MURFREESBORO — Youthfulness continues to not be a setback for Hannah Nall.The 13-year-old upcoming Cleveland High School freshman golfer flashed her poise on a big stage yet again as she opened …
MURFREESBORO — Youthfulness continues to not be a setback for Hannah Nall.
The 13-year-old upcoming Cleveland High School freshman golfer flashed her poise on a big stage yet again as she opened well in the 55th annual TGA Girl's Junior Amateur at the Old Fort Golf Club Monday.
With a strong driver and steady putter, Nall birdied five times and is tied for third at 2-over-par 74 after the first of three 18-hole rounds.
Nall has won the Southern State Junior Classic in back-to-back years and sits seven shots back from Tullahoma High School standout Ashley Gilliam.
Gilliam, a Mississippi State commitment, shot a bogey-free scorecard of 67 and is aiming for her third consecutive Tennessee Girls' Junior title.
Nall impressed many recently at the Women's State Amateur, where she held her own in a field comprised of several Division-I college standouts.
At The Honors Course she missed the cut by just one stroke, and drew great reviews from spectators as one of the two youngest to play in the tournament.
Nall shot even par on the back nine to cap off a strong start to the Junior Amateur, which is comprised of 51 golfers.
After a top 16 finish at the State Amateur a few weeks ago, fellow Cleveland standout Rheagan Hall is tied for 12th place with a 7-over 79 after Monday's opening round.
The upcoming UT-Chattanooga freshman golfer made up ground with three of her four total birdies on the first five holes on the back nine.
Local golf product and a rising freshman at the Baylor School, Kyndall Shamblin, was scheduled to compete, but withdrew from the Junior Am.
The field consists of several 2018 graduates and goes all the way up to the Class of 2025.
Nall, who was tied with Angelina Chan of Franklin and Kingsport's Kara Carter (Kingsport) in third place, has shown strength as a class of 2022 member, as she has the lowest score of seven upcoming high school freshman.
Others her age following closely behind are Shelly Jang (+5, 9th) and Vilda Westh Blanc (+7, T-12th).
Championship action will conclude Thursday.
Fresh off a United States Golf Association national championship last fall, Manchester native Gilliam has carried that momentum over into her 2018 summer season.
The rising senior has qualified for both the upcoming U.S. Girls’ Junior Amateur and the U.S. Women’s Amateur. But this week her mind is focused solely on another goal she has – to win three straight Tennessee Girls’ Junior titles.
Gilliam was four strokes clear of second place McKinley Cunningham (Clarksville) heading into today’s second round.
Gilliam was part of the Tennessee squad that won the USGA Women’s State Team Championship last September at The Club at Las Campanas in Santa Fe, N.M.
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