NASHVILLE --- Members of the Tennessee State men’s golf team experienced success this past summer playing in amateur competitions. John Tyminski, Jermey Fultz, Sam Gatlin and newcomer Nick Henderson all qualified and competed in the 102nd Annual Tennessee State Amateur Championship at the Belle Meade Country Club.
Fultz qualified for the State tournament after shooting a 1-over, 73, at the Cleveland Country Club. Tyminski, Gatlin and Henderson all qualified at the Fairview Plantation event. Gatlin was to last to qualify as he had to face off in an eight golfer playoff.
On the extra hole, Gatlin hit his driver off the tee box down the middle, setting up a 73 yard approach. The junior-to-be hit a lob wedge to five feet of the pin and knocked in the birdie putt to win the hole and advance to the State Championships.
Tyminski was the lone Tiger to make the cut shooting a 3-over, 147, over the first two rounds in the field of 144 golfers. The sophomore-to-be ran into trouble on day three firing an 86 to fall into 64th place.
“I got to 5-over in the third round and gave up completely,” Tyminski said. “I hate that I did, but it was a great learning experience. I look forward to playing in it again next year.”
Tyminski bounced back on the last day to card a 1-under, 71, on the back of four birdies and 12 pars. The final round helped him jump three spots, finishing at 16-over.
Fultz and Tyminski led the charge of Tigers in the Municipal Amateur Championship (The Muni). The first round was played at Ted Rhodes Golf Course with temperatures reaching 98 degrees and a hard rain later in the day, delaying play for an hour with two holes to play.
Fultz recorded four birdies on the day to finish with a 3-under, 69, placing him in a tie for second, two shots off the lead, in the field of 62 golfers. He started the day picking up his first birdie on hole one after knocking a bunker shot to seven feet of the hole. On the par-5, 16th, Fultz reached in two allowing him to two-putt for birdie. His only mishap of the day came on No. 10 as he hit his tee shot into the water hazard.
Tyminski sat at Even-par through 14 holes, but fell to 2-over after a double bogey on 15. The Brentwood, Tenn. native bounced back as he powered his drive to the middle of the fairway on the par-5, 16th. His second shot, a 9-iron, found the green leaving him a long putt for eagle. Tyminski dropped the 35 footer to make it back to Even. After the rain delay, Tyminski returned to the 17th hole where he drained a 40 foot putt for birdie, which allowed him to finish the day at 1-under after a par at 18.
Day two, scheduled to be played at McCabe Golf Course was washed out, leaving The Muni as a two-day event. The final round took place at Two Rivers Golf Course as the temperature reached 95.
Fultz started strong in his attempt to catch the leader as he got up and down for birdie from the edge of the green on No. 4 and chipped in from just off the edge of green on the following hole to move to 5-under. The soon-to-be senior bogeyed 11 and 12, but picked up the two strokes with birdies on 12 and 14. Fultz’s chances, and day, came to an end as he found the trees on 18 and carded a double bogey to finish Even for the day and 3-under for the tournament. The 141 was good for fifth place amongst the field of current and former college players, ranging from the ages of 18-45.
Tyminski would make a charge on the final day. He opened with five birdies over the first seven holes to move to 6-under for the tournament. He would cut another stroke as he picked up three more birdies opposed to a pair of bogey’s. Tyminski would make bogey on 18 to shoot a 5-under, 67, on the final round. At 6-under, he entered the clubhouse as the leader, but the advantage did not hold as he finished two strokes out of top medalist, placing third.
Gatlin placed 13th at The Muni at Even, 144, while Rosario Falzone carded a 4-over, 148.
Scotty Hudson picked up a pair of top ten finishes over the summer, placing sixth out of 68 players in the Holston Hills Invitational and finished runner-up in a field of 54 at the West Tennessee Invitational at the Humbolt Country Club.
Hudson finished with a 1-under, 143, at Holston Hills despite holding the lead at 5-under with nine holes to play. The Franklin, Tenn., product paced his second place finish at the WTI with a 5-under, 67, during the opening round. Hudson finished the Invitational with a 4-under, 140.
The Tigers will open play at the 14th Murray State Invitational on Sept. 11-12.