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Smith, Senators claim Walters State Fall Classic titles

Smith, Senators claim Walters State Fall Classic titles

MORRISTOWN, Tenn. — Elliott Smith came out firing on the second day of the Walters State Fall Golf Classic, as he drained seven birdies and shot 72 to claim the top medalist spot and help lead the Senators to the team title at the event held at The Country Club, Inc. in Morristown. 


Smith shot 74 on Monday as the Senators led the event after the first round. He had three birdies on the front nine and then added four more on the back nine on Tuesday to shoot 74-72—146 and take the top spot. As a team, Walters State fired a 297-306—603 to win the tournament for the second straight year. 


"Elliott was big today," Walters State coach Bill Gardner said. "If we didn't have him come through, we might have struggled to win this thing. But it's good to win it two years in a row. We have worked hard and they worked hard here at The Country Club to get the course in good shape so I was very pleased."


The Senators had a commanding lead after Monday's first round but Gardner said that put a lot of pressure on his team.


"When you try to hold the lead, that's always difficult," Gardner said. "Sometimes it's better to be in the back making a charge to get back in the hunt and it's a little easier to play back there. But we need to learn to play with the lead, and that is what we are going to work on." 


Joining Smith on the All-Tournament team were Will Collins from Carson-Newman (72-77—149), Chris Kopak from Belmont Abbey (75-75—150), Andrew Linkous from Walters State (73-79—152) and Andrew Rose from Belmont Abbey (76-76—152). 


Dane Rheinecker shot 75-77—152, Christopher Schaff had a 79-74—153, Hunter Blanken carded a 76-78—154, Alex Hodge shot 75-81—156, Sam Pleasant finished with a score of 81-75—156, and Stephen Owen rounded out the Walters State scoring at 76-83—159. 


Finishing behind Walters State in second place was Carson-Newman Blue who turned in a team total of 309-307—616. Tusculum was third at 301-319—620, Carson-Newman Orange was fourth at 323-308—631 and rounding out the top five teams was Abraham Baldwin who had a team score of 325-309—634. Other teams participating in the event were Belmont Abbey B (320-316—636), Spartanburg Methodist (322-327—649), Union of Kentucky (331-338—669), Bluefield State (375-363—738) and Roane State 358-382—740). 


"I was a little worried as our one and two players usually play a little better, but today they didn't. Some of our guys in the four and five slots picked us up, so that's what helps you to win and why it's a team event," Gardner said of his team's performance in the two-day event. 


The Senators finish the fall campaign on Oct. 22-23 as they play in the Chick-fil-A Invitational at the Stonebridge Golf Club in Georgia.