Ready to tee off… 25th annual Bill Greene East Tennessee Amateur gets underway today

Published 6:00 am Friday, July 5, 2019



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One of the area’s most popular golf tournaments is set to get underway today with the first group teeing off at 7 am in the 25th annual Bill Greene East Tennessee Amateur Golf Tournament which is being played at the Elizabethton Golf Course.

One of the main changes is the addition of Bill Greene’s name to the tournament as Greene has been one of the most significant reasons that the tournament has enjoyed such a great run.

This year’s tournament looks to be one of the best to date according to tournament director Mike Matheson.

“We are looking as strong as ever with eight past champions playing and a few new guys that are really good signed up to play,” said Matheson when looking over the field.

“We have close to 60 players just in the championship round, which is fantastic.”

There are approximately 130 golfers overall in the tournament playing in five flights.

There are three flights of seniors playing in the tournament as there will be a 50-54 flight, a 55-59 flight, and a 60-over flight.

There will be an overall senior winner as well as a first-place trophy given to the top finisher in the other two flights that the overall senior winner did not come from.

A special part of the tournament will come Friday morning when Greene steps onto the tee box on No. 1 and hits the first ball to kick the championship flight off.

“Mr. Greene has been second to none in making this golf tournament what it is,” Matheson added. “It was something that we needed to do for all the support he has given to the East Tennessee Amateur.”

The weather right now may be one of the question marks of the tournament as recent forecasts indicate a 50-50 chance of rain each day of the scheduled competition.

Temperatures are expected to be a little cooler than in recent days where the thermometer has climbed into the high 80s to low 90s.

“We can’t fool with Mother Nature,” stated Matheson. “A couple of years ago, we went through 2000 pounds of ice due to the heat.

“We have three days to get it in so we will just see what happens.”

For those playing, they will find the Elizabethton Golf Course in some of the best conditions they have had as both the fairways and the greens are in impeccable condition thanks to manager Chad Odom and his team.

Matheson hopes that the conditions of the course plays well into the tournament’s outcome.

“The course is the way we want it set up to play hard and fast,” Matheson stated. “Rain makes it softer, which plays better, but we want it challenging.

“On the last day of the tournament last year we had 15 players that were under par and 21 golfers who were at even par.”

Tyler Lane is the defending champion of the event taking the victory by five strokes with a three-day total of 13-under par.

Mike Wood is the defending senior champion from the event last year.