Sports

July 10, 2013

Noll looks to win again at Georgia Amateur Championship

A decade ago, Dalton golfer David Noll Jr. earned his first Georgia Amateur Championship victory.

Noll, who spent several years on minor tours trying to make it as a professional golfer, was in his third year of amateur play after regaining that status in 2001. At the time, he called his victory at Pinetree Country Club in Kennesaw a breakthrough win.

“This is forever,” he said after shooting a 5-under-par 283 to edge Ringgold’s Thomas Hagler by a stroke. “To be the Georgia Amateur champion, you go down in history.”

He will be trying to make a little history again this week, 10 years later and on the same course where he first won the Georgia State Golf Association event that dates to 1916 and was first won by Bobby Jones, who is regarded as one of the greatest golfers ever.

This year’s Georgia Amateur Championship tees off Thursday and concludes Sunday. Other local golfers competing are Robert Smith of Dalton, Ethan Hayes and Tucker Snipes of Rocky Face, plus Colby Hipp and Tyler Mitchell, both of Chatsworth.

As usual, Noll is expected to be a leading contender among the 144-player field, which will be cut to the low 70 golfers and ties after 36 holes. Noll also won the Georgia Amateur Championship at Atlanta’s Cherokee Town and Country Club in 2011, and he has been runner-up three times, including last year at Ansley Golf Club-Settindown Creek in Roswell. With the exception of 2004, when he tied for 18th, Noll has finished in the top six at the tournament each year since winning his first title at the Georgia Amateur Championship.

He’s certainly not opposed to returning to the site of that breakthrough win.

“Maybe there are some good vibes,” Noll said. “I have played down there several times in the last couple of weeks. It is nice and a good test with really fast greens. It will be the type of course where I don’t expect many scores under par. It has been wet, but not near as bad as what we have been witnessing up here in the last week and a half.”

Over the past decade, Noll has established himself as one of the top amateur golfers in the Peach State with accomplishment after accomplishment. In addition to his success in the Georgia Amateur Championship, he won titles at the GSGA’s Atlanta Amateur Match Play Championship in 2005, 2008, 2009 and 2012 and won the organization’s Georgia Mid-Amateur Championship in 2007 and 2012.

He has been named the GSGA’s Men’s Player of the Year eight times, including each of the past six years. In 2008, he was presented the GSGA’s Tommy Barnes Award, given each year to the state’s overall top golfer.

Noll hasn’t played as much golf this summer as he has in the past, though. He missed last month’s North Georgia Invitational on his home course at Dalton Golf & Country Club, but he had a good reason — Mickey Mouse. His son, Nicklaus, was celebrating his second birthday.

“We had to go to see a mouse,” Noll said. “I hated to miss my home tournament, but going on vacation with your family doesn’t happen all of the time. It was a pretty easy decision.”

He is about to hit a very busy stretch on the course, however, with several big tournaments and qualifying events on the horizon.

“I have just been practicing and trying to get ready for this stretch,” Noll said. “The U.S. Amateur qualifier is right after this, and then the Georgia Open is behind that and then the qualifier for the U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship. July and August are pretty busy for me. I will squeeze in about four hours of sleep each night.”

Still, Noll will do his best to be fresh at Pinetree, where he believes being mentally sharp is as important as any physical technique he might bring to the competition.

“This is a thinking man’s golf course,” he said. “You have to pick your poison as to when to be aggressive. I think my mind will be my best asset.”

According to the GSGA, entries were open to male amateur golfers who belong to a GSGA Member Club and are Georgia residents. Almost 600 players entered this year’s championship, including 28 with exempt status. Noll has several exemptions, including a 10-year exemption for winning the GSGA Amateur Championship.

The remaining 116 spots were filled by non-exempt players who competed in one of 10, 18-hole qualifiers last month.

1
Text Only
Sports
  • DHS at SE soccer 4 mlh.jpg Region 7-4A championship

    If recent history is any indication, this week’s Region 7-4A championship game may not be the last time the boys soccer teams at Dalton and Southeast Whitfield stand opposed to one another this season.

    April 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • St Louis at Rampage 4 mlh.jpg No Attack for Rampage

    The Georgia Rampage’s offense didn’t do anything in the first half — evident by the scoreboard.
    By the time new quarterback Bart Gloyd stepped in, a comeback was out of reach.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Former Dalton, Auburn QB Carter passes away

    When former Dalton High School football coach Bill Chappell learned one of his former players had died Saturday, he was shocked. His second reaction was sadness, not just because of Loran Carter’s athletic legacy but also his outstanding character.

    April 19, 2014

  • Golf at NobNorth 1  mlh.jpg Prep golf: DHS, rain steady for Nob Invite

    With the Region 7-4A tournament scheduled for Tuesday at Nob North Golf Club, Dalton coach Hunter Johnston was pleased that his team finally got its first victory of the season Saturday in Cohutta at the Nob North Invitational.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Doug Hawley: Cancer will not hinder Run for John’s finish

    With the seventh annual Run for John races scheduled for Saturday in Dalton, there is a community focus this week on the family of the late John Bruner.

    April 19, 2014

  • DSC women win finalé

    The Dalton State College women’s tennis team earned a 5-0 win in a rain-shortened match at home against Snead State to conclude its season.

    April 19, 2014

  • Play ball on the Westside

    The long-awaited Westside Park opened to rave reviews on April 10, with baseball teams ranging from 6 to 12 years christening the the newest Whitfield County recreation facility.

    April 19, 2014

  • DHS at Heritage 1 mlh.jpg Generally disappointed

    Dalton High School’s baseball team started the fifth inning of Friday’s crucial Sub-region 7B-4A game against Heritage-Catoosa with four consecutive hits.
    The only problem for the Catamounts was that was where their good hitting started and stopped.

    April 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • Prep roundup: Upset puts N. Murray in baseball playoffs

    Over the past few seasons, a late-season game with Sonoraville has been the deciding factor in whether the North Murray High School baseball team advanced to the state playoffs.

    April 18, 2014

  • Miller, Mariners off to NAIA title tournament

    Former Dalton High School golf standout Chase Miller is finishing his senior year at College of Coastal Georgia on a high note.

    April 18, 2014