The South Region of the NCCGA wrapped up its regional qualifying on November 2nd and 3rd at the Bear Trace at Cumberland Mountain located in the heart of Crossville, Tennessee. The Jack Nicklaus design proved to be a daunting task and gave every participant a good challenge. Playing at just over 6900 yards in the chilly weather with a stiff breeze led to some of the tougher scoring conditions we have seen at a regional event. Six teams packed up and headed to town to take on the challenge that waited. Students from the University of Kentucky, Vanderbilt University, Auburn University at Montgomery, University of Alabama, Tennessee Tech University, and University of Tennessee all competed in the event.
Day 1 brought us temperatures of around 50 degrees with a steady breeze blowing throughout the day. Scoring proved to be tough on the slippery greens with no shortage of undulation. As always the short games would prove to be essential in keeping scores low. After completion of day 1 Alabama slept on a 9 stroke lead thanks to the low round of the day being provided by Zach Chambliss who turned in a 5 over 77. Trailing Alabama was Tennessee Tech with a first round team score of 419. In second place individually after day 1 was Matt Renner from the University of Kentucky with a 78.
Day 2 provided similar weather and scoring conditions. A few pins had found a new home in some challenging locations on the already difficult greens at Bear Trace. Brian Wolgast of Vanderbilt made an impressive Sunday run with a second round 75 proving to be the low round of the event. However it wasn’t enough to keep up with Matt Renner who won the event with a second round 80 meaning the winning medalist score was a 158. Zach Chambliss followed up his first round 77 with a second round 82 to finish out the tournament in a solo second position for a total score of 159. Alabama cruised on to win their second regional tournament of the semester with a second round 409 as a team giving them a tournament score of 819. Led by Daniel Stone Tennessee gained significant ground on the second day allowing them a second place finish with a score of 846.
Bear Trace at Cumberland Mountain proved to be a challenging test of one’s golfing pedigree. The course was in great condition and everything you would expect from a course designed by the great Jack Nicklaus. The staff was accommodating in letting us use their venues for the weekend as well. Good luck to East Tennessee State University and University of Alabama as they represent the South Region in the upcoming NCCGA Nationals event at Barefoot Resort in Myrtle Beach, SC.