Miguel Carballo wouldn't have been able to kiss the Children's Hospital Classic championship trophy after the round if not for taking a gamble during it.
He strolled off the 14th green in a good mood after scoring an eagle there to tie for the lead at 21 under for the tournament
So he faced a decision on 347-yard par-4 15 -- lay up or go for it.
He pulled driver and crushed his ball onto the green some 30 feet away from the flagstick.
Carballo polished off the gamble by rolling in that long putt for an eagle -- the only eagle made on No. 15 all tournament.
But he gained only one stroke on Brice Garnett who rolled in a birdie putt.
That one-stroke margin forced Garnett to play for an eagle on the deciding 18th hole. He couldn't quite pull it off.
"I think that those two holes to make consecutive eagles were the most important," Carballo said through his caddie and interpreter David Walker. "I hit a good shot, I hit a good putt and it went in."
Mallinger melts down
John Mallinger finished the third round Saturday with a two-shot lead.
He had plenty of experience being in contention considering he finished in the top 10 the last five straight weeks.
But an old nemesis took him out of contention -- Hole No. 6. The par-5 "Punch Bowl" played as the second-easiest hole all week for the field.
Not Mallinger who missed the fairway in all four rounds. When he reached the green Sunday, he four-putted for a double bogey.
He couldn't shake it off. He pulled a tee-shot on the par-3 No. 7 so far left it hit the cart path and bounced out of bounds.
That's back-to-back double-bogeys.
He added a third on No. 9 when his approach flew straight into water guarding the front of the green.
Shooting a 5-over 41 on the front nine at Black Creek Club isn't going to win anybody a championship no matter how large of a lead they began with.
"Yeah, it was pretty bad," Mallinger said. "That hole got me all week. That's four easy birdies there and I played it 2 over.
"That's the tournament right there."
Hodge gets experience
Former University of Tennessee at Chattanooga golfer Jonathan Hodge finished tied for 64th place at 3-under 285.
After playing in mini-tour events for the last two summers, Hodge qualified for his first Nationwide Tour event as a professional and made the cut in it.
His next professional event will be PGA Tour qualifying school in two weeks.
"It was a frustrating day, and it will take me a few minutes to get over it," Hodge said. "It's amazing how far I've come from the tournaments I played earlier this summer.
"To be playing on Sunday in a Nationwide event is a huge step for me."
Duke of the household
Amy Shulman -- wife of UTC basketball coach John Shulman -- already has a house full of guys between her husband and their three sons.
They added another big kid this week by hosting former PGA Tour winner Ken Duke who became friends with the Shulmans during his first Chattanooga Classic in 2003.
"We've had some ping-pong matches, we've hit acorns with a tennis racket, we've played some basketball and we've been to Top It Off a few times," Duke said. "It's a fun environment, and ... it gets you away from the game so you're not thinking golf 24/7."
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 ...