As high school students Brandt Snedeker and Whitsun Tourbillon faced off at the Tennessean/Metro Parks Schooldays Golf Tournament.
Snedeker was the qualifying round medalist and advanced to the match play quarter-finals while Turnbow won the long-running tournament at McCabe Golf Course.
That was 26 years ago and not only is golf still a big part of Snedeker and Turnbow’s lives today, but both have gotten involved in the Schooldays tournament again.
Snedeker, a PGA Tour veteran, and Turnbow, president of the Tennessee Golf Foundation, donated $10,000 to the Schooldays tournament.
The 96th annual tournament is free for ages 12-17 and will take place June 7-9 at the McCabe.
“I wouldn’t be where I am today without junior golf,” said Snedeker, 41, who has won more than $41 million on the PGA Tour. “I went to every Schooldays event I grew up in. It was a tournament I went to every summer. It was something I always wanted to win or play well. It was a big problem.”
Snedeker and Turnbow were invited to the first day of the tournament to present the check.
Snedeker, who attended Montgomery Bell Academy and Vanderbilt, said playing school every year taught him more about golf than just how to swing or putt.
“It gave me something to shoot for and taught me how to prepare and train,” he said. “It taught me how to win and how to fail. That’s part of it. It gave me a reason to work. If I was playing well or I was playing badly, here’s what I had to do.”
What Snedeker perhaps loves most about Schooldays is that it has remained free for all attendees.
“Kids need to have access; they need to have the right to play tournament golf,” Snedeker said. “They need to see how their game compares to other players and have fun doing it. In the meantime, you could hang a kid for life. That’s what the game of golf is, c is a game for life.”
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Snedeker made friends playing in tournaments like Schooldays with other competitors he remains close to today. Turnbow is one of those friends.
“Last year we were at an event and I was driving Sneds around in a cart,” Turnbow said. “I said, ‘It’s ironic, I beat you at school in 1996 and now you’re the (2012) Fed Ex Cup champion and I drive you everywhere. “
Turnbow then played at Middle Tennessee State where he later became a golf coach and then associate athletic director. He has been president of the Tennessee Golf Foundation since 2018.
“The Schooldays is who we are,” Turnbow said. “It’s free for kids, it’s something that helps grow the game, it doesn’t exclude people. So Brandt and I wanted to be a part of that.”
Schooldays Tournament Co-Director and McCabe Manager Loren Personet plans to meet with other tournament officials to decide how best to use the donation.
Belmont receives top 25 votes
After mounting a 10-game winning streak, Belmont men’s basketball received five votes this week in the Associated Press Top 25 poll.
Belmont (24-5, 14-2 OVC) is one of only five programs with active winning streaks of 10 or more games and ranks third nationally in wins (24) and true road wins (10).
The Bruins’ non-conference schedule is ranked No. 31 by Kenpon.com and they rank in the top 25 nationally in 15 statistical categories, including first in total assists, second in field goal percentage. 2-point field and fifth in assist turnover rate.
Belmont is ranked eighth in the CollegeInsider Mid Major Top 25.
Coaches reach milestones
Several local coaches – Lipscomb baseball’s Jeff ForehandTennessee State men’s basketball Brian “Penny” CollinsTennessee Tech baseball Matt Braga and MTSU Men’s Tennis’ jimmy boredame – has recently achieved significant victories in his career.
Forehand won its 600th game in a 12-4 win over Akron. He is in his 16th season at Lipscomb where he has 389 wins. Prior to his arrival at Lipscomb Forehand won 211 games at Trevecca in six seasons.
Collins earned his 100th career win in the Tigers’ 63-49 victory over Eastern Illinois at Gentry Center. Collins is in his fourth season at TSU where he has won 43 games. He was at Columbia State from 2012 to 2015.
Bragga, in his second stint at Tech, picked up his 500th victory in an 11-7 victory over Southern Alabama. He won 446 games at Tech from 2004-18 and 23 after returning in 2021. He won 28 at Rice 2019-20.
Borendame earned his 200th career win in the Blue Raiders’ win over Michigan State. He’s in his 12th season at MTSU and was at Drake for a season before he had 15 wins.
Billie Jean King and Candice Lee will discuss Title IX
Legendary tennis star Billie Jean King will discuss equality in sport with Vanderbilt’s athletic director Candice Lee on March 1 as part of the Chancellor Vanderbilt Lecture Series and the university’s Title IX 50th anniversary celebration.
Free virtual event starts at 4 p.m.
King and Lee will talk about a range of issues, including the legacy of Title IX and ways forward for future generations.
Registration is required at //bit.ly/3h795Fj.
Former ML King wrestling trainer Paul Bass has died
Longtime wrestling coach at local high school Paul Bass died on February 13. He was 66 years old.
Bass started the wrestling program at ML King in 1989.
He graduated from Pearl High in 1983 and TSU in 1987 and later became an Air Force medic.
Bass also coached the ML King college football team.
Several former wrestlers and students of the school raise funds to pay for a memorial plaque honoring Bass to be placed in M. L. King’s wrestling hall.
Ex-TSU coach hosting the HBCU All Star Game
Former TSU men’s basketball coach Travis Williams hosts the first HBCU All Star basketball game.
It will be played April 3 at 3 p.m. the same weekend at the Final Four at the University of New Orleans Lakefront Arena and air on CBS.
Players will be selected from MEAC, SWAC, CIAA, SIAC, TSU, North Carolina A&T and Hampton.
Former star of Franklin Road Academy Kenny Cooperwho started his career at Lipscomb and is now a senior at TSU, is on the game watch list with Tigers forwards Kassim Nicholson, shakem johnson and Jalen Dupree,
One of the teams will be named after the legendary TSU coach John McClendon and the other in honor of the former Winston-Salem State coach Clarence “The Big House” Gaines.
A combination of professional basketball will take place at the same time as the match and each of the players and coaches will be able to attend the semi-finals of the Final Four.
Nashville Amateur Golf Tour Announced
The Nashville Chapter of Amateur Players Golf Tour has announced its 2022 schedule, which includes 14 tournaments starting March 13 at Gaylord Springs Golf Links.
The remainder of the schedule: March 26 Presidents Reserve at Hermitage Golf Course; April 13 Tennessee Prairie Links; April 30 Bear Trace at Tims Ford; May 14 GreyStone; June 4 Race of Champions; June 18-19 The Shoals; July 9 Old Fort; July 16 The Legacy; June 30 Henry Horton; August 6 Towhee Club; August 20 Montgomery Bell and August 29 Tennessee Grasslands Lakes.
The championship will take place on September 10 and 11 at General’s Retreat at the Hermitage Golf Course.
To join the tour or for more information, visit amateurplayerstour.com.
TSU Spring Football Playset
TSU’s first blue and white spring football game under a coach Eddie George East scheduled for April 9 at Hale Stadium. Free entry.
There has not been a spring game played in 2021 since the Ohio Valley Conference’s 2020 fall season.
George was hired on April 11 after the end of the spring season.
FCA 5K and 15K races coming in April
The second annual Wilson County Fellowship of Christian Athletes Run the Cedars 5K/15K and fun 1 mile run will be held April 16.
Fundraising events will take place at Cedars of Lebanon State Park. Check-in starts at 6:30 a.m.
The start line will be in the parking area at the top of WPA and Cedars Road.
There will be live music, snacks and water. For more information, call 615-948-1434 or visit fcawilson.org.
If you have an article for Midstate Chatter, contact Mike Organ at 615-259-8021 or on Twitter @MikeOrganWriter.