March 20, 2014

Chris Whitfield: North Murray grad leads Emory to league crown

— Former North Murray High School golfer Colby Hipp has made a big splash with his new teammates at Emory University in Atlanta.

Hipp, a 2013 North Murray graduate, took medalist honors and was the only player in the field to shoot under par at the University Athletic Association Championships earlier this month. Led by Hipp’s two-round total of 143, Emory won the event, finishing nine shots ahead of Rochester in the eight-team tournament played at the par-72 Red Tail Golf Club in Sorrento, Fla.

In addition to winning the tournament, Hipp was also named the UAA Rookie of the Year and earned a spot on the All-UAA first team, along with teammates Johnathan Chen and Alex Wunderlich.

Emory competes in Division III of the NCAA and is vying for one of 10 at-large bids for the national championships later this year. The Eagles return to action April 7-8 when they host the Emory Spring Invitational at the Druid Hills Golf Club.

FRIGID BEGINNINGS: Nob North Golf Course in Varnell held its first event of its tournament season earlier this month, with Maden McClelland and Scott McClelland combining for a 19-under-par 53 to win the first flight title in the two-man Frostbite Tournament.

The team of Matt Crowder and David Watts finished second with a 61, while Henry VanAntwerp and Hank CoFrancisco were at 62. Jerry Earnest and Mike Jones shot a 57 to win the second flight, while Cary Coker and Dwight Blanchard were at 63 to win the third flight.

One other tournament highlight came from Mike Green, who aced the 129-yard, par-3 fifth hole.

The next tournament at Nob North is The Masters Pro-Am on April 12. Players with an established handicap can enter, and each flight will have 15 players. The top 15 players on the leaderboard after Friday’s second round of The Masters in Augusta will be placed in a hat and each player in each flight will be randomly “teamed” with a professional. The competitor’s net score and the gross score of his professional “partner” during Saturday’s round will be combined for a team score.

The entry fee for members is $35 in advance and $45 the day of the event. Fees for non-members are $60 in advance and $70 the day of the event. The early entry deadline is April 6.

TIGHT LIES: Former Dalton High School golfer Blake Adams has quietly returned to the PGA Tour and is playing steadily, with five cuts made in eight events. He doesn’t have a top-25 finish, but he has earned close to $100,000 dollars and 91 points in the FedEx Cup standings.

However, he withdrew after shooting a 78 in the first round of last week’s Valspar Championship with an unspecified “hip injury.” Adams missed most of last season following hip surgery for chronic pain which had dogged his career.

He has 16 starts left on his PGA Tour major medical extension. During that time, he must earn $497,044 or 277.9 FedEx Cup points to retain his tour status.

GSGA EVENTS: Entries are now being accepted for the Georgia Senior Women’s Match Play Championship.

The Georgia State Golf Association event, which will be played for the third time, returns to Sunset Hills Country Club in Carrollton on May 19-21. It’s open to female amateur golfers age 50 or older as of May 19, and the format of the event is match play preceded by 18 holes of stroke play qualifying.

The championship flight of eight players will be seeded based on qualifying scores and play championship tees.

Entries are also being accepted for the Four-Ball Championship (through April 2) and the Georgia Senior Match Play Championship (through April 16). The Four-Ball Championship is set for April 25-27 at Cartersville Country Club, while the Senior Match Play will be played on May 5-8 at Governors Towne Club in Acworth. To learn more, visit

"Fairways and Greens" is a regular column written by sports writer Chris Whitfield. Send your golfing news and notes to him at