published Monday, July 9th, 2012

Cody Godfrey survives for Metro win

Cody Godfrey watches his tee shot on his way to a win in the final round on of the Chattanooga Men's Metro golf championship Sunday at Windstone.
Cody Godfrey watches his tee shot on his way to a win in the final round on of the Chattanooga Men's Metro golf championship Sunday at Windstone.
Photo by John Rawlston.

Cody Godfrey added his name to a list of local golfing legends on Sunday.

Godfrey, a rising sophomore at Tennessee Wesleyan, won the Chattanooga Men's Metro championship by five shots over McCallie rising junior Gordon Hulgan and former pro Richard Spangler.

Godfrey started the final round with a five-shot lead. Despite shooting a 2-over-par 74 at WindStone Golf Club, nobody came within two shots of him all day.

"It was hugely important to have a big lead when I started," Godfrey said. "It took a lot of pressure off me."

The first-time champion joins the likes of Polly Boyd, who won the first Metro championship in 1929, as well as Willard Miller, Lew Oehmig, Ira Templeton and Ed Brantly.

"I'm just honored and glad that my name is on the list," said Godfrey, who asked how long he gets to keep the engraved trophy before heading out.

Godfrey burst to a lead with an 8-under 64 on Friday. He shot 4-under on Saturday then a 74 on Sunday to finish at 10-under 206 with TWC teammate Keoni Vidrine as a cart-caddie.

"Surprisingly, he was pretty calm through the whole day," Vidrine said. "His game didn't change. His demeanor was good and he didn't get upset when he could have. He knew I'd get on him if he got upset."

Bob Rice, Matt Robertson, Hunter Vest, Mike Dunn, and defending champion Jimmy White III all tied for fourth at 4-under 212. Larry McGill defended his senior championship on Saturday with a two-day total of even-144. He tied for 13th in the overall division.

Spangler, Dunn, and Shonn Weldon (who tied for 13th) began the day with the best chances to chase down Godfrey, especially with Spangler and Dunn playing in the final group with Godfrey.

But Dunn scored a double-bogey on the first hole without hitting out-of-bounds. He said nerves got to him because this was his second CDGA tournament.

"It wasn't easy trying to chase him down, especially when you start with a double," said Dunn, who tied for fourth in the Brainerd Invitational. "I couldn't take the club back on that first shot. After that double, I knew I was done unless he had a meltdown."

Spangler added two strokes to his score on the second hole when he stepped to the teeing ground first after the other two lost shots on the first hole. But Spangler hit from the wrong area and suffered a two-shot penalty.

"I had a good start to the tournament with a lazy finish," Spangler said. "I hit some lazy shots, and that doesn't get it done when you need to shoot 69 or better."

Hulgan climbed to within two shots of Godfrey with an eagle on the par-5 15th. But he pulled his tee shots out of bounds on the next two holes to end his challenge to Godfrey.

"The last couple holes got me," Hulgan said. "I wish I could have scored better down the stretch."

Godfrey shot 3 over on the front nine including a double-bogey on No. 9. But he rebounded to shoot 1 under on the back with a clutch eight-foot par putt on No. 14 maintain his momentum and carry him to a title.

"Cody wasn't conservative at all, and he told me every hole that he wanted to make a birdie," Vidrine said. "Whatever he did this week, it worked."

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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