Payne Denman Claims State Amateur Title

Finishes With 18 Under With Closing Round Of 68

  • Sunday, June 16, 2024
  • Paul Payne

Payne Denman played flawlessly over his final two rounds to coast to a four-shot win in capturing the 109th Tennessee State Amateur Championship on Friday at Tennessee National Golf Club.

Denham finished with a four-day total of 18-under 270, closing with a final round of 68 after leading by a single stroke entering the day. The men’s assistant golf coach at MTSU completed his final 36 holes with no bogeys while tallying 12 birdies after posting a 64 in his third round.

The win was Denman’s fourth Tennessee Golf Association title, having claimed a pair of State Four-Ball trophies in 2014 and 2023 along with last year’s State Mid-Amateur Four-Ball championship.

Cameron Tankersley of Dickson finished second at 14-under 274.

Golfers with Chattanooga connections fared well, occupying eight of the next 11 positions in the final standings. Former Baylor School competitor Haden Maxwell, who sat atop the leaderboard after the first two rounds, finished tied for third at 11-under 277 along with recent University of Tennessee at Chattanooga graduate John Houk.

Sheldon McKnight, another Baylor School alum, placed fifth with a total of 10-under 278.

Thad Whitfield, who will join Denham’s squad at MTSU this fall after completing his prep career at McCallie School, posted a 6-under 282 to finish ninth. One shot back in 10th were East Hamilton High School rising senior Griffin Law and former McCallie School golfer Bennett McNabb.

Lookout Mountain Club’s Mark Harrell and UTC rising senior Braedon Wear tied for 13th with final scores of 4-under 284.

Paul Payne can be emailed at

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