College golf careers in near  future for Milhorn, Church

By Matt Hill
STAR STAFF
mhill@starhq.com

   Local golf standouts Bo Milhorn and Tyler Church are too young to go into politics, but this fall they'll be Senators.
   Church and Milhorn have both signed letters of intent to play golf at Walters State Community College in Morristown.
   Milhorn, a star at Happy Valley High School, really wanted to continue his golfing career.
   "It's something I want to do," Milhorn said. "My brother got the opportunity, and didn't take it. We haven't had a golfer from Happy Valley go anywhere in a long time. It's a big thing."
   Church, who played his high school golf at Elizabethton, was also offered by Bethany College in Kansas.
   But Church felt like the opportunity at Walters State was just too good to pass up.
   "The coach (Bill Gardner) is a real good coach," Church said. "He cares a lot about the sport, and how we do down there. I believe it will be a way for me to improve my game, and take it to the next level after two years down there."
   The fact you're only dialed in to Walters State for two years was a big reason Milhorn decided to go to the school.
   "Milligan sent me stuff, but Walters State was the best fit," Milhorn said. "You can work hard for two years on your game, and your not dialed into one thing. That's probably the best way to go."
   Both players had stellar careers in high school. Church had an outstanding senior season, and made the TSSAA State Tournament by winning the region, while Milhorn came very close to making the state.
   Church really dedicated himself over the summer, and he felt like the East Tennessee Amateur was the turning point.
   "I finished 15th in the East Tennessee Amateur, and I felt like that was good tournament for me because it was some the area's top amateur players," he said. "My goal was to get in the money, and be in the top 15 players.
   "I'm pleased with my senior season. The first three seasons could have been a little bit better, but I actually put time into it the summer before my senior year. I actually came out and played well, and it was enough to get me a college scholarship."
   Milhorn just missed the state tournament this season, but still had a great career. Milhorn thought they were taking the top four scorers, but the TSSAA only took the top three.
   Milhorn was upset at the time, but has since accepted what happened.
   "One of our teachers, Mr. (Dean) Guffey, told me I was out of line for saying that," Milhorn said referring to it not being fair. "I shouldn't have said what I did. It might work out better in the long run."
   With their high school golf careers behind them, Milhorn and Church are focusing on their up college days that await them.
   The two golfers are both very good friends, and are looking forward to being down there together with former Elizabethton standout Travis Hopkins.
   "Bo and I will enjoy ourselves down there," Church said. "Having Travis down there already will be a lot of fun. It will make it easier to excel, I believe. We can push each other."
   Said Milhorn: "Tyler and I have been buddies since eighth grade. I've played at Happy Valley for two years against him, maybe I can do better joining him. The competition level will be good for both of us."
   Church credited Happy Valley head coach Chuck Babb with helping the two players to get hooked on Walters State.
   "Coach Babb from Happy Valley made a few calls, and got us set up to go down there," Church said. "We took an official visit, and Coach Gardner was a real nice guy. I knew that Travis was down there, and that he liked it. I knew that was probably going to be my choice.
   Milhorn was also very pleased with Babb's help in getting him a scholarship.
   "Chuck did a good job," Milhorn said. "He took a guy who had been pretty good in matches, but fell short in making the state. For that to happen is a testament to Chuck. He did as well as he could. Some people won't take you unless you go to the state, especially in Double-A."
   Now that the two players have earned their scholarships, Milhorn believes this duo is going to be hard to beat.
   "I don't think we're going to disappoint," Milhorn said. "We're going to be pretty tough."