Tansil grinds it out at state tournament
Forrest senior Blake Tansil represented Marshall County well at the Class A/AA State Golf Tournament in Manchester, grinding out scores of 87 and 86 at the 6,709 yard WillowBrook Golf Club.
"It was a great experience, I wouldn't trade it for anything," said Tansil. "It was tough conditions, it was a learning experience, and I am happy to be here to give it a shot. All I wanted was a shot and I got it."
Tansil had chilly tee-time to begin the tournament on Tuesday, teeing off in the first group at 8a.m. on the back nine.
Tansil had great support both days as his family, coaches, Forrest schoolmates and members of the Marshall County High School golf came out to support the Rocket golfer in his final event.
Two double-bogies in the first three holes started Tansil's round on Tuesday on the wrong note, but he tried to right the ship with a nice birdie on the par 4 13th hole and then followed with three straight pars to go to No. 17 tee at just three over par.
A bogey on the par 3 was followed by a disastrous nine on the par 4 18th hole for a starting nine hole score of 45.
Tansil came back on his second nine holes with a 42, including a very nice birdie on the 161 yard par 3 8th hole to finish day one with an 87.
"My first day, getting off the the tee was a struggle for me," said Tansil. "On the second day, my chipping and putting really let me down. I have to be stronger than that."
Scott Stevens (Chattanooga Christian School) and Jeremy Fultz (Carter) both shot even par 72's to lead after the first day.
Tansil drew another early tee-time on Wednesday as the Fall weather set in with temperatures in the high 40's to low 50's all day.
Once again, Tansil started on the tougher back nine and did not improve his first day score, shooting an identical 45 on the nine holes.
Tansil's lone birdie of the day came on the 145 yard par 3 11th hole.
For the second time in two days, Tansil came up with a tough pars on 14 and 15 during his time in the toughest part of the course called Barrens Triangle.
A par on the first hole began Tansil's final nine holes of prep golf and he followed with another par before a pair of bogies slowed him down.
A bogey on the seventh hole was followed by a par on No. 8, before Tansil finished up his career with a disappointing double-bogey on the 427 yard par 4 ninth hole.
Tansil, who averaged much lower during the season, talked about the difference between the regular season compared to the pressure of the post-season.
"The main thing in the post-season is to keep your composure and enjoy while it is here, because it will be gone before you know it," said Tansil. "If you have fun with it, you will score good, but if you take it too serious, you will struggle."
On day two, senior Sydney Chung from Madison Academic School in Jackson turned in a stellar one-over par 71 to back up a first day 75 for a winning total of 146, one stroke clear of Alexander Riddle (76-71-147) from Notre Dame.
Stevens (72-76-148) and Cameron Dugger (75-73-148) tied for third at 148, while Macon County's Larken Whitmore (74-75-149) came home in fourth.
The highlight of the tournament was the play of 8th grader Davis Shore from CAK, who shot 73-77 to tie Lipscomb's Logan Matthews (76-74) and Macon County's Austin Williams for fifth place at 150.
Macon County would go on to win the team event with a cumulative score of 619, followed by Alcoa 624, Happy Valley 635, Signal Mountain 665, East Hamilton 670, Cascade 676, Milan 680, and Bolivar Central 693.
The two-time defending Region 6A/AA Cascade Champions were led by Tanner Burks, who came home with a 87-81 for a 168 total.
Burks was followed by Bryce Clinton (84-85-169), Jake Pimental (90-80-170), Chad Gordon (81-91-172) and Lucas Dunnivant (98-88-186).
"I will just look forward from here and try to get to college," said Tansil. "Hopefully, I impressed some college scouts and we will see how it goes. I had a great time, I met a lot of new people, there was a lot of smiles and a lot of memories."