McKay wins first TOC title
By Jimmy Trodglen
CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – The last time Chase McKay walked away with a CGA tournament trophy was 17 years ago.
McKay won the 2001 Mayor’s Golf Classic and had a pair of runner-up finishes in the Commanding General’s. He had won the club championship at Clarksville Country Club twice, but despite being one of the area’s most consistent golfers, McKay hadn’t finished on top of a leaderboard.
However, McKay proved that persistence pays off and his wait for another title is over.
McKay shot a 75-73 – 148 to win the 32nd Mann, Smith and Cummings Tournament of Champions at The River Club Sunday.
McKay trailed first-round leader Tyler Guy by a stroke, then rallied from a three-stroke deficit to overtake Guy and take the tournament championship.
“I have been working hard on my game in the past couple of weeks,” said McKay, who recently qualified for the state mid-amateur in Chattanooga. “I had some goals I was working toward and I got to them.
“I’m real proud of where my game is right now.”
Matt Baker finished runner-up after shooting a 79-70 – 149 and Guy and Jamie Schacht tied for third shooting a 150.
“I just kept the ball in front of me and didn’t have any penalty shots today,” McKay said. “I had a couple yesterday, a couple of three-putts yesterday. It played tough, the weather was an issue both days.
“Today, we played three or four holes in the rain. We did the same thing yesterday (Saturday), three or four holes in the rain. It was hard to adjust and stay committed to what you’ve got.”
McKay trailed Guy by one stroke heading to No. 9, then fell two shots back after Guy had a birdie at 9. McKay then found himself trailing by three shots after Guy had a birdie at No. 10.
A shift atop the leaderboard occurred over the next two holes when McKay had a birdie at No. 11 and Guy had a bogey. It was a duplicate result on No. 12 with McKay picking up his second birdie and Guy recording another bogey.
“That was the whole swing,” McKay said. “From there it was tick-for-that. I was trying to hit the middle of the fairways and trying to hit the middle of the greens.”
One more save
McKay’s tee shot sailed left of the No. 17 fairway. McKay hit his second shot left, but knew he was flag high and had enough green to work with to drain a birdie putt.
“I knew I had to get that ball up and down to have a chance,” McKay said. “I had a one-shot lead and I knew it would be better if I got it up-and-down and have a little cushion.”
Morris wins first TOC
Todd Morris expected his weekend to be golf free. He had not qualified for the Tournament of Champions but was an alternate.
Morris’ weekend plans changed when one of the qualifiers for the Senior Division of the TOC dropped out and he was moved into that vacant position.
Morris, who turned 50 this year, dropped a birdie putt on the final hole to win the Senior Division title.
Morris shot a 71-73 – 144, holding off defending champion Greg Guinn by a stroke.
“They let the wrong alternate in, I don’t know,” said Morris, laughing. “It’s an odd deal because I hadn’t played in a lot of competition. Nerves kind of get to me.
“Yesterday (Saturday) I bogeyed the first hole. I was 2 over after three and I don’t know how to get rid of the jitters, but the third hole, fourth hole I get going.”
Bobby Yingling also shot a two-day 145 with Rick Richardson finishing fourth with a 149.
“I played with Greg today and I’ve known Greg forever and he’s the guy you have to beat,” Morris said. “I’m not going to say it’s a match-play deal with him, but I knew I had to keep up with him.”
Morris said he didn’t know scores from the other group, but knew the perennial favorite was in his foursome.
“You’re playing with a guy you have to beat,” Morris said. “Greg’s won so many events here in town and out of town and everywhere else. He has no nerves. He gets on a golf course and goes. If you beat Greg, you have a chance of winning, obviously.
“I said it’s good to be the youngest of all of the old guys.”
Mann, Smith and Cummings Tournament of Champions
Where: The River Club
When: Saturday and Sunday
Chase McKay 75 73 – 148
Matt Baker 79 70 – 149
Jamie Schacht 80 70 – 150
Tyler Guy 74 76 – 150
Chuck Wallace 79 75 – 154
Aiden Baker 78 76 – 154
Ean Davis 83 80 – 163
Austin Lancaster WD
Todd Morris 71 73 – 144
Greg Guinn 70 75 – 145
Bobby Yingling 74 71 – 145
Rick Richardson 76 73 – 149
Steve Blackwell 71 78 – 149
Mike Robison 73 76 – 149
Todd Greene 77 75 – 152
Marcus Sartain 78 76 – 154
Ronnie Powers 74 70 – 144
Harold Hensley 80 78 – 158
Tommy Shearon 82 77 – 159
Richard Ashbrook 77 86 – 163
Jimmy Trodglen, editor, Twitter@Tnsports360