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Taylor, Smith, Davis share Tillinghast lead

Gene Renfro • Updated Jun 1, 2019 at 8:45 PM

Gate City native Chance Taylor closed out the opening round of the 2019 Tillinghast Invitational on Saturday with a birdie to take a share of the lead on a packed leaderboard.

Carding a 71 at Johnson City Country Club, Taylor had a birdie on No. 18 to go with one on the eighth hole. The final-hole birdie erased the bogey on 15. The rising Tennessee Tech sophomore’s low collegiate round was a 69 this past season.

“I hit the ball real good,” Taylor said about his round. “I hit about every green and it should have been better than it was. I missed a lot of six to eight footers. I’ve not been playing my best golf so it is good to get a good round in.”

Also at 71 are Taylor Smith and Tanner Davis. Smith, a member of the Johnson City Country Club, carded a 34 on the back nine and was spurred on by a birdie on nine. He totaled six birdies in the round, but a pair of double bogeys hindered his progress. Knoxville native Davis had an eagle on the par-five third hole, but bogeyed nine before an even-par 36 on the back nine.

Tanner Davis’ brother Tory is in a pack of seven golfers with even-par rounds of 72. Another eight golfers carded two-over-par 74s to create a packed field for the final round within three shots.

The senior division’s championship flight was paced by a familiar name. Mike Poe birdied the ninth hole before three birdies on the back nine to finish at 68.

“I made the putts I needed to make, it was a pretty solid round today,” a humble Poe said.

Poe built a three-shot lead over Tim Dinwiddie, who totaled four birdies. The last came on the final hole.

Dave Daniel used a 33 on the back nine to finish at 72 which is second in front of a pair of rounds of 73. Those two rounds were from Cary Daniels and Bill Argabrite.

The flight leaders are Dan Constantino in the first and Dan Robbie in the second. Both enjoy a seven-shot margin.

The senior flight co-leaders are Chris Tidwell and Joe Avento, a shot better than Rick Morgan.

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