The Tennessee Golf Association will conduct the 69th SunTrust Tennessee State Open at Foxland Harbor Golf & Country Club in Gallatin, Tenn., May 23-25.
It is the first time the tournament has been held at Foxland Harbor, where 144 players will look to add their name to the Curtis Person, Sr. Trophy. 2016 champion Jason Millard, will not be competing to defend his title. However, there will be at least 11 former champions competing.
The field of 144, which contains professionals and amateurs, is built through exemptions and qualifying. There were 19 different ways to receive an exemption into the field, most of which are related to past performance in the SunTrust Tennessee State Open or high finishes in a TGA or TPGA event. Those players that did not receive and exemption had the opportunity to qualify at one of eight extremely competitive qualifiers held throughout the state.
“This year has been one of the most difficult state opens to qualify for. We had 408 entrants at the deadline trying to get in,” Tennessee Golf Association Executive Director Chad Anderson said.
The total purse (cash and gift certificates) is expected to be $35,000 – $40,000. All professionals returning a 54-hole scorecard will receive a portion of the professional purse. Crystal awards will be presented to the Champion and Runner-Up at the Championship proper. The Low Amateur will also receive a crystal award. TGA will issue gift certificates to the top ten amateur finishers which will be valid at the host golf course.
Three-time SunTrust Tennessee State Open champion Garrett Willis is in the field looking to become just the fourth player to win the championship for a fourth time. Willis’s accomplished resume includes much more than his three SunTrust Tennessee State Open titles. Back in 2001, Willis won during his PGA Tour debut at the Touchstone Energy Tucson Open. Another former champion Steven Fox enters this year’s championship with an eye-catching win under his belt early in his career. Fox won the 2012 U.S. Amateur prior to turning pro. Fox has the additional advantage of residing in neighboring Hendersonville.
One of the most accomplished amateurs in the history of Tennessee golf, Tim Jackson, has his sights set on adding another TGA Championship to his list of victories. Jackson has been named player of the year more than any other player (11 times). Jackson has won the last three Senior player of the year awards while receiving Amateur Player of the Year as well in 2014 and 2015. Also on the list of former champions, Bob Wolcott, will be joined in the field by two other Wolcotts, his sons Ben and Hunter Wolcott.
Championship Rounds – 54 holes (Field – 144 players)
- Monday, May 22: Practice round and Pro Am
- Tuesday, May 23: First Round- 18 holes
- Wednesday, May 24: Second Round- 18 holes (A cut of the low 60 scores and ties will be made following round two)
- Thursday, May 25: Final Round- 18 hole