Four locals advance to region tournament
It wasn’t Tyler Bohanan’s best round, but it was good enough.
Pigeon Forge’s top golfer finished with an 80 on the par-72 course at Ruggles Ferry Golf Club in Monday’s District 3-A/AA tournament. That placed him fourth overall and booked him a ticket to next week’s Region 2 A/AA tournament. He’s one of four individuals from Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg-Pittman to advance.
“I struggled on the front and first three holes on the back,” Bohanan said. “It’ll come together.”
The Tigers fell short of advancing as a team, finishing fifth with a 399. Derek Campbell shot 89 while Josh Wood and Josh Messick each had 115. Campbell qualified as an individual. Gatlinburg-Pittman’s Will King also made it with a 90.
Grace Christian won the district boys title with a 314 led by Luke Scealf’s 69. Carter was a stroke back at 315 and Union County was the third team qualifier with a 388. The top three teams and next five individuals advance to the region tournament.
Chelsey James moved on for Gatlinburg-Pittman in the girls field. She shot 97, good for second among the individual qualifiers.
“It feels really good,” said Highlanders coach James Risser. “I’m really happy for her. She’s a senior. ... The competition is pretty tough. Next Monday it will be even tougher.”
The Highlanders' boys team finished sixth with a 404. Terry King had a 99 while Connor Sise shot 100. Kendall Green had a 115. Will King, like Campbell and Bohanan, said his round wasn’t the best. He had hoped to turn things around on the back nine but instead shot 45 on both the front and the back. A couple wayward tee shots spoiled his final nine holes, but he’s still moving on.
“I couldn’t keep my drives in play,” King said. “You hit it out of bounds on a couple holes, that can throw your whole round off. I hit it out of bounds three or four times on the back.”
Bohanan was back at full strength after feeling sick last week. He still played in a match late in the week where his distance was affected.
“I was real sick last week,” Bohanan said. “The fatigue factor was just the worst. I felt real run-down and sick. … Last week, after the first hole it was like I couldn’t swing a club.”
Bohanan didn’t have the same kind of problems Monday, although he said he started feeling tired on the final three or four holes. Tigers coach Mitchell Whaley said the golfer just has a great work ethic that allows him to battle through obstacles, whether it’s illness or a bad hole.
“He’s going to fight through it,” Whaley said. “He knows golf’s a sport where you have to constantly work at it if you want to get better. He’s got that work ethic and he’s going to continue to practice and work hard.”
Bohanan will be looking for a sharper start next time out.
“I’ve got to come out ready to play on the first nine instead of trying to turn it on on the back,” he said. “Nerves really got to me honestly, those first nine.”