Matt Robertson putts in the final round of the Chattanooga men's Metro at Brainerd Golf Course. Robertson shot a 4-under 66 in the final round Sunday to clinch the tournament.
Matt Robertson won the Chattanooga Men's Metro Championship by seven strokes on Sunday.
He signed his scorecard for a final-round of 4-under 66 at Brainerd Golf Course. He accepted handshakes, a gift certificate for winning, a crystal trophy and chatted with a few friends.
Then he went behind the counter of the pro shop.
He had to clock-in.
"It's about time he came to work," pro-shop manager Edwin Prichard joked. "He's been off for two days and all morning."
Robertson's family watching the final round of his convincing victory and figured they'd treat him to a nice sit-down lunch for winning the annual city championship which rotates between courses in the Chattanooga District Golf Association.
Instead, they headed off to Firehouse Subs with instructions to return with his favorite sandwich.
"I have to work," he told everybody within earshot.
Robertson has been working at the golf course for about two years, and he plays there about five times per week in the morning low-ball competitions which provided him with sufficient local knowledge of the course -- and it's 2-year-old greens -- to run away from the field which started with 108 competitors.
"He didn't even take yardages sometimes," said Jay Potter who played alongside Robertson in the final group and tied for third place at 2-under with David Watts and Keoni Vidrine.
Brooks Thomas, a University of Tennessee at Chattanooga sophomore, finished second at 4-under 206 for three days.
"Matt didn't give me a chance to start making a move," Thomas said. "I put myself behind the 8-ball early today."
So did Potter.
The day started with Robertson owning a one-shot lead over Thomas and a three-shot lead over Potter. That expanded quickly when Thomas and Potter bogeyed two of their first three holes.
"I couldn't get it going," said Potter, who hit out of concrete culverts on two holes Sunday. "I didn't get many good bounces."
Robertson increased his lead to nine strokes after a run of four straight birdies starting on No. 5.
"I was kind of shocked with the start both Brooks and Jay had," Robertson said. "That opened the door more.
Brooks Thomas competes Sunday in the final round of the Chattanooga men’s Metro at Brainerd Golf Course. Thomas is part of a Chattanooga-based contingent of more than 15 golfers competing to play in the U.S. Amateur.
"Then those birdies made it easier having that much breathing room."
Robertson cruised on the back nine aiming for the middle of fairways, the middle of greens, and tapping putts a little lighter.
"I took my foot off the pedal coming in," he said. "I could have pushed it on 18, I could have hit putts a little harder like the eagle-putt on 14 that I left a few inches short from about 10 feet."
The victory earned Robertson an immediate trip behind the desk at Brainerd and ton of feedback from everybody he knows at the course.
"In the shop, we'll be praising him," Prichard said, "but I think the low-ball guys will be hazing him."
Contact David Uchiyama at email@example.com or at 423-757-6484. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/UchiyamaCTFP.
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 ...