TOP PHOTO:  David Bates, in his trademark Puma cap, begins his quest for a state golf championship this morning when he tees off at 10:10 am at Manchester.

MANCHESTER, TN (WLAF) – “Honestly, I thought our team would go to state this year,” said individual state golf tournament qualifier Dave Bates.  The Cougar punched his ticket as an individual to the state at last week’s regional golf tournament at Lenoir City.Bates began his golf career in 6th grade at Jacksboro Middle School on the encouragement of  local golfer Brian Leach.  “All in all getting to state is goal for all of us,” said Bates.

He arrived in Manchester (Coffee County), site of the state golf tournament, on Sunday around 3 pm and went to work right away practicing and then again on Monday.  “I’ve been working on different aspects of my game since Sunday.  I want to put myself in a good position to win it,” added Bates.

Bates describes the country club course at Manchester as “very flat.”  He calls it very wide open on the front end and not very wide on the back side.  “I think since I hit the ball so straight that I should have an advantage on the back side,” Bates pointed out.

He’ll be wearing what’s become his trademark cap, a Puma cap, along with his Campbell County team golf shirt.  And about the cap.  Bates said, “I wear it all the time.  It feels good.  Looks good, and I like wearing it.”

Daniel McKillop, Dave’s dad, and his coach, Michael Cain are on hand for Bates.  He’ll play 18-holes both on Tuesday and Wednesday.  He tees off at 10:10 ET this morning.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 10/06/2020-6AM)