SEVIERVILLE – Records were broken by state tournament veterans and the first-time qualifiers were crowned TSSAA State Golf Championships on Tuesday.
The Division II-AA individual title was won by eighth-grade Brentwood Academy student Blades Brown. Brown shot 11 under par at Sevierville Golf Club, the seventh lowest score in state championship history.
Brown said his mental game was the most important factor in his success at such a young age. He has been playing golf for less than five years.
âI do this thing where when I start a round I say I’m 6, so if I’m 6 I think I’m even equal,â he said. “Golf is all mental. If you can think of it in a different way, it will make a difference.”
Brown beat four seniors who were tied for second place. Even though he’s not yet in high school, he said he’s not intimidated by the competition.
âI’ve been playing these guys all season, and it’s just amazing how much they respect me and I respect them,â said Brown. “They are such good role models.”
Franklin junior Sophia Dipaolo pulled 4 under for the second-lowest score in state championship history to win by Class AA girls by four strokes. Lynn Lim, the 2019 Station Camp State Champion, tied for second with Hannah Nall of Cleveland.
Diapolo was ranked 22nd in 2019 and sixth in 2020.
It was the first time that the state tournament had been played at the Sevierville Golf Club. It has been taking place for several years at the Willowbrook Golf Course in Manchester. Diapolo said she preferred to play on the Sevierville course.
âIt’s a lot more walking, but I like it,â she said. “Here you have to really hit your shots and define your tee shots. Putting on these greens is also very different, so I feel like for a lot of the top players it’s a really different experience.”
Clarksville won Class AA Girls for their fourth state title in their first tournament appearance since 2017. Coach John Robichaud said his players prepared for the new course by participating in an invite to the club. earlier in the season.
âWe had a tournament canceled on us in the middle of the season, and another coach called us to come to Sevierville,â he said. “We were able to play it then. It was great to see the course another time because it’s a very tricky course.”
Macon County rookie Maddox Crowder won the Class AA boys title by an 8-under, knocking off Knoxville West senior Carson Kammann. Kammann pledged to play Division I golf at East Tennessee State University.
“I wish I could have made a few more putts, but I hit a lot of greens over the two days.” said Kammann. “I hit the ball well and I’m proud of how I birdied the last hole. I tried not to worry about it. [Maddox] was doing, because I can’t control what he’s doing. I can only control what I do. “
Brentwood won the Boys Class AA title for the first time since 2015. It is the school’s third state title.
âThese guys have been playing together forever, so it’s really cool to see them finally come together and win and play really well,â said coach Chris Saunders. “We have a great cultureâ¦ it’s so competitive and the guys just want it for each other.”
Baylor School of Chattanooga won the team titles in the II-AA division and junior Paula Liano won the women’s individual title. This is the second tournament in a row that Baylor has won both tag team titles.
âWe have a lot of history, a lot of tradition,â said coach Gary Patrick. âThere’s a lot of weight on their shoulders. There’s an elephant in the room that we’re trying not to talk about, but there’s a lot of pressure on them. Responding like they did is pretty special. . “
Seniors Haden Maxwell, Sheldon McKnight and David Schneider Jerez tied for second at four to give the Red Raiders the lowest team score in state history over two days. The team’s victory was Baylor’s 20th, which set another state record.
âI had no idea (breaking the scoring record) was possible,â McKnight said. âThere have been so many amazing teams and much easier golf courses than this one for the State Tournament. We will be coming back for the rest of our lives. Our coaches give us so muchâ¦ as seniors to give them a good taste in your mouth to finish, that’s really great. “