Former Pioneer makes final day charge, finishes runner-up at Tennessee State Open

Former Pioneer makes final day charge, finishes runner-up at Tennessee State Open

DICKSON, Tenn. --- Former Tusculum University golf great Brad Hawkins lost in a playoff to finish runner-up at the 71st annual Tennessee State Open which was held this week at the Greystone Club. (RESULTS)

Hawkins, a native of Knoxville, mounted a furious final day charge as he carded a seven-under par 65 to shoot a three-day score of 202 (-14) and take the clubhouse lead after trailing by six strokes entering Thursday's final round.

Hawkins, a former All-American for the Pioneers who played for Tusculum from 2014-2016, shot a three-under 33 for his opening nine and followed with a sensational four-under par 32 on his inward nine to take the lead.

Former MTSU golfer Hunter Green (Evensville) posted the round of the day with his eight-under par 64 as he birdied his first four holes of the day en route to shooting a six-under par 30 for his outward nine. He would birdied holes No. 11 and 17 to match Hawkins' tournament total 202 (-14).

Green won the State Open championship with his 15-foot birdie putt on the first playoff hole.

Hunter Wolcott, a junior on the University of Tennessee golf team and the 18 and 36-hole leader this week, shot an even-par 72 including bogeys on No. 15 and No. 18 to finish with 203 (-13) and tie for third place with Hunter Richardson of Clarksville.

Jason Millard of Murfreesboro and Ben Wolcott (Hunter's brother) of Burns tied for fifth place with a 54-hole tally of 204 (-12).

During his two seasons with Tusculum, Hawkins posted a school and then South Atlantic Conference record with his career scoring average of 71.37. His five career medalist wins are tied for third most at Tusculum, while his 24 career sub-par rounds are a TU record.  He was also a semifinalist for the 2016 Jack Nicklaus National Player of the Year Award.

Hawkins, who was named to the 2016 GCAA Division II PING All-America Team, posted a 70.71 stroke average in his senior campaign.  Hawkins was named the 2016 South Atlantic Conference Player of the Year, becoming the fourth Pioneer in program history to earn the league's top golf honor. His seasonal stroke average was also a new conference-best.  Hawkins finished in the top-five in nine of his 12 events, including medalist honors at the State Farm Intercollegiate, Pioneer Classic and Hargett Memorial Intercollegiate.  He qualified for the NCAA II Super Regional where he finished 15th.

Hawkins posted a school single-season record 16 sub-par rounds, with nine of those in the 60s, including an 18-hole TU and SAC record 63 at the 2015 Pioneer Classic.  During the Pioneer Classic, he carded the lowest 36-hole score in school and SAC history with an eight-under par 132.  He also established the 54-hole Tusculum and SAC record with a remarkable 16-under par 200 at the 2015 State Farm Intercollegiate.

He graduated from Tusculum with honors while majoring in sport management. He earned CoSIDA Academic All-America® first team honors and was named to the SAC Commissioner's Honor Roll, Athletic Director's Honor Roll, Dean's List, Charles Oliver Gray Honors List and was a two-time GCAA All-America Scholar.

Hawkins was a member of the Tusculum's South Atlantic Conference Championship team in 2015 while securing a berth to the NCAA Super Regional, both firsts for the program.