As the sun rose on Stonehenge Golf Club for Round 2 of the Tennessee Senior State Open presented by The City of Crossville, a packed leaderboard prepared to battle a course that has proven year after year that is it capable of humbling any golfer. A cool Summer day awaited 120 of the best senior golfers in the state as players began teeing off at 7:30 a.m.
Warriors Path PGA Professional, Allen Fennell, carried a 2-stroke lead into day 2 after firing a 6-under, 66, in Round 1. Following closely behind was Fairways & Greens PGA Professional, Walt Chapman, at 4-under and amateur, Bob Rice, at 3-under. In the Super Senior Division (65 and older) amateurs Tony Green and Mike Nixon led the field by 4 strokes after firing a 1-under, 71, in Round 1. They led the rest of the division by 4 strokes and would battle for the title of Super Senior Champion all day.
As the leaders teed off, the winds began to pick up and a challenging golf course became even more difficult for the players to navigate. As the Round 1 leaders began to combat the thick rough and fast greens, other players began to make their way up the leaderboard. PGA Professional, Mark Houser, would make the turn at 4-under and have a share of the lead. PGA Professionals, Jared Melson, and Harry Taylor, began their ascent up the leaderboard, followed by a host of the state’s best amateurs as Todd Burgan, Ray Morton, Mike Poe, and Stuart Smith were conquering the challenge presented by Stonehenge. As the day unfolded however, it would be one man that would ultimately conquer the elements and challenges of a difficult course, Walt Chapman.
Chapman would take a commanding lead down the stretch in what Chapman described as, “a day of ups and downs.” After bogeying his first three holes, Chapman would recover by birding holes 6, 7 & 8, followed by another bogey at 9. Making the turn at 1-over for the day, 3-under for the round, Chapman knew he would have to fend off a talented field to take the title. Chasing his first Senior State Open victory, Chapman would go on to birdie 10 and 11, double bogey the par 3, 14th hole, but then recover with a birdie on 15 & 16 including a 35-foot birdie putt. Finishing at 5-under for the Championship, Chapman would be followed by PGA Professionals Jared Melson and Harry Taylor at 2-under. The trio of amateurs; Todd Burgan of Powell, TN, Ray Morton of Lenoir City, TN, and Mike Poe, Kingsport, TN would share the low amateur title after finishing T-4.
In the Super Division, amateur Tony Green, who entered the day tied at 1-under, would go on to shoot a round 2, 70, to finish the event at 3-under. That two-day total would give him a commanding lead on the field and a 6-stroke victory. Nashville resident Mike Nixon and Chattanooga resident Ronnie Law would round out the top 3 in the Super Senior Division.
The Tennessee PGA would like to thank the City of Crossville and the multitude of volunteers who made this Championship possible. Without the passion and commitment of the City of Crossville this event would not be the premier Senior Championship in the state, and one of the most revered in the country. PGA Members Jeff Houston and Cory Wade continue to provide a first-class experience for the participants, while Superintendent, Sean VanHoose and his staff, continue to ensure Stonehenge ranks among the best kept courses in Tennessee and the country.
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