipped a little down the stretch with a trio of bogeys on his final five holes, but he had enough of a cushion to bring home the top trophy.

While Gray was surging, Mynatt continued his steady pace with a pair of birdies to be at 4-under himself after his first 11 holes in the final round.

However, the Carter High School senior had a rougher time finishing than Gray, with bogeys on Nos. 12 and 14 before finishing double bogey-birdie-double bogey on his final three holes.

Although Gray’s 1-under 70 wasn’t the low round of the day, he was one of just two golfers to break par on the second day.

His 72-70 — 142 even par tally was three shots better than Mynatt (69-76 — 145), who just barely hung on for the runner-up trophy by a stroke over Nashville’s Sam Melton (74-72 — 146).

A trio of golfers —Jefferson City’s Micah Knisley (79-68), Franklin’s Coleman Jones (73-74) and Murfreesboro Nick Wolf (71-76) — tied for fourth with 147s.

Coleman who has committed to play for NCAA Division I Belmont University, won the Tennessee State Junior Amateur at the Cleveland Country Club by five strokes earlier this month. Gray finished tied for 48th in that event, some 24 shots behind the Brentwood Academy senior.

Gray’s Walker Valley teammate Cade Puryear was also among the tournament qualifiers, finishing tied for 18th in the oldest boys bracket.

Coming in ranked 10th in the state with a 69.4-stroke average, the senior lefty struggled from the get-go, with bogeys on six of his first eight holes on his way to a 9-over 80 Tuesday.

The second day he balanced two birdies with a pair of bogeys on the front nine to turn at even par, but a trio of bogeys and a double bogey on unlucky No. 13 gave him a 78 in the final round for a 158 tally, 16 shots behind his fellow Mustang.

Two-time TSSAA all-stater Rheagan Hall birdied her first hole in the Girls 16-18 Masters Division, but her tournament went downhill from there, eventually having to withdraw due soreness in a recently injured ankle.

The Cleveland High senior who just won her third straight Connie Day Cup last week, turned at 3-over 39 in the opening round, before shooting 45 on the back side with a pair of double bogeys for an 84.

After putting up just a half dozen pars in her first 14 holes Wednesday, the pain was too much to bear and she had to pull out of the event.

Hall’s mother Karen related that “She came off the crutches to play competitive tournament rounds eight out of 10 days. The Golf Club of Tennessee is very difficult to walk and her ankle couldn't support her any more.

“She was in tears as she pulled herself from the course and disappointed that she couldn't finish the tournament.

“She played at Tennessee National last Monday and Tuesday (July 10-11) and finished first. Came back to play in the city open (Ladies City Championship at CCC, where she won the junior division while out dueling TGA Hall of Famer Maggie Scott for the overall top score) and followed it with a Hurricane Tournament at Willowbrook (Golf Club in Manchester) where she finished first.”

Hall, Gray and Puryear will now start to prepare for the TSSAA fall season, which begins July 31 at CCC with the Bradley Invitational.

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joe.cannon@clevelandbanner.com

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