By 5SP Staff
HALLS’ WHITAKER, HVA’s SHEFFIELD, BEARDEN BOYS CONTEND
The Bearden boys golf team, in the program’s first appearance in a state golf tournament since 1983, played themselves to a fourth-place position after the first of two rounds in the Class AA Division.
The Bulldogs posted a total of 14-over 302 at Sevierville Golf Club and trail leader Brentwood by only seven shots, which can be made up in team play in a matter of two or three holes. So Bearden is very much in contention.
Jaden Morrell led Bearden with an opening-round 71. His teammates — Conner Hall, Bryce Harmon and Charlie Culbertson — each shot a 77.
Halls senior and Chattanooga commit Ethan Whitaker was the area’s co-low finisher with Jake Sheffield of Hardin Valley, each signing for a 2-under 70. Whitaker shot 3 under on his last seven holes to scoot up the leaderboard into a tie for fifth. He trails first-round leader, Jackson Whaley of Collierville, by three shots heading into Tuesday’s final round.
Sheffield played a bogey-free round.
WEST LADY REBELS STILL IN IT
Much like the Bearden boys, the West girls found themselves in fourth at the conclusion of Monday play — but not far off the lead.
The Lady Rebels shot 17-over 157 as a team, which was not too much back of Page’s leading 148. Calley Holbert led West with an 8-over round of 78, which was good enough for a tie for 12th. Her teammate Anna Claire Gibson shot 79.
Heritage’s Sophia Gambini was the low area finisher with a 74.
Halls junior Lauren Davis, the 2023 5Star Preps Masters Champion, shot 6 over. Her 76 wound up tied for sixth but eight shots back of first place (Lauren Slatten, Warren County, 68).
Brentwood Academy sophomore Blades Brown is back for a bid at a three-peat. Yes, a three-peat. Blades played high school golf as an eighth-grader and won the 2021 Division II-AA state tournament. He then repeated the feat as a freshman in 2022.
On Monday, he began his quest for a third in a row with a stellar round of 8-under 64. He started his round 6 under through seven holes.
He made six birdies, two eagles, two bogeys and eight pars in his round.
He led by just two strokes, though, after Day One. Briarcrest’s Henry O’Keefe shot 66 to give chase.
Webb’s Tate Woodruff was tied for 14th after a first-round 73 in the Division II-AA field. Catholic’s Grant Odom opened with 76 and was tied for 23rd.
Brentwood Academy leads Division II-AA boys’ team competition at 8 under 280. That’s two strokes ahead of Baylor.
CATHOLIC GIRLS IN FOURTH
The Knoxville Catholic girls positioned themselves in fourth place after Day One in the six-team field at 18-over 158. But the Lady Irish are just 13 strokes back of leader Ensworth and 12 shots back of second-place Baylor.
Teagan Walker of Catholic carded a 5-over 75 and was tied for fifth after the first round. She’s only five shots back of leader Savannah Cherry (Ensworth).
Tori Tampas (83) helped round out the Catholic total.
Webb’s Palmer Sykes played as an individual and shot 86.