Chattanooga) Round 1 of the 98th Annual Tennessee State Amateur was completed today after a short rain delay in the afternoon wave. Three golfers, Matt Cooper, Grant Milner, and Andrew Weathers, finished tied for the lead with a solid round of 66 (-4 under par). Also close to the top, Payne Denman, Josh Nelms, Travis Rodgers, and Steven Fox are all tied at 68.
In talking with the leaders, all were very pleased with the outcome of their round and the conditions of the course. Cooper stated, “The course is in phenomenal condition for this week.” He also commented on his round for today by saying, “I missed only two greens, so I had a lot of solid ball striking which helped me today. I have been playing well this summer, so I am confident about my game.” Milner stated that he had not played much golf all summer, with this being his first tournament to compete. He finished his interview by saying, “It takes all four days to win, so I am just trying to take it one day at a time.”
Weathers, the last golfer tied for the lead, commented that he has played several tournaments all summer without much success. He said, “I am very satisfied with today. I have been playing well all summer, just haven’t shot very low, so I was due a good round.”
Steven Fox, the 2012 U.S. Amateur Champion, shot a 68 (-2 under par). He is currently tied for 4th place, after the three leaders at 66. When asked how he felt about this week he said, “I am very comfortable here. I have probably played here about 75-100 times, so I am comfortable playing this course and I know what I am capable of shooting while here.” Defending champion, Tim Jackson, fired a 69 (-1 under par) today. While talking with him, Jackson said, “The course is a great fit for my game. I haven’t played much this year, but I have really tried to focus and work on my driver to keep it straight and just play fairways and greens. He continued by saying, “I was shocked about winning last year. I definitely did not expect my 53 year old self to win this event. But it just shows that anything can happen. I am satisfied with my position after Round 1, and I am looking forward to seeing what the rest of the week has in store.”
Round 2 is set to begin tomorrow morning at 7:30am EST. Proceeding Round 2, there will be a cut to the low 60 and ties to move on to Rounds 3 & 4.