Blades Brown shatters records on way to Junior Amateur win
COLLIERVILLE, Tenn. --- It was close for 18 holes… and that was the last time Blades Brown ever felt pressure from the rest of the field as he broke multiple scoring records at the 2023 Tennessee Junior Amateur Championship at Spring Creek Ranch. The Nashville native fired a 22-under-par 194 to win his first Tennessee Golf Association title in his young career.
His 22-under-par was the best 54-hole finish by any junior golfer at the Tennessee Junior Amateur ever. His 65-63 first and second round broke the previous first 36 hole record and the 63-66 combo broke the previous last 36 hole scoring record. The second-round 63 also tied the low 18-hole round.
Brown played nearly blemish-free all week long, recording only two bogeys compared to his 22 birdies and one eagle he had over the course of 54 holes.
What started as a razor-thin one-stroke lead after the first round quickly grew after the 16-year-old had a bogey-free 9-under-par second-round to pump his lead to seven shots. Brown didn’t stop there, firing a quiet 66 in the final round to win by 12 strokes. He was also one of just two competitors to have three consecutive rounds under-par. The only player to do so this week in west Tennessee was Will Pinson who went 71-71-70.
His first place finish is just the latest in the string of top finishes from Brown. Earlier in the month, Brown finished as the low amateur at the Tennessee State Open. He also took home an AJGA title as well, adding to his already filling mantle.
The great finish at Spring Creek Ranch couldn’t have been done without the work of the agronomy staff at the host course. Sunday, the night before the practice rounds were to take place, a strong storm blew through the area, knocking down trees around the course and leaving the course without power. The greens crew at Spring Creek Ranch worked all day clearing debris to make the course more than playable for the 122-player field. Without their work, the championship could not have been run nearly as smoothly as it did.
Brown will prepare for the US Junior Amateur in less than a month where he will attempt to advance further than he did in 2022 where he fell in the Round of 64.
There were certainly some other notable performances at the 65th Tennessee Junior Amateur, including a runner-up finish from Will Sanders. The Class of 2027 product ended his tournament with a 10-under-par 206, finishing with back-to-back 67s that included a bogey-free second round.
He wasn’t the only young gun turning heads at the Junior Amateur. Class of 2026 and Collierville native Henry O’Keefe also had finishing 67s in the second and third rounds to climb the leaderboard following a 1-over-par 73 first round. O’Keefe had a late surge with three-straight birdies to conclude his tournament.
There was plenty of great play throughout the tournament. For full tournament results, click here.