HARRISON, Tenn. – Friday was a special day for Tim Jackson in more ways than one.
Jackson – one of the most decorated amateur golfers in state history – claimed his record 22nd Tennessee Golf Association championship by defeating No. 10 seed Scott Patton of Signal Mountain 2&1 in the finals of the Tennessee Senior Match Play at Bear Trace at Harrison Bay.
Jackson then immediately left the course to drive to Birmingham to witness his youngest son Austin propose to his girlfriend.
“It’s just been a great week all the way around,” said Jackson, a native of Memphis who now lives in Williston.
“For me, I’m late in my career and I’m just blessed that I still have my health. I’ve never really had any injury problems and I have a family that supports me and allows me to chase my dream, so I’m just very fortunate.”
Also held Friday at Bear Trace Harrison Bay was the championship match of the Tennessee Super Senior (65-and-older). Tony Green of Kingsport defeated five-time TGA champion Neil Spitalny of Chattanooga 5&4.
“It’s been a great week at Bear Trace Harrison Bay,” said Tony Mulvey, Manager of Rules and Competitions for the Tennessee Golf Association.
“A huge thank you goes out to Robin Boyer (head golf professional) and Paul Carter (golf course superintendent) for all the work they did to insure this tournament was a huge success. The weather didn’t cooperate with us all the time, but they went above and beyond to make sure our competitors had a great experience.”
It marked Jackson’s fourth Tennessee Senior Match Play title in the last five years. The only year he didn’t win in that stretch came at the same Bear Trace Harrison Bay course in 2016 when he lost in the semifinals.
The 60-year-old has only been eligible for the senior division in TGA events for five years.
The trophy is another to go on the impressive resume for Jackson, who is a three-time USGA champion as well, having won the United States Mid-Amateur in 1994 and 2001 and the USGA Men’s State Team Championship in 2003.
He has also played in the Masters twice (1995 and 2002) and was a member of two U.S. Walker Cup Teams (1995 and 1999).
Still, Jackson makes the state events a top priority on his competitive schedule each summer.
“I’m a Tennessean,” Jackson said. “I love my state and I take a lot of pride in being from Tennessee. I’ve always said that our golfers at the top are as good as any golfers in the country. We aren’t as deep, but our best are just as good. It’s always been that way.”
“I have a lot of pride in that. Golf has given me a lot and I’m involved with the TGA as an officer, so it means a lot to me. I’m not ready to quit doing it. I’m cutting back, but I’m going to continue to play.”
The competitive fire is still there for Jackson, evident by his fist pump on the 17th green on Friday as he closed out Patton with a birdie putt for the title. Patton had won the previous two holes to pull within one after being 3-down to Jackson after No. 14.
“It’s really sweet when you know you have to make it to win,” Jackson said. “To be able to hit your line and your speed and everything work out perfectly, it’s very satisfying.”
“I wasn’t that familiar with Scott’s game, but he’s an extremely tough match play competitor. He’s a good putter, he’s going to be in every hole and not really give you a lot. He’s got the formula for success.”
Jackson and Patton were both 2&1 winners in their semifinal matches earlier Friday morning.
Jackson defeated the 2016 winner of the tournament Bob Rice, while Patton held off 18-time TGA champion Danny Green.
In the Super Senior finals, Tony Green only led 1-up at the turn, but won four of the next five holes to close out Spitalny on No. 14.
It marks Green’s fourth TGA state title. He won the Tennessee Senior Match Play title in 2008 and 2014, and the Tennessee Senior Four-Ball in 2011.
It adds to what has already been a memorable month for Green, as he won the Super Senior Division at the Tennessee PGA Senior State Open in Crossville by six strokes on June 11.
COMPLETE SENIOR BRACKET: https://www.golfgenius.com/pages/1836769
COMPLETE SUPER SENIOR BRACKET: https://www.golfgenius.com/pages/1836798