Sangid stands  tallest at end

By Wes Holtsclaw

   While many of the East Tennessee Amateur contenders fell apart trying to catch the lead, Bryan Sangid played with consistency.
   In the final round of the 10th annual event at Elizabethton Golf Course, Sangid finished eight under with a two-under 70 to win by three strokes and become the fifth ETA victor in his fifth attempt.
   "I wasn't really thinking about winning out there," said Sangid. "I didn't know what anybody was, and I wanted to play my game and see what happened.
   "And then, if it came down to the end and I knew somebody was playing really well, I would do something coming in. It didn't and I understood that."
   Sangid, who was 10-under-par on the par fives at the Elizabethton course during the weekend, birdied four holes with two bogeys in the round.
   He kept his cool during on the front nine, while several of the early contenders fell back in the first six holes and had to play catch-up.
   Joe Humston, one of the favorites entering the tournament, and tied for fifth entering the final round, shot a 68 to finish three strokes behind in second at five-under overall.
   It was the fifth time Humston has finished runner-up in the annual event.
   "I really didn't know what anybody was doing behind me. I was trying to play my own game," Humston said. "I knew I had to shoot 64 or 65 the way Bryan's been playing this summer. I didn't do it and congratulations to him."
   "I birdied all of the par fives today, which was key," he said of his round. "The other days, I'd birdie one here and there."
   Joe's younger brother and Austin-Peay golfer Jimmy Humston was tied with Sangid for the lead going into the final round.
   However, Humston shot a 42 on the front nine and wound up with a 10-over-par round to fall back into a tie for ninth place.
   "I basically couldn't get anything going. I kept bogeying, and that's about it," said Jimmy Humston. "After the 12th hole, I knew that it was meant to happen."
   Andrew Paduch, who was one stroke behind in third before Sunday's round, had a double and triple bogey on the front nine to hold him at sixth overall.
   Of the top four golfers in the last group, only Chris Halkowitz maintained his position, tying for third and four-under-par with Richard Lowe, who shot a 68 on Sunday, and Brad Robinson, who had a round of 69 in the finale.
   Lee University standout Jerod Baldwin shot an even-par 72 to finish even, in seventh place. Eric Parr shot a 73 en route to a ninth-place finish, while Chris Guy and David Reynolds tied Jimmy Humston in ninth.
   For Sangid, it was a sweet ending to a solid weekend of play.
   The former South Carolina-Aiken golfer finished third twice in previous ETAs, and it's his first big local win since he took Abingdon's Glenrochie Invitational in 1999.
   "Fortunately, I've had a pretty good start to the summer," Sangid said. "I've had some things unexpected and expected, it's been good thus far."
   Sangid plans to enter the U.S. Amateur Qualifying at Willow Creek in Knoxville and play in the Ridgefields Invitational later this year.
   In the senior's championship event, George McQueen and Tom Foster were neck-and-neck for the crystal cup.
   However, a bogey on the 15th hole dropped Foster back a stroke and McQueen surprised the field to win the Senior's Championship in his first attempt with an overall score of 226 strokes.
   McQueen shot a six-over-par 78 on Sunday, which was considerably better than Saturday's leaders, Rick Moore and Ben Long.
   Moore shot an 82 on Sunday after two consecutive rounds of 73 to wind up tied for third with Long.
   "Oh heck, what a comeback," said McQueen. "I was just really determined to make sure that the back nine didn't look as bad as the front nine."
   "Really, I didn't think I had a chance and was looking forward to the evening meal more than anything else," he said. "They told me to hang around and check, and it held up."
   Foster, last year's victor, sat in sixth before a solid comeback with a round of 75.
   Glen Cowan finished fifth at 229, while Randy Matney and Larry Greer tied for sixth with a 230. Moot Thomas had a senior-best round of 74 on Sunday to battle into eighth, while Bob Russum and James Norris wound out the top ten.
   McQueen was genuinely surprised with the win with little tournament experience. He didn't fare well on the front nine, but finished even par on the back to secure the win.
   "Really, I didn't birdie too many holes. The back nine held in for me," he said. "I birdied just one hole back there and bogeyed one hole so it came in as even. I three-putted several greens on the front, and it seemed like the putter just came back a bit."
   He was also pleased with the set-up of the event.
   "This is great as far as the format. The people really went all out to put on a good tournament and I think things went very smoothly," said the senior champion, who will have to follow the tradition of speaking at the press conference next year. "The individuals that put the time into it do a great job."
   In flight play, Eric Tipton won the first flight, Kyle Kirwin grabbed the second and Bruce Scholten brought the third flight home.
   Daniel Foster played solid to claim the fourth, David Sellers took the fifth, Ray Williams got the sixth and WCYB-TV sports anchor Paul Johnson had a good round to win the early morning seventh.