Sports Columns

May 27, 2013

A Look Ahead: Top golfers tee off in 62nd NGI

Some of the best golfers in Georgia and Tennessee will converge on Dalton Golf and Country Club this weekend for one of the most prestigious and historical tournaments in the area.

The 62nd Annual North Georgia Invitational will bring top amateur golfers from around the Southeast to the country club as more than 125 entrants are expected this year with the goal of a field of 136.

Last year, Dalton’s David Noll, Jr. won the tournament for the eighth time with a two-day total of 4-under-par 140. He was four strokes better than Matt Roberson’s score of 144.

Two year’s ago, former Lee University golfer Brandon Cissom opened the tournament with a 10-under 62 and then shot an even-par round on the second day — despite three straight bogeys on the back — to ride that big cushion to the victory.

In the 2010 tournament, a familiar name to the Dalton State College family won the NGI.

At the time, Ben Rickett was described as a former UT-Chattanooga golfer who served as an assistant coach for the Mocs.

Now, Rickett is the founding coach of the Roadrunners’ men’s golf team.

Rickett blistered the course for back-to-back 7-under 65s and rolled to the win three years ago.

Play will begin on Saturday with the tournament concluding on Sunday.

For the rest of us amatuers who didn’t get invited to the tournament, the high time of golf is upon us.

We are fortunate to have several local golfing options, including Nob North in Cohutta, The Pasture in Tunnel Hill and Chatsworth’s Spring Lakes and Indian Trace offer challenging courses that are great values for the money.

Up the road a little to the north and across the border into Tennessee, Cleveland’s Waterville course has reopened its back nine after construction on Dalton Pike wrapped up.

You can contact your local courses at: Nob North, 298 Nob North Drive, Cohutta, nobnorth.com, (706) 694-8505; Indian Trace, 730 Mitchell Bridge Road, Chatsworth, indiantracegolf.com, (706) 695-7353; Spring Lakes, 1571 Spring Place-Smyrna Road, Chatsworth, (706) 695-9300; or The Pasture, 3449 Chattanooga Road, Tunnel Hill, (706) 673-4131.

° A CAMPING WE WILL GO: Apparently a lot of high school athletic coaches have big plans for the second week of June because it seems as if more than their fair share will be holding a camp starting on June 3.

Coahulla Creek baseball, Dalton football, DHS volleyball, Southeast Whitfield girls basketball, DHS girls basketball, DHS girls soccer, Northwest Whitfield boys basketball, Northwest softball, North Murray boys basketball and Christian Heritage girls basketball will all have camps starting next Monday.

Other camps scheduled for later in June include Dalton Middle School baseball, DHS cheerleading, DHS boys basketball, Northwest girls basketball, North Murray girls basketball, Coahulla Creek boys and girls basketball, Bagley Middle boys basketball, DHS softball and baseball.

For details and more information, read the Local Sports Calendar in the Sunday edition of The Daily Citizen or online at www.daltonnow.com/events.

• SOUTHEASTERN 7-ON-7 CHAMPIONSHIP: Our day-by-day introduction of the 42-team field for The Daily Citizen’s third annual Southeastern 7-on-7 Championship presented by Astroturf begins today with a feature on defending champion Cartersville.

Each day through the week of the tournament which will be held on July 13 and 14, be sure to read our features on each of the teams in the field on page 2B. In those features, you will get information on key returning players, fun facts on each of the areas and cities represented and a look at some of the hot recruits who will be involved in the tournament.

You can also visit southeastern7on7. com to learn more.

Chris Whitfield is a sports writer for The Daily Citizen. Got something you think he should highlight in “A Look Ahead”? Write to him at chriswhitfield@daltoncitizen.com.

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