Catoosa County Boys’ Golfer of the Year - Gavin Noble

Senior Gavin Noble is this year’s Catoosa County Boys’ Golfer of the Year. Noble won the area title for the Ringgold Tigers and tied for fourth place at the the Class 3A state tournament in Hartwell.

Recent Ringgold High School graduate Gavin Noble endured a bit of a roller coaster ride during the 98th Georgia Amateur Championship this past week, but the future Coastal Carolina University golfer was able to make the cut in the 144-player field.

Noble began the tournament at Ansley Golf Club-Settindown Creek in Roswell with an ever-par 72 on Thursday to finish the first day in a six-player group tied for 18th place. He started the tournament on the back nine and quickly went into red numbers with a birdie at No. 10. But a double bogey at No. 11 and back-to-back bogeys at Nos. 15 and 16 would drop him to 3-over par after his first nine holes. However, he would get it going on the front side with four birdies against just one bogey.

The second round saw Noble begin with a birdie on No. 2, but two bogeys in his first nine holes contributed to a 37 on the front. He had two more bogeys in his first four holes on the back, but he would make birdies at Nos. 15 and 16 before two final pars got him back to 1-over for the day and for the tournament. He went into Saturday in a five-player group tied for 16th place and safely above the cutline for the low 70 and ties.

However, Saturday turned out to be a tough afternoon for Noble as he carded an 84 in the third round. He dropped to 13-over-par, which put him in a tie for 51st place, a spot he maintained following Sunday's final round. Noble shot a 78 in the fourth and final round, although the round did include an eagle on No. 3. Noble finished the four-day event with 10 birdies. 

Marietta's Jonathan Keppler, a junior at Florida State University, would emerge as this year's winner. After starting off with a 68, good enough to put him in a tie for third place after the first round, Keppler had Friday's low round with a 66 and moved into the lead at 10-under-par.

It would be a lead he would not relinquish.

Keppler ended the tournament with rounds of 74 and 73 to drop to 7-under, but it was still enough for a three-shot win over Atlanta's Timothy Schatzel (68-73-73-70), who ended up at 4-under. Columbus' Ben Carr (68-69-73-76) ended up in third place at 2-under, while Spencer Ball and Nicolas Cassidy tied for fifth at 1-under.

Former Trion High School standout Dawson Day also competed in the event. He opened and closed with even-par rounds of 72, but put up back-to-back 80's on Friday and Saturday. He finished the weekend tied for 44th place overall.

Scott Herpst is sports editor for the Walker County Messenger in LaFayette, Ga., and Catoosa County News in Ringgold, Ga.

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