Willow Creek again U.S. amatuer warm-up

For the second straight year, Wes Gosselin ran into a sizzling competitor on the final day of Willow Creek Invitational.

Leading after the first round of WCI in 2015 and again last weekend, this Farragut area champion golfer and Hardin Valley Academy alumnus “ended up in second place both years, and he lost to somebody who shot a 64,” Scott Perkins, Willow Creek Golf Club PGA head professional, said.

Michael Nagy, a former Tennessee Volunteers golfer who qualified at Willow Creek last year for U.S. Amateur Championship, had the sizzling 64 Sunday, July 10, to finish 131 (67-64).

“Sixty-four any day is an amazing round, but today the greens were fast, the pins were tough, and to shoot a 64 out there, that’s great,” Perkins added.

Gosselin (66-71—137) finished tied for second with Phillip Lee (67-70) and Brandon Worley (68-69).

Chip Thomas, former Farragut High School star (69-70—139), tied for fifth with James Beckner (71-68).

“I hit it a little bit better today off the tee, hit more greens today … gave myself some more looks and I made some good putts, too,” Nagy, who recently finished his senior season at the University of Tennessee, said. “I didn’t make any bogeys. I was pretty solid.

“I’ve probably played here 25, 30 times. It’s a good course. If you play well it rewards you,” Nagy, who won $700, added. “… The greens are really good. If you hit good putts they’re going in.”

Nagy “beat a very good field. It’s loaded, it’s got a lot of high-caliber players,” Perkins said. “ … A lot of guys in the championship flight are local, some of them come from different parts of the state and region because they want to try and qualify for the U.S. Am[ateur].

With U.S. Amateur Champion-ship qualifying having taken place at WCGC Tuesday, July 12 (after deadline), “They use this as their practice,” Perkins said.

Of the 78 who attempted to qualify Tuesday, only three would move on to 2016 U.S. Amateur Championships Aug. 18-21, at Oakland Hills Country Club, Bloomfield, Mich.

While 38 competed in Champio-nship Flight, a 15-man field in Senior Flight featured two top finishers who have both local and national notoriety in other fields.

Ron Rochelle, former town of Farragut aldermen, finished on top at 143 (72-71) while winning $400. Graig Nettles, former New York Yankees All-star third baseman, took second at 146 (72-74).

Regular First Flight featured 13 golfers, with Jason Brittain capturing first place and $400 after shooting 143 (70-73). Regular Second Flight, a 17-man field, saw Doug Thompson and Don Monarch split the first-place $400 prize money, tying at 159.