COLLIERVILLE – There will be no shortage of familiarity in the final group of the closing round at the 103rd annual Tennessee Amateur Championship.
Two-thirds of the group has a Clemson University feel to it as William Nottingham and Kyle Cottam are teammates for the Tigers’ golf team.
Throw in a guy they both go way back with, the University of Tennessee’s Brayden Garrison, and it should be a fun round of golf with a state championship on the line.
Nottingham, a Kingsport native, enters Friday with a one-stroke lead over Cottam (Knoxville) and Garrison (Nolensville), with three other golfers also within three strokes of the lead.
Tee times at Spring Creek Ranch begin at 7:30 a.m., with the final group set to go off at 10:50 a.m.
“It’s going to be relaxing,” Cottam said about playing with his college teammate. “I play with him all the time so I’m really familiar with his game. I’ve played a lot with Brayden too. We are just going to go out there and play the best we can and have fun.”
When asked if there would be any friendly banter between the two Tigers prior to the match, Cottam grinned, “There might be something. We’ll see who ends up playing the best.”
Nottingham turned in a card of even-par, 72 on Thursday following back-to-back rounds of 69. He currently sits at 6-under for the tournament.
“I hit the ball just as good as I did the past two days, I just couldn’t get anything to drop,” Nottingham said of his third round. “I think tomorrow, I know there are a lot of good players around me so I’m going to have to make a few more birdies.”
Nottingham and Garrison have been grouped together each of the first three rounds of the championship.
Nottingham had this to say about his college teammate rounding out the threesome on Friday: “He was my roommate last year and he’ll be my roommate this year, so it should be a lot of fun.”
Garrison is the only player in the field to card three consecutive rounds of under par. The Ravenwood High School product has went 71-69-71 to currently sit at 5-under.
“Today was probably the scrappiest I’ve played all week,” Garrison said. “For the most part, I felt like I’ve been in control of everything…but today, wild off the tee, wild approach shots, the short game kept me in it.”
“We’ll see what happens tomorrow, but I’m excited."
Cottam rebounded from an opening-round 75 with cards of 66 and 70.
Two players are currently tied for fourth at 4-under – Jackson’s Aaron Ingalls and Nashville’s Brock Ochsenreiter.
Ingalls had the second-lowest score in the field on Thursday with his second consecutive 69. Ochsenreiter, who plays for Indiana University, shot a 73.
University of Tennessee-Martin golfer Ross Redmont (Memphis) sits alone in sixth at 3-under.
There are three golfers tied for seventh at even-par, including Vanderbilt University’s Michael Shears, the University of Tennessee’s Bryce Lewis and Tennessee Golf Foundation president Whit Turnbow.
David Watts of Benton turned in the low round of the day on Thursday as he tallied a 5-under, 67 to improve to 2-over for the tournament, tied for 13th.
For complete scoring from the 103rd Tennessee Amateur Championship at Spring Creek Ranch: https://www.golfgenius.com/pages/1375609
For updates throughout Friday's final round, follow the Tennessee Golf Association on Twitter: www.twitter.com/tngolf
AT SPRING CREEK RANCH
Second round, August 8, 2018
1 Williams Nottingham -6
2 Kyle Cottam -5
2 Brayden Garrison -5
4 Aaron Ingalls -4
4 Brock Ochsenreiter -4
6 Ross Redmont -3
T7 Bryce Lewis E
T7 Whit Turnbow E
T7 Michael Shears E
T10 Zachary Smith +1
T10 Michael Barnard +1
T10 Jacob Sherlin +1
T13 Russell Williamson +2
T13 Tim Jackson +2
T13 David Watts +2
T16 Philip Lee +3
T16 Peyton Dix +3
T16 Andrew Duff +3
T16 Trevor Johnson +3
T16 Jack Smith +3
T16 Ryan Terry +3
T16 Cayman Ratliff +3
T16 Cade Russell +3