published Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

Ooltewah's Samantha Griffith second in Class AAA state golf tournament

  • photo
    Ooltewah's Samantha Griffith fires at no. 12 green at Bear Trace at Harrison Bay in this file photo.
    Photo by Tim Barber /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Ooltewah High School senior Samantha Griffith had a special treat after opening the Class AAA state golf tournament at Willowbrook in Manchester, where she is in second place after the first day.

"I went to see Kip Moore with my brother," Griffith said by phone. "It was [Moore] and his songwriter, and there were only about 100 people there."

Her favorite song from the popular country artist, she said, was '"Crazy One More Time.'"

That sounds like the title of a golfing song.

Griffith shot a 5-over-par 77 on Tuesday and sits five shots behind Brighton freshman Aubree Jones, who shot 37 on the back and then 35 on the front. Griffith also played the more difficult back nine first and shot a 37. A triple-bogey on No. 3 ballooned her front-nine score to a 40.

"Without that one hole she could be right there," Ooltewah coach Mike McCullough said. "When she makes a big number, it's an anomaly. She has played so much tournament golf that she knows what to do."

Cleveland junior Heidi Barringer fell victim to the back nine by shooting 58, but a 39 on the front nine gave her a total of 97.

Coffee County sophomore Matt Johnson shot a 2-under 70 to take the boys' lead at his local course, and Ooltewah senior Danny Gleeson and East Hamilton sophomore Logan Price are tied for 20th at 77. Walker Valley junior Kyle Limburg shot a 90.

"It was pretty tough out there, and the wind bundled all the scores together," McCullough said. "There were three guys under par when usually there will be a 67 or a 68."

Contact David Uchiyama at or 423-757-6484. Follow him at

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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