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Seymour, Newby reflect on region tourney

Pick any day throughout the summer and it wouldn’t have been hard to guess where Chase Newby and Sawyer Seymour were. If it was nice outside, the junior duo was going to be on the golf course working on their game.

All the grinding through practice rounds, endless putts and fine tuning on the range paid off Monday. Newby and Seymour proved they could play among the state’s elite will competing in the Region 4AA tournament.

The Pioneers weren’t able to punch their tickets to state, but they got valuable experience playing in pressure-packed tournaments at Country Hills in Hendersonville. Newby shot a 15-over, 85 at the event, while Seymour was one stroke behind with an 86.

Cookeville’s Luke Caldwell paced the field with a 2-under, 68 to help the Cavaliers win the event. Greenbrier also earned a spot at state by finishing second, while the individual spots went to Cumberland County’s Jaxon Reed (1-under, 69), Maddox Crowder from Macon County (2-over, 72) and Beech Tristan Grenead (3-over, 73).

Newby’s 85 was the 19th-best round shot by the 40-player field, while Seymour was right in the middle of the pack with his 86. Six teams, featuring five players each, were vying for two bids, while 10 individuals (including Newby and Seymour) were fighting for three spots – which were awarded to the top three scorers who weren’t on teams that finished first or second.

Both Pioneers went into the event with no knowledge of the course. They were learning on the fly, with each running into issues on or near the green most of the day.

“I started out good and had my distances dialed for the most part. The greens were the toughest part,” said Seymour. “Some were slow and the ball would stop and others were fast and would roll out far. That was the most difficult part and I just couldn’t adjust.”

Newby added, “I think I did well when it came to putting the ball in play. It was a short course with lots of dog legs so it was all about putting it in the right position. I think I did that well, I just struggled around the greens.”

Just getting to the Region 4AA tournament wasn’t easy. Both players had to qualify as individuals last week while playing Bear Trace in Cookeville, only to turn around and get just three days of prep before teeing off with state bids on the line.

The weight of playing in a loaded field was hard to manage, though both emerged knowing it was a good experience for them going forward.

Chase Newby surveys the course during the region tourney.

“It felt good to go. My goals were to play to the best of my abilities and maybe have a shot at advancing to state. I feel like I definitely could have played better, but I was just grateful to be there and hopefully I can go back next year,” said Newby.

Sawyer had similar feelings.

“It felt good. I think I put too much person pressure on myself, but it was a fun experience,” said Seymour.

Both left Hendersonville with the goal of being back in the region tournament next year. That’s not their only goals though, nor are they thinking of coming back without their friends.

“It’ll be my senior year so I’m going to work hard this offseason to get where I want to be. I’m sure Sawyer will as well and we’ll see if we can win a district title and maybe go to state,” said Newby.

Seymour added, “I’m really going to grind and try to dominate next season. I think the whole team will make it to regions next year.”

With the duo coming back to lead the way, Warren County’s golf team could be clicking on all cylinders by 2022.

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