St.Andrews-Sewanee Golfer Battles for Girls State Title

Monday, October 1, 2012 - by B.B. Branton

“Jenna works so hard at her game that I have to run her off the practice tee ... she is the best golfer SAS has had in well over a decade --  boy or girl.”

 -- St.Andrews-Sewanee golf coach Dan Hatfield

 

MANCHESTER - Jenna Burris has taken on high school male golfers for the past six weeks – winning medalist honors in 16 of 18 prep matches – and now she is battling high school girls for the D-II A individual state championship here at WillowBrook Golf Club Monday and Tuesday.

Shooting a 75 (41-34) on Day 1 of the state championship, the 17-year-old junior from St.Andrews-Sewanee School finds herself in a three-way tie for second – along with Rachel Johnson, Franklin Road Academy and Sara Garmezy, Univ. School Nashville – one shot back of leader Nicole Page (Fr., Franklin Road Academy).

At 10:20 a.m. (EDT) Tuesday, Burris will also find herself in a star-studded foursome that includes defending state champion Garmezy (39-36--75) and current tourney leader Page (36-38--74). Johnson (37-38--75) is in the following foursome, teeing off at 10:40 a.m.

Page, a freshman, will be trying to replace Garmezy, a senior, on the top of the medal stand on Tuesday afternoon as the state’s best in D-II A, while Burris, whose 72 in the recent region tournament, was the lowest of all D-II A state qualifiers, hopes to be in the mix coming down the back nine.

Burris - the only girl golfer at SAS, thus playing for the boys team during the regular season - has a sparkling links resume highlighted by Tennessee Golf Association player of the year honors this past summer winning two tournaments and twice more on the All-American Junior Golf Tour.

The 6-1 long-ball hitting Burris hopes her strength off the tee – a consistent 270 yards – and familiarity at WillowBrook will be a plus for her on Tuesday.

Not only is WillowBrook the SAS home course, Burris’s dad, David (who played golf at McMinn County HS in 1985-86), owns the course.

“Jenna is an amazing young lady and a very determined golfer,” said SAS golf coach Dan Hatfield who noted that the SAS honors student is so long and consistent off the tee against the boys that most of the time she hits last on second shots.

“She works so hard at her game that I have to run her off the practice tee. Jenna is the best golfer SAS has had in more than a decade, boy or girl.”

Two-Year Hiatus: Burris played in her first state tournament in 2009 as an eighth grader tying for 8th (85-86—171) – Garmezy was fourth (161) and Johnson was 13th (176) – but then took two years off from the sport to play volleyball and basketball for SAS.

“I began playing golf seven years ago and played 36 holes a day nearly year round for two years to see how good I could be,” said Burris whose resume shows a hole-in-one at Black Creek Mountain Golf Course near Chattanooga and a career low of 68 at WillowBrook.

“But after playing in the state tournament three years ago I needed a break.”

Last year she realized that her best chance at a NCAA D-I college scholarship would be chasing the little white ball for 18 holes rather than in any other sport.

“I picked up the clubs this past February after basketball season and shot an 88-72—160 in my first tournament of the spring and received the Edward Jones award for most improved score in one tournament.”

She had a little slump at the end of the summer after winning four times, but with a solid fall season and a 75 on Monday on her home course has her in a good position to win it all.

“I have an attitude of never giving up, never backing down and fighting to the end,” stated Burris.

With five golfers (including Sam Burrus of FRA, 42-36--78) within five shots of each other come Tuesday’s start time, winning the final few holes and the state golf medal could be decided by the one who best handles the pressure, comes up with key shots and fights to the end.

Contact B.B. Branton at William.branton@comcast.net


Tickets Sell Out In 1 Day For U.S. Women’s National Team Soccer Match At Finley Stadium

Tickets sold out in one day for the U.S. Women’s National Team’s match against Costa Rica at Finley Stadium.  There will be over 20,000 fans in attendance on Wednesday, Aug. 19, at 6:30 p.m. The match will be on ESPN2. Officials said it is just the fourth sellout in the history of the 18-year-old stadium. It sold out faster than the prior three sellouts. ... (click for more)

Chattanooga FC Playing For Division Championship Saturday

The Chattanooga Football Club final home game will be played this Saturday.    With a 4-2 win over the Knoxville Force, Chattanooga controls its own destiny for a 1st place division finish when it faces off against that Nashville FC this Saturday, July 4 at Finley Stadium.  A win secures the division championship for the CFC with a home-field advantage for the ... (click for more)

Healy Says Bass Pro Shop At East Ridge To Get Underway Next Month, New Hotel, Restaurants Planned Nearby; Sewers Are An Issue

Commercial realtor John Healy said Thursday that construction is set to start next month on the Bass Pro Shop at Exit 1 in East Ridge. He said it is due to open next May. Mr. Healy also said Wolftever Development that is carrying out the project has also bought additional land near the Bass Pro Shop site at the entrance to Camp Jordan Park. He said one purchase is America's Best ... (click for more)

Work Set To Start In October On $28 Million Retail, Office, Apartment Development At The 700 Block of Market Street

An Atlanta developer said work will start in October on a $28 million retail, office and apartment complex in the long-vacant middle of the 700 block of Market Street. Boyd Simpson of the Simpson Company said the project was made possible because his firm also owns the adjacent SunTrust Tower and can use some of its excess parking for occupants of the new building. He said ... (click for more)

Police Need To Stop The Road Cowboys - And Response (2)

Where is our highway patrol?  If they were known to regularly patrol our interstate highways through our city I don't think it would take long before the "truckers" were aware of it.  There are places in our country where this is the case.   When I have traveled Interstates 24 and 75 I may see the occasional car pulled over but rarely if ever is it an 18-wheeler. ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: My Pre-Fourth Observations

I hate to do this, right on the heels of my monthly ‘Walk in the Garden,’ but I have more things on my desk that I dare not leave unnoticed before tomorrow’s Star-Spangled celebration. Foremost is the plea to anyone who shoots off firecrackers to please wear eye protection and ask watchers to stand back. Our eye doctors say firecracker-related injuries have doubled in the last three ... (click for more)