Freshmen lead pack at county tournament
The freshmen showed how its done in their first county tournament.
Sevier County's Spencer Cross shot a 3-under-par 34 and Seymour's Wesley Jones was two strokes back with a 1-under 36 on the front nine at the Gatlinburg Golf Course. A strong day on the greens gave Cross the first-round lead in the McNelly-Whaley Sevier County High School Golf Championship.
“I was just making putts,” Cross said. “I made a 25-footer on five. I got up and down for birdie on four. That got me going.”
Another freshman, Seymour's Katelyn Witucki, was the early girls leader with a 41. Witucki started slow but shot a birdie on No. 1, her fifth hole of the day. She made it to the green on the par-4 in one shot.
“I came out here and practiced the other day and hit it on the green,” Witucki said. “I was like 'I need to do that again.' I just tried to get it up there again and I did.”
Fellow Eagle Mollie Webb shot a 45 as did Northview's Heidi Lawson. In the boys standings, Ben Huskey fired a 1-over-par 38 for Sevier County. Gatlinburg-Pittman's Will King was another stroke back with a 39.
Putting was the key on the boys side Tuesday. Cross said he had been struggling on the greens lately but he seemed to have his confidence back. Fellow rookie Jones knocked down three long putts in a row at one point, including a nice one on the sixth hole. That left him pumping his fist silently on the green.
“I was just pumped up,” Jones said. “You start playing like that, you just start getting in that little zone. I just had it going there. Just try to get in at 1-under. I did and that makes me really happy.”
The golfers are back in action today at Creekside, where Jones said it may be a little easier to get into trouble, for a noon start. The tournament wraps up Thursday at Sevierville Golf Club at 3 p.m.
Pigeon Forge's Tyler Bohanan was in the hunt as well, finishing at 40. Like his two rivals, Bohanan said strong putting will be key the next two days.
“I'm happy,” Bohanan said. “I think I did well. I need to putt better. I need to make a couple putts fall. That's all.”
1. Sevier County 154, 2. Seymour 164, 3. TKA 169, 4. Pigeon Forge 178, 5. G-P 200, 6. Northview 221.
1. Spencer Cross (SC), 34, 2. Wesley Jones (SE), 36, 3. Ben Huskey (SC), 38, 4. Trey Bierman (SC), 39, 5. Will King (GP), 39.
1. Seymour 83, 2. GP 96, 3. Northview 106, 4. Sevier County 113.
1. Katelyn Witucki (SE), 41, 2. Camille Davis (SE), 42, 3. Mollie Webb (SE), 45, 3. Hedi Lawson (NV), 45, 4. Shelby Stinnett (SE), 47, 4. Mason Green (GP), 47.