Craig Harris/Macon County Times Lafayette 13-year-old Maddox Crowder chips out of the sand on the final hole of Thursday morning’s championship match at the Tennessean/Metro Parks Schooldays Golf Tournament. Crowder defeated Franklin 12-year-old Will Pinson to repeat as the champion in the 12-13-year-old division.

Craig Harris/Macon County Times

Lafayette 13-year-old Maddox Crowder chips out of the sand on the final hole of Thursday morning’s championship match at the Tennessean/Metro Parks Schooldays Golf Tournament. Crowder defeated Franklin 12-year-old Will Pinson to repeat as the champion in the 12-13-year-old division.

NASHVILLE -- Maddox Crowder claims that he's not overly superstitious.

However, his khaki-colored Pinehurst hat didn't make the trip to McCabe Golf Course last week.

"There's a certain hat at home that I never wear in tournaments, because I shot bad in it," Crowder said. "And I like using the same ball mark. I used it all three days."

The Lafayette 13-year-old made his mark on the field of the 95th annual Tennessean/Metro Parks Schooldays Golf Tournament, defeating Franklin 12-year-old Will Pinson in Thursday morning's championship match.

"It feels really good," Crowder said. "It boosts my confidence up a lot. This tournament is a really fun tournament. You play stroke play, and then, you play match play. It makes it more fun. It's just a lot of fun."

Crowder -- a rising seventh-grader at Macon County Junior High -- repeated as the champion.

"I did (expect to win), but I didn't know how well my competitors were playing," Crowder said. "We're all tight right there together.

"I still had confidence in myself. I made it happen."

Pinson -- a seventh-grader at Grassland Elementary School -- shot 69 on Tuesday to earn medalist honors in the 12-13-year-old division, and he defeated No. 4 seed Ace Hogg in Wednesday morning's semifinal round.

Pinson and Crowder have played together numerous times.

"It was relaxed," Crowder said. "I felt like I could relax and be funny with him. He's a funny kid too. We like joking around with each other."

Crowder never trailed in the championship match.

"He never hit driver (off the tee)," Crowder said. "So, I knew he was going to be a little shorter. I knew if I hit could hit my driver well that it would be an advantage.

"He struck his wedges really good. His irons were a little off, but his wedges were really good. He made putts, but he didn't ... he made the ones he didn't really have to (make)."

The match remained close most of the way. Crowder won the fifth hole to take the lead and then extended the lead to two holes by making a birdie putt on the 11th hole.

"I thought I'd be up at least at the beginning, but I made a couple of pretty good par putts at the beginning to keep the match tied," Crowder said. "So, I was kind of like, 'Oh, gosh.'

"The back nine, I felt good about it. Once I got up, I was confident. Then, I three-putted on 13 ... so I kind of kicked in gear there."

Crowder's shot par putt lipped out on the 13th hole, pulling Pinson back to within a hole.

However, Crowder won the next two holes by making birdie putts to lead by three holes.

"I ended up hitting down the middle (on hole No. 14), and it put me in a good spot," Crowder said. "He hit his iron on the right side of the green. I had a wedge in of 50 degrees. I put it at about five feet. That put some confidence in me."

The match ended after Crowder chipped out of the sand and made a putt to save par on the 16th hole.

"You feel like it's going to go slow, but after the first day, it feels like it goes very fast," Crowder said of the three-day event. "Playing with people you know makes it a lot of fun."

Crowder will be competing for the remainder of the summer in various events.

"It's just tournaments and practicing," Crowder said. "I'm just trying to keep my rounds in the tournaments near par and under. I'd like to have more under-par rounds. I haven't had many."

Crowder remained steady on the back side of Wednesday afternoon's semifinal match against Nolensville 13-year-old Luke Beadles, winning 2-up (winning by two holes at the end of the round).

Only four golfers advanced to match play in the 12-13-year-old division. Both Crowder and Beadles shot 71 in Tuesday's qualifying round.

"We've played in a lot of tournaments," Crowder said. "We've talked to each other before. We text and stay in touch. We've known each other for a while.

"You know their game and know how they're going to play."

Crowder made an eagle putt on the second hole to take the lead, but Crowder three-putted hole No. 4 before Beadles birdied the eighth hole to surge in front.

Beadles -- an eighth-grader at Nolensville's Sunset Middle School -- remained in front by one hole until the 12th hole.

"Going into 10, I'm like, 'Well, I'm just one down,' " Crowder said. "Then, on 10, I ended up pulling it (my tee shot) again. My driver on the front nine was a bummer. It was about like yesterday (in the stroke-play qualifying round). It was sprayed. About hole 12 on the back, I figured it out. From there on, my game stayed there and got better.

