Old Hickory, TN – Old Hickory Country Club provided a great test over the two days of the National Car Rental Tennessee Assistant PGA Professional Championship. The course was in pristine condition as it stretched out to over 6,700 Yards. With the course averaging 74 over the two days, the lightning fast greens proved to be some of the toughest in the state. Assistant Professionals from around the state were competing for the Tennessee title as well as three qualifying spots in the National Championship at PGA Golf Club in November.
Day 1 gave the golfers a beautiful afternoon for golf. The Par-71 course saw an average score of 75 in Round 1. The host Professional Ryan Botts would lead the way after Round 1 by firing a 5-under 66. Botts would get off to a steady start with 4 pars before making a birdie on hole 5. He would sprinkle in 4 more birdies to cap off his impressive bogey-free 66. Tre Mullins would trail by one at the end of the round after holding the lead for much of the day. A fantastic front nine 30 was spoiled a bit with a double-bogey on the Par-3 17th. There would be 5 players within 5 shots of Botts’s lead, providing the opportunity for some drama on this tough course.
Day 2 would also be a beautiful day with players trying to beat the heat and the golf course. The 2nd Round would provide some fireworks coming down the stretch. After a Round 1 74, the 2-time defending champion Casey Flenniken, PGA came out in Round 2 determined to make a push. After five straight pars, he made birdie on hole 6 and then two in a row on 8 and 9 to turn in 31. He would make three birdies on the back before closing with an eagle on the Par-5 to pull within one shot of Ryan Botts. Botts wouldn’t be phased by the Flenniken push. He would shoot an even par 34 on the front nine to keep himself in the lead. On the back nine, he would begin to pull away. He would eagle the 12th, bogey 13, and another eagle on 14 to give himself a cushion coming in. He would play the last four holes in 1-under par to shoot 67 and close out his victory by 4 shots.
The top three finishers qualify for the National Car Rental Assistant PGA Professional Championship at PGA Golf Club in November. The three representing Tennessee will be Ryan Botts, Casey Flenniken, PGA, and Lee Whitehead.
Thank you to Ryan Botts and his staff at Old Hickory for the hospitality and allowing our Assistants to play Old Hickory. A special thanks to the Superintendent Dan Johnson and his staff for getting the course in such great shape.