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Link Hills Invitational set for this weekend

Joe Avento • Updated Jun 20, 2018 at 5:19 PM

The local golf tournament scene heats back up this weekend when the Link Hills Invitational is held in Greeneville.

The 36-hole tournament is part of the Tri-Cities Amateur Tour, and Link Hills Country Club pro and general manager Bob Ward said he’s expecting a strong field.

“Our numbers have kind of hovered around 40 or 50, and 80 percent is Championship Flight,” Ward said. “It’s a combination of the young guys and the mid-agers that always like to come out and try to win the championship. There’s a lot of college kids and some high school kids who want to come out and see what they can do.”

Lawrence Largent will be back to defend his title. James Fender won the Senior division last year and will be back as well.

“The course is good,” Ward said. “The green speeds will probably be moderate. I wouldn’t say they’ll be over-the-top quick with the heat and humidity being the way it is. They’ll be running, but they won’t be running off the charts like a lot of courses do.”

The tournament is being played Saturday and Sunday on the Robert Trent Jones layout that was built in 1954. It’s a par-71 course.

Ward said he’ll take entries until 4 p.m. Thursday. Call the pro shop at (423) 639-2961 to enter.

ELIZABETHTON’S NEW PRO

Chad Odom has been hired by Hampton Golf to be head professional and general manager at Elizabethton Golf Course.

Odom came to Elizabethton from Camden Country Club, a Donald Ross-designed course in South Carolina. He has spent 28 years in the golf business as assistant pro, head pro, general manager and owner-operator.

In addition, Elizabethton recently announced the details on two youth clinics it will be offering. The clinics are for kids ages 6-14.

The first one is scheduled from June 25-28 and the second one is set for July 9-12. Both run from 9:30 a.m.-noon. The cost is $100 for Elizabethton members and $125 for guests.

Call the pro shop at (423) 542-8051 for more details.

PAIR OF ACES

The championship matches in the Tennessee Senior and Super Senior Four-Ball featured a pair of holes-in-one just minutes apart.

Montgomery Bell Golf Course in Burns was the site of the fireworks and the aces came on the 188-yard 16th hole.

The first one came in the Super Senior division when Chattanooga’s John Williams’ made an ace that gave him and his partner John Spitalny a walk-off victory over Ed Link and Frank Dial for the championship.

Moments later, Dan Schorsten of Hendersonville made an ace of his own to pull his team all square in their match. Schorsten and Bjorn Svedin went on to beat Milke Gallagher and Butch Okelley 1-up on the 18th hole.

The championship was Spitalny’s fifth Tennessee Golf Association title. He won the Tennessee Senior Amateur in 2015, and the Tennessee Super Senior Amateur in 2016 and 2017 in addition to last year’s Four-Ball crown.

Schorsten’s ace was the 14th of his career.

MEMBER-GUESTS

The Club at Ridgefields held its annual Member-Guest tournament last weekend. Chet Guest and his father-in-law Bill Harrison were the overall winners.

In Abingdon, Virginia, Renny King and Church Powers won the Member-Guest at Glenrochie Country Club.

EURO STARS

The East Tennessee State women’s team was well represented on the Ladies European Tour’s Access Series last week.

Playing in her home country of the Czech Republic, Tereza Melecka finished tied for second at the AXA Czech Ladies Challenge.

Melecka had with a three-round total of 208, eight under par. The member of the Southern Conference all-freshman team last year had a low round of 67.

Former ETSU player Nina Muehl tied for 13th at four under par. She played for the Bucs from 2008-11.

The LET Access Series is a developmental tour run by the Ladies European Tour.

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