published Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

Playing through: 37 in Masters have been on Chattanooga area courses

ANNUAL EVENTS

• Carpet Capital Collegiate, The Farm Golf Club, 1989-present

• Chattanooga Classic, Black Creek Club, 2003-11

SINGLE EVENTS

• 1991 U.S. Amateur, The Honors Course

• 1996 NCAA Championship, The Honors Course

• 1999 Palmer Cup, The Honors Course

• 2005 U.S Mid-Amateur, The Honors Course

• 2008 NCAA East Regional, Council Fire Golf Club

• 2010 NCAA Championship, The Honors Course

Sources: PGATour.com, TheFarm.com

For more than a third of the field, the road to Augusta National and the 2014 Masters went through Chattanooga. At least at some point.

Some golfers, such as Phil Mickelson, have played once at a course within view from Rock City on a clear day.

Others, such as Jason Dufner, have played both collegiate and Web.com Tour events in the area.

In all, 37 players invited to this week's Masters have played in or around the Scenic City.

"That's pretty impressive," said Council Fire director of golf Hunt Gilliland, who was on the PGA of America board of directors. "That says how important golf is in our community, with us hosting USGA events, the Web.com and NCAA tournaments.

"It says a lot about the whole community wanting to see good golf in a mid-major city."

Twelve of the top 25 ranked golfers in the world are on the list. Tiger Woods, who withdrew from the Masters because of back surgery, Mickelson, Matt Kuchar, Bubba Watson and Jordan Spieth are among those have played competitively around here.

"I don't think you could have another city in Tennessee rival that number of players in the Masters," said Dick Horton, president of the Tennessee Golf Foundation and former executive director of the Tennessee Golf Association. "I think that validates Chattanooga's claim that it's the championship capital of our state."

  • photo
    Harris English
    Photo by Staff File Photo.
    enlarge photo

Zach Johnson, Dustin Johnson and Steve Stricker are the only Americans in the top 25 of the official world golf rankings who haven't competed in the area.

There are 18 in the 2014 Masters field who have played in the Chattanooga Classic at Black Creek and 18 who played in the Carpet Capital Collegiate at The Farm at Rocky Face, Ga. Five played in both. Others have played in USGA or NCAA tournaments at The Honors Course or Council Fire.

"I've tried to put the message out that these are the future players that you will be watching," said The Farm director of golf Deck Cheatham. "Seeing the guys come through as college players, then seeing them out there as professionals brings it down to a personal level."

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

WORLD RANK -- PLAYER, CHATTANOOGA AREA EVENTS PLAYED

1--Tiger Woods*, 1991 U.S. Amateur; 1996 NCAA championship

5--Phil Mickelson, 1991 U.S. Amateur

7--Matt Kuchar, Carpet Capital 1997-99; Chattanooga Classic 2006; Palmer Cup 1999

12--Bubba Watson, Carpet Capital 1999; Chattanooga Classic 2006

13--Jordan Spieth, Carpet Capital 2012

16--Jason Dufner, Carpet Capital 1996-99; Chattanooga Classic 2003, 2005

18--Keegan Bradley, Chattanooga Classic 2010

19--Brandt Snedeker, TGA events; Chattanooga Classic 2006

22--Jim Furyk, Carpet Capital 1990-91

23--Patrick Reed, Carpet Capital 2008; 2010 NCAA Championship

24--Jimmy Walker, Chattanooga Classic 2003, 2007

  • photo
    Patrick Reed
    Photo by Staff File Photo.
    enlarge photo

25--Webb Simpson, Carpet Capital 2004, 2006; Chattanooga Classic 2008

27--Luke Donald, Palmer Cup 1999

31--Bill Haas, Carpet Capital 2000-03

33--Ryan Moore, Carpet Capital 2001-03

36--Harris English, TSSAA & TGA events; NCAA East Regional 2008; Chattanooga Classic 2011

41--Matt Jones, Chattanooga Classic 2004, 2006-07

42--Matt Every, Carpet Capital 2002-05; Chattanooga Classic 2011

43--Russell Henley, Carpet Capital 2007-10; 2008 NCAA East Regional

47--Nick Watney, Chattanooga Classic 2004

48--Gary Woodland, Chattanooga Classic 2010

49--Billy Horschel, Carpet Capital 2005-06; 2008

53--Chris Kirk, Carpet Capital 2005-06; Chattanooga Classic 2008-09

56--Jonas Blixt, Chattanooga Classic 2009, 2011

62--Scott Stallings, TGA events; Chattanooga Classic 2008-10

63--Boo Weekley, Chattanooga Classic 2003, 2005, 2008

69--Marc Leishman, Chattanooga Classic 2008

87--Roberto Castro, Chattanooga Classic 2011

117--Tim Clark, Carpet Capital 1996-98

131--Steven Bowditch, Chattanooga Classic 2005, 2009-10

133--Ken Duke, Chattanooga Classic 2003, 2005-06, 2011

168--Derek Ernst, 2010 NCAA championship

179--Stewart Cink, Carpet Capital 1991-95

322--Lucas Glover, Carpet Capital 1998-2000; Chattanooga Classic 2003

Amateur--Oliver Goss, Carpet Capital 2013

Amateur--Mike McCoy, 2005 U.S. Mid-Amateur

Amateur--Garrick Porteous, Carpet Capital 2010-11

* Has withdrawn due to injury

Sources: PGATour.com, TheFarm.com

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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