"On 12, he went into some trees, and I hit a good drive. That was the turning point."

Beadles bogeyed the 12th hole, allowing Crowder to pull even with a par putt.

Then, Crowder birdied the 13th hole to take the lead, which is how it remained.

Both players missed birdie opportunities on the next two holes.

On the final hole, Beadles' approach shot sailed over the green, and he made bogey.

Crowder won the hole with a par.

"Coming down the last few holes, I knew he was getting some good looks at it," Crowder said. "I told myself to keep it down the middle and keep getting good looks at it ... make him do something.

"It's great. I didn't know if I would be able to (advance) once he got up. I knew he was a good player. I ended up grinding it out and finishing good."

Lafayette 16-year-old Isaac Meador suffered a 3-and-2 setback to Springfield 14-year-old Tyler Williamson in the 14-17-year-old division's round of 16.

"It's one of the best rounds I've ever witnessed," Meador said. "I had five birdies, and I still got beat by three. He made 30 or 40-foot putts, was throwing wedges (close to the hole). He put the pressure on me."

Meador won the first hole by sinking a birdie putt, and he was still one hole ahead after making another birdie on the fifth hole.

However, Williamson took control by winning holes 7, 9 and 11 with birdies.

"I'm hitting it a long way," Meador said. "I missed one green today. I'm rolling the ball good, hitting putts right where I need. Sometimes, they just don't go in."

Meador -- a rising junior at Macon County High -- qualified for match play for the first time by shooting 68 in Tuesday's stroke-play qualifying round, earning him the No. 5 seed. Williamson was the No. 12 seed after shooting 72 on Tuesday.

Lebanon 17-year-old Mark McDearman shot 65 to earn medalist honors, but he lost in the round of 16 to No. 16 seed Bo Morgan, a 15-year-old from Hendersonville.

"It's pretty big," Meador said of advancing to match play. "Making it to match play puts you in good company in this area. It's the sets the bar high for you, puts the expectations out there and shows you have a bright future ahead."

Williamson lost in the semifinals to Hendersonville 17-year-old Landon Word, but Word suffered a 2-and-1 loss to Hartsville 17-year-old Trey Melvin in Thursday afternoon's championship match.

Nashville 17-year-old Weatherly Spence captured a 3-and-2 win over Gallatin 16-year-old Abigail Gornicki in Thursday morning's girls championship match.

In the older age divisions, neither defending champion returned to defend his/her title as Clarksville's Patton Samuels and Tullahoma's Ashley Gilliam were not among the field. Samuels played in the Tennessee Junior Professional Golfers' Association (PGA) Championships, which began one day prior to Schooldays in Shelbyville, while Gilliam -- a Mississippi State University commitment -- had a scheduling conflict. Gilliam had an opportunity to become the first four-time winner of the event.

Match-play results from the 95th annual Tennessean/Metro Parks Schooldays Golf Tournament


12-13-year-old division


No. 1 seed Will Pinson defeated No. 2 seed Ace Hogg 3-and-1

No. 2 Maddox Crowder defeated No. 3 Luke Beadles 2-up

Championship match

Crowder defeated Pinson 3-and-2

14-17-year-old division

Round of 16

No. 16 Bo Morgan defeated No. 1 Mark McDearman 2-and-1

No. 8 Landon Word defeated No. 9 Dylan Cottrell 1-up (19 holes)

No. 13 Zane Johnson defeated No. 4 Aidan Baker 1-up (20 holes)

No. 12 Tyler Williamson defeated No. 5 Isaac Meador 3-and-2

No. 2 Trey Melvin defeated No. 15 Luke Fontechia 3-and-2

No. 7 Alex McClimans defeated No. 10 Colton Werner 1-up

No. 3 Kobe Hill defeated No. 14 Grey Goodwin 6-and-5

No. 11 Tripp Gassie defeated No. 6 Troup Wallace 3-and-2


Word defeated Morgan 6-and-5

Williamson defeated Johnson 6-and-5

Melvin defeated McClimans 1-up

Hill defeated Gassie 6-and-5


Word defeated Williamson 1-up

Melvin defeated Hill 4-and-3

Championship match

Melvin defeated Word 2-and-1



No. 1 Jackie Henderson defeated No. 8 Ava Bankston 1-up (20 holes)

No. 5 Weatherly Spence defeated No. 4 Kallie Robertson 1-up (19 holes)

No. 7 Abigail Gornicki defeated No. 2 Anna Chew 2-up

No. 3 Mary Griffin defeated No. 6 Gigi Powers 3-and-2


Spence defeated Henderson 1-up

Gornicki defeated Powers 2-and-1

Championship match

Spence defeated Gornicki 3-and-2