Born-Caldwell Swing Ding Golf Winners

duo won four of last six holes

Monday, June 9, 2014 - by B.B. Branton
2014 Swing Ding Winners: Grant Caldwell (left) and Brandon Born won the Swing Ding championship flight 1-up against John Barnett and Ricky Johnson Sunday at Lookout Mountain Golf Club
2014 Swing Ding Winners: Grant Caldwell (left) and Brandon Born won the Swing Ding championship flight 1-up against John Barnett and Ricky Johnson Sunday at Lookout Mountain Golf Club

UTC hall of famer Brandon Born was known for his scoring (1,499 points) and rebounding (500) during his Mocs basketball career 20 years ago.

But early Sunday evening standing in the 18th fairway at Lookout Mountain Golf Course he picked up a valuable assist as he and partner Grant Caldwell defeated John “Bama” Barnett and Ricky Johnson, 1-up to win the Swing Ding 2-Man Best Ball championship flight and the coveted red jackets.

With the match all even, Caldwell had 157 yards to the green for his second shot and decided on a 9-iron.

“I knew he would fly the green and put his ball in the parking lot with a 9-iron, so I strongly suggested a pitching wedge,” said Born who is a member of the Ringgold HS and UTC sports halls of fame.

Caldwell agreed and put his approach shot nine feet above the hole to the left, while Born’s second shot was on the back of the green.

After Johnson (up and down from the bunker), Barnett (up and down from short of the green) and Born all made pars the stage was for Caldwell’s final birdie putt and the win.

“It was a tough left to right slider putt and I was thrilled when it went in for the victory,” said Caldwell who led Evangelical Christian School (Memphis) to the TSSAA D-II state high school baseball championships in 1996 and 1998 (state tourney MVP as a catcher).

Back Nine Rally: The old saying of many tournaments are won on the back nine on Sunday afternoon came true.

With the match all even through nine, Barnett birdied Nos. 10-12 to be 3-up, but both he and Johnson had par putts lip out on 14 and 17, respectively, to open the door for Born and Caldwell.

The victors had winning pars 13 (Born) on 14 (Caldwell) to pull within one and halved 15.

Born and Barnett both had good up and down pars on the uphill par-3 16th to halve the hole before Born’s winning par putt on 17 evened the match heading to 18.

“We never trailed in our quarterfinal (6-and-5) and semifinal (5-and-4) matches and I think we pressed too hard on the front nine for birdies in the final,” stated Born. “So when we went down three I think it relaxed us somewhat and we knew there was a lot of golf to be played.”

Even Front Nine: Barnett-Johnson won the first hole with a par, but Born-Caldwell claimed No.2 with a par and the two finalists halved the next seven holes.

Quote of the Day: With Johnson-Barnett 1-up through 16, “Bama” Barnett was lying two in front of No.17 green, and  Born was lying two 12-15 feet above the hole on the two-tiered green when a bird decided to land on the green between Barnett and the hole.

Born then said, “That’s a ‘War Eagle’, ‘Bama,’” evoking a laugh from the gallery rimming the green in golf carts.

Barnett left his chip shot (third shot) short of the hole and two-putted for a bogey, while Born gained his par to even the match heading to 18.

Lots of Kids: Born and Caldwell have seven kids between them all under the age of 9 … Born and four boys (8-7-5-2), while Caldwell has a girl, 6, and two boys, 4 and 3.

“Bama” and Harper Lee: both are natives of Monroeville, Ala.   “Bama” said his dad once played the part of the judge in a local play production of Lee’s Pulitzer Prize winning novel, To Kill a Mockingbird … and his sister, Courtney Barnett Taylor, played Scout in the play in the 1980s.

Kudos To ... David Bennett and his Swing Ding committee, Adam Campbell (head pro), Billy Buchanan (general manager), Mark Stovall (golf course superintendent) and Margaret Johnson (head chef) and their staffs for being excellent hosts for the weekend.

More Golf on Lookout: The club will host the Southern Senior Amateur in 2015, the club’s 90th birthday.

contact B.B. Branton at william.branton@comast.net


UTC Wrestlers Win 29-10 Over Southern Illinois-Edward

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga wrestling team snapped a four-match slide with a 29-10 win at Southern Illinois-Edwardsville tonight.  The Mocs (4-7, 2-0 SoCon) ran out to a 13-0 lead and took eight of the 10 individual matches in the win.    Sophomore Alonzo Allen continues to impress with another big win at 125.  He scored an 18-9 decision over ... (click for more)

UTC Men Beat Samford 82-78

Tre’ McLean’s 23 points and nine rebounds led the Chattanooga Mocs to an 82-78 triumph over Samford in Southern Conference action Saturday evening. The Mocs jumped out to a large first half lead before holding on in the end.   The advantage was as much as 18 in the opening 20 minutes for the home squad. It was 10, 72-62, with  4:37  to go after a four-point ... (click for more)

School Board Votes To Issue RFPs For Private School Bus Service; Allows Independent Drivers To Add 20 Routes

The Hamilton County School Board voted unanimously to issue a Request-for-Proposals (RFP) to private bus companies at a special-called session early  Saturday  afternoon.   The vote came at the end of a two-day strategy session where the school board has confronted a list of challenges but the busing question, spurred by the tragic bus wreck in November ... (click for more)

3 People Shot Early Saturday Morning On East 3rd Street

Three people were shot on East 3rd Street early Saturday morning. They were identified as Countess Clemons, 24, Kezia Jackson, 23, and Dutchess Lykes, 26.   The Chattanooga Police Department responded at 2:40 a.m. to a person(s) shot call at a local hospital. All three victims were transported to the hospital via a personally-owned vehicle.   All three ... (click for more)

A Light Rain Began To Fall - And Response (2)

Around noon Friday, Jan. 20, 2017, Donald J. Trump was sworn in as the 45th President of the most powerful nation on Earth after a long and sometimes bitter campaign where 17 GOP candidates of his own party and two of the opposing party competed for the honor.   Thousands rejoiced in the Washington D.C. streets while policemen who had come along with national guardsmen pushed ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: A Lady Remembers Rex

Kevin Roden sits on the City Council in Denton, Texas (think the Dallas-Fort Worth airport area in the northeastern part of the state) and he is gearing up to run for a third term this spring. He’s already got his website up and, while the election isn’t until April, he writes on his blog every now and then. Last month he let his wife take a turn at it, which brings us to yesterday’s ... (click for more)