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Amateur Preview: A Look Inside the 69th SunTrust Tennessee State Open Field

Event: 69th SunTrust Tennessee State Open

Host Site: Foxland Harbor Golf & Country Club - Gallatin, Tennessee

Playing Dates: May 23-25, 2017

Amateurs to Watch at the 69th SunTrust Tennessee State Open

Take a look at some of the top amateurs teeing it up at Foxland Harbor Golf & Country Club

FRANKLIN, TN- The 69th SunTrust Tennessee State Open is a unique event that brings together an elite group of golfers from across the state. There are many accomplished amateurs among the field of 144 looking to become the first amateur to win the SunTrust State Open since Craig Smith won in 2012.  The Championship format is 54 holes of stroke play. There will be a cut to the low 60 scores and ties after 36 holes.


Foxland Harbor Golf & Country Club will host the SunTrust Tennessee State Open for the first time this year. Foxland Harbor Golf & Country Club was designed by Bill Bergin and opened in 2007.  Nestled along the shorelines of Old Hickory Lake, the golf course area was once a grand foxhunting and sportsman club dating back to the 1830's.  Featuring Cavalier Zoysia fairways, Bermuda roughs, and A-I Bent grass greens, the course is a championship layout.


Related: Tournament Home | Tee Times | Scoring | Championship History | @TNgolf


In addition to trying to win the 69th SunTrust Tennessee State Open outright, the amateurs in the field will also be competing for a crystal award given to the low amateur. The following amateurs figure to be in contention on Thursday:


Craig Smith of Nashville, Tenn., was the last amateur to win this championship. Smith accomplished that feat with rounds of 70-63-70 to shoot -10 and win by one at Gaylord Springs Golf Links in 2012. Smith was one of three players in the field to represent Tennessee at the final USGA Men’s State Team Championship in 2016. The Nashville native checked in at number 7 in the 2016 TGA Player of the Year standings.


Wes Gosselin of Knoxville, Tenn., earned an exemption into the 69th SunTrust Tennessee State Open by way of a historic 12 shot victory at the 2016 TGA State Amateur Championship. Gosselin recently finished an accomplished playing career for the University of Chattanooga by being named to the to the All-Southern Conference team. Back in 2011 at the U.S. Junior Am, Gosselin lost 2&1 to none other than Jordan Spieth.


Tim Jackson of Williston, Tenn., already has one SunTrust Tennessee State Open championship. His name was etched into the Curtis Person, Sr. Trophy after his win in 2002. That year was one of the 11 times Jackson named the TGA Amateur Player of the Year. Jackson has won the last three TGA Senior Amateur Player of the Year awards. Remarkably, Jackson met the criteria for four different exemptions into the State Open. Tennessee’s most accomplished amateur also played on the 2016 USGA Men’s State Team.  


Phillip Lee of White Bluff, Tenn., enters the SunTrust State Open after an impressive 2016 season. Lee won his second TGA Mid-Amateur Championship last year. Additionally, Lee finished in the top-five at the 2016 TGA State Amateur Championship. Lee earned the highest ranking (second) on anyone in the field in the 2016 TGA Player of the Year standings. Lee teamed up with Jackson and Smith at the USGA Men’s State Team Championship.


Junior Spotlight

Bryce Lewis of Hendersonville, Tenn., is the highest ranked junior in the field. The class of 2018 product shot an even-par 72 to finish in a tie for second at the Fairvue Plantation qualifier. The Hendersonville native had a top-five finish at the AAA state tournament and was named all state. Lewis has verbally committed to play collegiately at Middle Tennessee State University.  Lewis is the forth ranked junior in Tennessee and 68th nationally.


Goodman Rudolph of Cordova, Tenn., is the highest returning placer from 2016’s SunTrust Tennessee State Open. The high school senior finished third last year giving him an exemption into this championship. As one of the top juniors in Tennessee, Rudolph has signed to play golf at Mississippi State University beginning this fall. Rudolph is the grandson of Mason Rudolph, a five-time PGA Tour winner whose 1971 Ryder Cup bag resides at Golf House Tennessee. Rudolph enters play as the fifth ranked junior in Tennessee and 80th nationally.


Cooper Sears of Old Hickory, Tenn., just finished third at The Wally, an invitational that the high school senior won in 2016. Sears also recorded a win at the 91st Schooldays Tournament. The Old Hickory product has signed to continue his golfing career at Vanderbilt University. Sears checks in as the 11th ranked junior in Tennessee and 155th nationally. 


About the Tennessee Golf Association

In 1914, the Tennessee Golf Association (TGA) was organized at Memphis Country Club as an association of five private clubs. The objective of the Association, as stated in its Constitution, "shall be to promote the game of golf in Tennessee." From these small origins the TGA has become an association which now includes over 200 member clubs, courses, and organizations, comprised of over 32,000 individuals from across the state.


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SunTrust Banks, Inc. is a purpose-driven company dedicated to Lighting the Way to Financial Well-Being for the people, businesses and communities it serves. Headquartered in Atlanta, the company has three business segments: Wholesale Banking, Consumer Banking and Private Wealth Management, and Mortgage. Its flagship subsidiary, SunTrust Bank, operates an extensive branch and ATM network throughout the high-growth Southeast and Mid-Atlantic states, along with 24-hour digital access. Certain business lines serve consumer, commercial, corporate and institutional clients nationally. As of December 31, 2015, SunTrust had total assets of $191 billionand total deposits of $150 billion. The company provides deposit, credit, trust, investment, mortgage, asset management, securities brokerage, and capital market services. SunTrust leads onUp, a national movement inspiring Americans to build financial confidence. Join the movement at

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