published Saturday, July 9th, 2011

Robertson, Hufstetler tied for Metro lead with 68s

Matt Robertson prefers to play golf on the edge — to go for it. A round of 18 pars is just plain boring for the former Lee University golfer.

Robertson had one of his typical roller-coaster rounds Friday in the first round of the Chattanooga Men’s Metro Championship but is tied for first.

He shot a 3-under-par 68 in the afternoon at the Chattanooga Golf and Country Club, which matched the morning round of Mitch Hufstetler.

“I don’t like pars,” Robertson said. “I like to make birdies. Unfortunately, by trying to make a lot of birdies, you made a lot of bogeys.”

His first round included an eagle, six birdies, seven pars, three bogeys and a double-bogey on No. 11 after laying up on the short par-4.

Last month, in the two-day Ira Templeton Open at Creeks Bend Golf Club, he made 14 birdies (seven in the last nine holes) and six bogeys to win the tournament by three shots.

“I just always hope the good outweighs the bad,” said Robertson, who fought through pain from a rib injury suffered two weeks ago.

Robertson and Hufstetler will be joined in the final group today by Chris Schmidt, who shot 2-under 69.

“I had a chance to go real low, but I missed a lot of putts,” Hufstetler said. “It could have been a lot better. But I’m happy.”

Regular-division participants Tom Schreiner, Mike Feher and Ryan Hulton also shot 2 under.

“The course was set up for people to shoot really good today,” Hulton said. “I’m surprised nobody shot a 66 or better today.”

Senior-division players Mike Jenkins, Tom Baird and Larry McGill also shot 69s. A senior-division champion will be crowned after 36 holes, and all seniors are eligible to win the regular-division title as well on Sunday if they make the cut of the top 25 and ties.

A team from Valleybrook Golf and Country Club won a trophy Friday. Gary Baker, Wayne Woolfall and Rusty Pickett won the Harold Lane Memorial Trophy, which is awarded to the Metro’s team champion — the best score from a player on a hole goes to the team score.

Despite combining to shoot 8 over on their own cards, they combined to shoot 10 under as a team and nipped the Brainerd squad by one shot.

“None of us played great, but we ham-and-egged it pretty well,” Baker said. “When somebody was out of the hole, another guy was putting for birdie. I’d like to say we all played great, but we didn’t. When two guys couldn’t make a birdie, the other was putting from six feet away.”

about David Uchiyama...

David Uchiyama is a sports writer at the Chattanooga Times Free Press who began his tenure here in May 2001. His primary beats are UTC athletics — specifically men’s basketball and athletic department administration — and golf, which includes coverage from the PGA Tour to youth events. He also covers other high school sports, outdoor adventures, and contributes to other sections of the newspaper when necessary. David grew up in Salinas, Calif., and began working ...

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