April 27, 2014

Dalton State golfers Jones and Mitchell finish tied for third at GSGA Four-Ball

Chatsworth natives Chase Jones and Tyler Mitchell shot a 1-under-par 71 in Sunday’s final round of the Georgia State Golf Association’s 43rd annual Four-Ball Championship and finished in a four-way tie for third with a total 16-under at the Cartersville Country Club.

Beating them was Cres Dodd, of Calhoun, and Cartersville’s Greg Johnson with a final round of 8-under 64 and a finish of 20-under.

“Expectations going into the week changed as we went along,” said Jones, a Murray County graduate. “Before the tournament started, we wanted a strong finish just to see how we could compete. It all changed when we shot a 63 on Saturday and were two shots ahead. ... It’s a little disappointing with the way we played today.”

Jones and Mitchell, who played together this past season at Dalton State College where Mitchell was a senior and Jones a sophomore, led the tournament through 36 holes after a 9-under 63 pushed them to 15-under for the tournament and two strokes in front of two pairs. Jones and Mitchell shot a 66 in Friday’s opening round.

“Tyler has played well both days,” Jones said after Saturday’s round. “I told him yesterday when I struggled a bit that he was carrying us. I didn’t have a single birdie on the card. I told him, ‘I’ll get us some birdies in the second round.’ When I got five on the card, I knew he’d get four or five as well.”

Bill Faith, of Eatonton, and Poli Medrano, of Greensboro, were 13-under heading into the final round. Alex Jones, of Woodstock, and Calhoun’s Chad Wilson also were at 13-under entering the last round. Both teams finished tied with Jones and Mitchell.

After starting the day with a birdie on the par-4 No. 2, Jones and Mitchell carded three bogeys on Nos. 5, 7 and 9 after playing bogey-free golf the first two rounds. They made three birdies on the back nine, and no more bogeys, but it wasn’t enough with Dodd and Johnson playing well.

The course seemed to play easier on Saturday compared to Friday, with 23 of the remaining 41 pairings — the field was cut from 67 after Saturday’s round — carding better rounds Saturday than Friday. Of the top 15, nine had better second rounds than opening rounds.

“It was to an extent,” Jones said after Saturday’s round.

“I think a lot of guys who went out and tore it up yesterday kind of struggled today. And the ones who just did solid yesterday, played solid today.”

Of the 41 remaining teams, 29 shot worse rounds Sunday than Saturday and 23 had their worst round at the end. The same number of teams shot 70 or worse.

“Each day, the more the sun came out, the course dried out and the greens were firmer,” Jones said on Sunday. “The GSGA did a good job with pin placements tucking some of the holes in a little bit. The guys who played well were actually members there. To shoot an 8-under out there today, whether you’re a member or not, is a strong round.”

Dalton’s David Noll Jr. and his playing partner, Atlanta’s Cameron Hooper, finished tied for eighth at 14-under after a 5-under 67 on Sunday. They shot a 67 on Friday and followed with a 68 on Saturday. The Rocky Face pairing of Greg Brock and Matt Oxford finished the second round 1-under and did not make the 2-under cut to play the final round.

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