published Thursday, September 12th, 2013

Baylor-McCallie comes down to last putt

ROCKY FACE, Ga. — Baylor School sophomore Oliver Simonsen didn't know the full importance of his final putt on the pristine greens The Farm Golf Club on Wednesday.

He knew that if he sank the four-footer on No. 18 that he would beat McCallie senior Gordan Hulgan 1-up in their head-to-head match.

The coaches knew more.

If he buried the putt, his victory over Hulgan would give the Red Raiders the team win over their cross-town rival.

Simonsen made it giving Baylor a 6 1/2 to 5 1/2 victory and avenging the 10 1/2 to 1 1/2 whipping the Tornado put on Baylor last year in their annual Ryder Cup style challenge.

"I needed redemption in this match, and it's big revenge because we lost last year," Simonsen said. "I guess it was pretty dramatic right there."

Eight players from each team went head-to-head. And teammates in each group comprised a four-ball team leaving three points available in each grouping.

It's a much different tournament than both teams will face Monday during the Division II East/Middle Region championship where the top four teams qualify for the state championship. It's back to stroke play at Bear Trace at Tims Ford.

"This gives us a chance for something different heading into the playoffs," McCallie coach Tony Meyers said. "But the pressure on certain shots are still there. Now we re-adjust and focus on Monday."

Baylor earned early individual wins from freshman Chance Thomas and sophomore Bennett Taylor who combined to win their four-ball 5 and 3. That gave Baylor an early 3-0 lead.

McCallie rallied to notch the match at 5 1/2 with individual wins from freshman Ethan Dendy, junior Luke Hamilton and senior Patrick McDonald as well as two four-ball wins -- plus one halved match.

Simonsen approached the 18th hole 1-up on Hulgan meaning Hulgan had to win the hole in order for the teams tie with six points. A six-foot par putt curled around the hole, and he settled for a bogey. Simonsen's final putt resulted in a bogey as well -- a bogey good enough to win.

"We played a course today where seven of eight had never played, and it was an awesome course and they were excited to play here," Baylor coach Gary Partrick said. "It's always nice to win and know that we're making progress."

Contact David Uchiyama at duchiyama@timesfreepress.com or at 423-757-6484. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/UchiyamaCTFP.

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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