Turnbow, Denman capture their second Four-Ball titles
BRENTWOOD, Tenn. --- It felt like a long-time coming for the Whit Turnbow-Payne Denman duo, in more ways than one. But at the end of the day at Nashville Golf & Athletic Club, the weight had been lifted as the two were once again Tennessee Four-Ball champions.
For Denman, he had last won the title almost 10 years ago with Brett Paterson in 2014. Denman did, however, capture the Mid-Amateur Four-Ball Championship earlier in 2023 with Lucas Armstrong.
For Turnbow, a longer wait inbetween Four-Ball titles. The Tennessee Golf Foundation president won in 2005 with Nick Shelton at Holston Hills Country Club. But this win meant more than seeing his name etched back onto the Orvis Milner Trophy.
A few years before, Turnbow was dealing with major back issues that had him worried he’d never swing the club the same way again. After a long recovery, Turnbow has been playing some of his best golf again, thanking that success to his off-course work with HWPO Training.
It was also a special win for Turnbow and Denman because Turnbow brought Denman into the MTSU golf program where they formed a special bond. That strong bond proved valuable throughout the week in Brentwood.
Turnbow and Denman entered bracket play as the five-seed following their strong 11-under-par two-day qualifying result. Their road to the finals was not short once they got to bracket play. Their first match against Aaron Ingalls and Matt Cooper went the distance… and then some. A birdie on the 21st hole of the match allowed Turnbow and Denman to advance to the Round of 8 later that day on Wednesday.
The long first match gave way to another match that went the distance against Ryan Dent and Lowery Thomas. A win from Dent-Thomas forced the match to the 18th hole where the two sides halved, punching Turnbow and Denman’s ticket to the semi-finals.
There they had to face off against two tough golfers with some local knowledge. Ryan Terry, a member at Nashville Golf and Athletic, teammed up with Alex Cobb, the low amateur at the 2022 Tennesse State Open. The two sides were evenly matched with neither giving way. They halved all but two holes in the match, with Turnbow and Deman winning fifth and eleventh holes. That would be enough to get the Blue Raider duo to the final match with their 2 & 1 victory in the semis.
It set up what Turnbow called “one of the best matches I’ve ever been a part of” against Jet Tickle and Chase Roswall. It was a back and forth front nine as there were no halved holes until the par-3 sixth. At that point, Turnbow and Denman had won three of the five holes, leading 1 up. A win on the seventh hole gave them a narrow 2 up lead. A win on the twelth set up a need for the Tickle-Roswall duo to make something happen down the stretch. On the 15th hole, Denman dropped his putt for a four and the win. He and Turnbow embraced after shaking hands with their opponents and the emotions came flowing out from both men.
Years of getting close, set backs and more led them back to the trophy room where they will see their name’s engraved on the Orvis Milner trophy.
The low qualifying round score for the tournament was a 15-under-par 129, earned by two teams. Jaron Leasure and Trenton Johnson were one team along with Brandon Womack and Michael Barnard. The former team made it to the Round of 8 before falling to the Terry-Cobb duo. The latter team also were stopped in the Round of 8 by the eventual runners-up.
For full results from the tournament, click here.