Dalton High School Catamounts

July 30, 2013

Matt Hughes in charge at Georgia Open

Matt Hughes has been back in Georgia for only a few weeks, and he didn’t expect to lead the Tilted Kilt Georgia Open at any point.

That’s because he wasn’t even planning on playing in the golf tournament.

The 2004 Dalton High School graduate received a qualifying exemption from the Georgia Professional Golf Association (GPGA) and is atop the tournament’s leaderboard after Monday’s bogey-free first round at The Legends course at Chateau Elan in Braselton. The 72-hole event continues today and concludes Thursday.

Hughes shot a 4-under 68, one stroke better than Covington’s Jonathan Fricke. Chatsworth’s Tyler Mitchell is one of four players tied for third at 70.

The other two local golfers competing are David Noll Jr. of Dalton and Tunnel Hill’s Justin Jolly. Noll is tied for 24th after shooting 2 over and Jolly is one stroke behind Noll and tied for 39th out of the 143 golfers competing. After today’s round, the field will be cut to the low 60 golfers, plus any ties.

Hughes finished fourth in the 2011 Georgia Open, but he wasn’t able to play at last year’s event.

The event is open to amateur players who are Georgia residents, and Hughes and his wife Sara moved to southern Mississippi in January 2012. Earlier this month, the pair moved to Starkville, Miss., but Sara then accepted a job with Dalton Public Schools as a school psychologist.

Considering he missed all qualifying possibilities, Hughes called the GPGA and told them his circumstances.

“They gave me a special exemption where I didn’t have to qualify,” Hughes said.

The pro golfer also hasn’t had much time in competition this summer. His last tournament was the Web.com Tour’s Mid-Atlantic Championship in Potomac, Md., where he missed the cut.

Returning to his hometown and leading the Georgia Open are both pleasant changes for Hughes.

“I just enjoyed being back in competition and having the heat put on me again,” Hughes said. “It’s a tough golf course. It’s a matter of managing the difficult holes and situations you’re in and taking advantage of the few opportunities you get.”

Hughes helped the University of Alabama win the 2006 and 2007 Carpet Capital Collegiate Classic tournaments at The Farm Golf Club in Rocky Face. He also was the tournament medalist as he led Dalton High to the 2004 Georgia High School Association Class 4A state championship.

After birdies on the fifth and seventh holes on Monday, Hughes nabbed back-to-back birdies on 13 and 14. He made par on the other 14 holes. Fricke also played bogey free but only carded three birdies.

“Usually a day like that with no bogeys is stress-free,” Hughes said. “For the most part, it was. It was nice to cruise around — not to say I wasn’t grinding — but not have to scratch and claw. I didn’t have to deal with too much trouble.”

Mitchell had just as many birdies as Hughes, but bogeyed Nos. 9 and 13. Noll birdied 9 and 14, but took a quadruple bogey on the par-5 No. 5 hole to sour his round. Jolly had five bogeys that were offset by two birdies.

1
Text Only
Dalton High School Catamounts
  • NW_DHS Swimming 6 mlh.jpg Todd leaving DHS swim after 16 years

    Throughout his 17 years with the Carpet Capital Aquatic Club and his 16 years with the Dalton High and Dalton Middle School swim programs, Charles Todd has received looks and offers from other areas.
    But with his youngest child Chase still in school and his wife playing a major role in the Whitfield County Division of Family and Children Services, Todd wasn’t looking to make a move.

    July 6, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7on7 championship game6.jpg Bringing in the best

    When high school football coaches look for events to take their teams to during the summer, they are looking for three things — top competition, organization and hospitality.
    For The Daily Citizen’s Southeastern 7-on-7 Championship, the Dalton community and local business leaders take care of the latter. The tournament officials work tirelessly to provide the organization. And the two combined assure the top competition will show up.

    July 6, 2014 1 Photo

  • Wil Cushman 3 mlh.jpg Cushman’s gamble is paying off

    Wil Cushman never had to worry about establishing his high school’s swimming and diving program. Dalton already had a full roster and championship history.
    His first two years at Birmingham Southern University, though, have been all about making sure the beginning wasn’t the end.

    June 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • NW softball state championship file 1 mlh.jpg In the lineup again

    When Northwest Whitfield repeated as the Georgia High School Association Class 4A softball state champion last fall, that appeared to be the last time the majority of the Lady Bruins’ senior class would be teammates on the diamond.
    Now, thanks to the Stump on Sports All-Star Softball Classic, five of those six seniors will reunite to play together one more time.

    June 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Junior golf: Hicks able to hang for final round

    Despite giving up a few strokes from Monday’s opening round of 4-over-par 76, Dalton’s Landon Hicks was the only local competitor to advance to the third round of the Georgia Junior Championships.

    June 18, 2014

  • Isabel Salinas 5 mlh.jpg All-Area Spring Female Team: Salinas hoping things keep getting better and better with age

    Isabel Salinas’ freshman season for Southeast Whitfield High School’s track and field team wasn’t up to her standards, and she really isn’t sure why it ended up that way in 2013. It could have been her injuries. It could have been not being in proper shape.
    One thing Salinas, nicknamed “Izzy” by friends and coaches, does know is that her sophomore year went a lot better.

    June 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • poty seth.jpg All-Area Baseball Team and Player of the Year

    As a freshman at Northwest Whitfield High School, Seth Pierce came out of nowhere and was as dominant a pitcher as the area had. Finishing his “rookie” season with the Bruins, the left-handed Pierce led the area with nine victories — he also had one save — and showed overpowering dominance with a 9-3 record and 89 strikeouts in 73 1/3 innings. He finished his first season on the hill in Tunnel Hill with a 1.71 ERA while allowing 61 hits and 23 walks. Those numbers were also recorded against competition in a higher classification as the Bruins were playing Class 4A ball when the state had just five classifications. His performance earned him honors as 2012 The Daily Citizen All-Area Baseball Player of the Year.

    May 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Carlile signing 3 mlh.jpg Carlile gets a chance to grind

    As Dylan Carlile saw more and more of his peers receiving offers from college wrestling programs, he became nervous.
    The Dalton High School grappler had nothing to worry about, because when the time came, he had his choice.

    May 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • daltongirls.JPG Dalton girls finish second in Class 4A

    In the Class 4A girls state golf tournament last year, the Dalton High School team finished third at Nob North Golf Course. Monday, playing in the state championship at Waynesboro Country Club, the Lady Catamounts finished second by just two strokes.
    “There is just one more place left to win,” Dalton coach Nancy Hallsworth said. “They have the time ahead of them to do it.”

    May 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • dhs bass signing1.jpg Nelson keeps a tight line

    Multiple high school athletes from the area sign scholarships each year for baseball, basketball, football, softball, volleyball and many other sports.
    Bass fishing scholarships? There aren’t many of those.

    May 20, 2014 1 Photo