Keoni Vidrine decided to take a week away from competitive golf.
But he couldn't stay too far away.
So he caddied for Tennessee Wesleyan College teammate Cody Godfrey in the first round of the Men's Metro Amateur tournament Friday at WindStone Golf Club.
Vidrine had the best view of the best round.
Godfrey, a rising sophomore at the Athens school, shot an 8-under-par 64 by making 10 birdies and two bogeys.
"I've been working on my game and putting a lot," said Godfrey, who shot rounds of 63 and 64 at Cleveland's Chatata Valley course in the last week. "I felt like I was going to make a breakthrough.
"This is my best competitive round."
Richard Spangler, playing one group ahead of Godfrey, shot a 65. Chris Schmidt is third after a morning round of 67.
Hunter Cornelius, Winston Brown and Shonn Weldon shot 68s. McCallie School junior Gordon Hulgan is in seventh place at 69 with two rounds remaining.
Godfrey made four birdies in a row on the first nine with bogeys on Nos. 1 and 6. He just missed some birdie putts early on the back nine. Then he closed with five consecutive birdies.
"I want to start my second round right now," Godfrey joked in the WindStone pavilion. "I felt like I was at home out here."
Spangler teamed with Chase Deck and Ben Vaughn representing Battlefield to win the Harold Lane Memorial team trophy with a total of 10-under 62.
WindStone's grounds crew began arriving at 4:30 a.m. Friday to clean up wind damage from Thursday evening storms that left tree debris on every hole. Yet they had the course ready to play by the first tee time, and the tournament did not miss a minute.
"We had to use every chainsaw, every backpack blower, and we had to blow three fairways by hand," superintendent Wes Gilbert said. "Every green was covered with debris, and I was worried about being able to mow them. It was not a fun morning for us."
But it turned into an enjoyable afternoon for Godfrey.
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 ...