CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. --- Liam Johnston's (Dumfries, Scotland) record-breaking comeback to capture the Tennant Cup highlighted a strong week of golf for the Chattanooga Mocs. This includes past, present and future UTC student-athletes.
The Tennant Cup is a prestigious event on the Scottish Golf Union Order of Merit. It is hosted by Glasgow Golf Club with the first two rounds played on Saturday at the Gailes Links, which was one of the two courses used in stroke play at the British Amateur, and the final 36 on Sunday at the Killermont Course.
Johnston got off to a slow start shooting 76 and 75 for a nine-over par 151 through 36 holes in the wind and rain on Glasgow Gailes. He found himself 11 shots off the pace of Scott Crichton (140, -2). The weather turned warmer and dryer on Sunday and that's when Johnston's game took flight.
A two-under par 68 moved Johnston within six shots of Crichton's lead. He was tied for eighth at that point three strokes behind teammate Benni Weilguni (Langenlois, Austria) who was alone in third place at plus four.
Johnston poured it on from there. He carded a course-record eight-under par 62 to rocket up the leaderboard. It wasn't easy as he had to chase down Matthew Clark who was in second through 54 holes at 215. Crichton struggled and fell out of contention in what became a shootout between Johnston and Clark, who shot 68-67 for his 36 holes at Killermont.
But Johnston's 62 gave him a one shot win over Clark and six over a trio in third led by Crichton. Johnston ended up a one-under par 281. Weilguni tied for 12th at 291 (+9), while Chris Robb (Aberdeenshire, Scotland) tied for 21st at 295.
Johnston wasn't the only news maker for the week. Incoming freshman Michael Monroe (Franklin, Tenn.) had an impressive showing of his own at the prestigious Western Junior Championship. He tied for fifth at four-under par 284.
Monroe overcame a slow start with an opening 74 by twice eclipsing 70 in the even rounds. His second round 68 (-4) pushed him into contention before he closed with a 69 (-3) over the 72 holes. He posted 19 birdies which was one behind Jack Maguire's 20 for tourney-high honors.
Incoming freshman Kory Webb (Knoxville, Tenn.) and rising junior Davis Bunn (Knoxville, Tenn.) each finished in the top 15 at the Greystone Invitational in Birmingham, Ala. Webb started slow but roared back, while Bunn played steady after a topsy-turvy beginning.
Bunn's 69 tied for the lead after 18 holes, but the 77 that followed pushed him down the leaderboard. He shot twin 73's over the weekend to end up at four-over par 292, tied for 15th.
Webb's start was a complete reversal as a 79 put just making the cut in jeopardy. He followed with five birdies and zero bogeys in round two for a five-under 67. He vaulted into the top 10 through three rounds with a 70 on Saturday before a final round 75 placed him tied for 12th at plus three (291).
Not to be outdone, Mocs alum Derek Rende (Soddy Daisy, Tenn.) made waves as well. A four-time All-SoCon performer, Rende posted his second top 10 of the season on the NGA Hooters Tour at the Texas Honing Open on Sterling Country Club in Houston.
Rende was consistent over his 72 holes with rounds of 72, 69, 71 and 71 for a five-under par 283, four shots off the pace set by Anthony Broussard. He had an even 20 birdies over his trek for the second-best result of his career on the NGA Hooters Tour.
"I couldn't be prouder," said head coach Mark Guhne. "The way Liam and Kory fought back after slow starts is encouraging. Seeing Davis and Benni contend is great. Michael played well in one of the country's top junior events, and it's exciting to see Derek playing well professionally.
"Hopefully it continues to be an eventful summer."GoMocs.com is the official website of the Chattanooga Mocs. The Mocs can also be followed on their official Facebook page, www.facebook.com/ChattanoogaMocs, or on Twitter, www.twitter.com/GoMocs. Find out how to join the UTC Mocs Club and support more than 300 student-athletes by clicking here.