Recently in Men's Golf Category

Happy Birthday - June 21

On June 21 we're celebrating four birthdays on Rocky Top, a pair of which belong to VFLs!

Our first 'happy birthday' shoutout goes to volleyball's Kendra Turner! A rising sophomore from LaPlace, Louisiana, Turner was UT's team leader in total kills (222) and kills per set (2.67) during her true freshman stint on Rocky Top. She recorded a career-high 23 kills against Missouri in early November, making her the only Lady Vol to record 20+ kills in any match that season. Turner is 19 years old today.

From football, today we celebrate the birthday of one of the best linebackers in program history -- Al Wilson. The only All-America selection from the Vols' 1998 National Championship team, Wilson had 77 tackles that season, including a 12 tackle performance against No. 2 Florida. In that game, he set a new program record with three forced fumbles. He went on to become a five-time Pro Bowler with the Denver Broncos organization.

Today we also recognize the birthday of former Tennessee track and field sprinter Terrance Livingston. Livingston ran the 400, 800, and the relays during his four years on Rocky Top and still ranks inside the top 10 of the Tennessee indoor performance list in the 400-meter dash. His time of 47.31 is the 10th fastest in indoor program history.

Lastly, we are wishing a happy birthday to former Volunteer golfer Marshall Talkington. Like Wilson, Talkington is a native of Jackson, Tennessee, and went on to play four years on the links for the men's golf program. He logged a career scoring average of 76.31 and finished with two top-10 finishes in his career. Talkington was a two-time member of the All-SEC Academic Honor Roll.

Along with these happy birthdays, Tennessee would like to wish a happy Father's Day to all of our Big Orange dads on Rocky Top and around the world!

Happy Birthday - April 12

Four birthdays on Rocky Top for this April 12! Today we wish a very happy birthday to diver Sarah Chewning, soccer's Josie Jennings, football's Brett Kendrick and men's golf VFL Oliver Goss!

A junior transfer from the University of Kentucky, Chewning made her Orange & White debut this season. She picked up a win in her first meet as a member of the UT squad, posting a 260.25 in the 3-meter springboard. 

Jennings is a defender out of Knoxville's Farragut High School. She completed her freshman season in the fall of 2014, seeing action in 17 matches and picking up seven starts along the way. She closed out the year with 757 minutes played, including a full 90 against Tulsa in September. Jennings turns 19 years old today.

Another Knoxville native, Kendrick enters spring camp as a redshirt sophomore. He appeared in all 13 games for Vol Football in 2014, getting two starts on the offensive line. Kendrick is 20 years old today.

Goss played two seasons at Tennessee before turning pro in 2014. A native of Perth, Australia, Goss was a two-time All-SEC performer and turned heads in 2014 when he finished as the low amateur at the 2014 Masters (+10). He has played this season on the tour, logging six tournament appearances. He has three top-25 finishes to his name and one top-10. He turns 21 today.

Happy birthday Sarah, Josie, Brett, and Oliver!

Happy Birthday - March 12

On March 12 we're celebrating the birthday of senior track and field athlete Julia Petree and new men's golf assistant coach Matt Henderson

A native of nearby Maryville, Tennessee, Petree is gearing up for her senior outdoor track and field season. She has had a busy year thus far, competing in both cross country in the fall and indoor track and field during the winter months. Petree set a new personal-best in the indoor 600 meters during the Hokie Invitational with a time of 1:40.80. During her freshman season in 2012, she won the Indoor Lady Vol Freshman of the Year Award. She turns 22 years old today.

Julia Petree

Henderson recently joined the men's golf staff as the Director of Instruction/Player Development. A native of Cheyenne, Wyoming, he earned his degree in golf management at UNLV and arrived on Rocky Top as one of the most sought after instructors in the state of Nevada. He was previously the head instructor at TPC Las Vegas Tour Academy.

Matt Henderson

Happy birthday, Julia and Coach Henderson!

Happy Birthday - Feb. 26

On Feb. 26, we're celebrating the birthday of senior men's golfer, Thomas Dunne!

A native of Columbus, Ohio, Dunne is in his third season on Rocky Top after transferring from Northern Illinois. For his career, he owns seven rounds of par or better, including a career-low of 69. He was a member of the 2013 SEC Academic Honor Roll, majoring in business. 

Thomas Dunne

Happy birthday, Thomas! 

Happy Birthday - Feb. 8

On Feb. 8, we're wishing a happy birthday to Chad Merzbacher of men's golf! A junior from Dublin, Ohio, Chad has recorded five top-10 finishes in in 21 career tournaments for the Volunteers. He competed in all five tournaments during UT's fall season, posting a team-best scoring average of 70.93 with nine rounds of par or better. Chad is 21 years old today. 

A trio of VFLs are also celebrating birthdays today. We start by extending birthday wishes to Track & Field alumnus Chase Brannon! Chase was a two-time USTFCCCA All-American in the pole vault, earning the honor after both the indoor and outdoor seasons of 2012. He completed his eligibility in 2014 and turns 24 years old today. 

Last but not least we wish a very happy birthday to the McKenzie brothers, Raleigh and Reggie! These two football VFLs are twin brothers who starred for the Vols in the early 1980s. Knoxville natives and Austin-East High School graduates, Reggie plyaed in 43 games during his time on Rocky Top, accumulating 174 tackles and four sacks before going on to play in the NFL from 1985-1992. Raleigh played three years for the Vols from 1982-84 as a center before moving on to the NFL and playing for Washington from 1985-94.

Reggie is the currently the general manager of the Oakland Raiders while Raleigh serves as a scout. Reggie's son, Kahlil, became one of the newest members of the Tennessee Football family during National Signing Day on Wednesday. 

Happy birthday Chad, Chase, Raleigh, and Reggie!

Chad Merzbacher   Chase Brannon

Happy Birthday - Jan. 17

Today, we come together to wish head football coach Butch Jones the happiest of Birthdays!

Tennessee head football coach Butch Jones

Also, join us in wishing former Vols Garrick Porteous (M Golf) and Evelyn Radford (rowing) Happy Birthday!

Garrick PorteousEvelyn Radford

Two prestigious football VFLs are also celebrating their birthdays today, Jimmy Colquitt, STL Rams starting Center Scott Wells and Dontavis Sapp!

Scott WellsDontavis Sapp

Happy Birthday - Sept. 20

Today we wish two former Vols a very Happy Birthday to Clint Johnson (Swimming and Diving) and Rick Lamb (Men's Golf)!

In his senior season, Johnson earned his career best times in the 1000 freestyle (11:03.48) and the 100 breaststroke (59.60).

Lamb was finished his career with a runner-up finish at the NCAA Championships and was named a 2013 PING All-American honorable mention.

Happy Birthday - July 26: Nagy, Monroe, Upson and Gilbert

On July 26 we celebrate a trio of birthdays of current Tennessee student-athletes, junior golfers Michael Nagy and Michael Monroe, and sophomore rowing coxswain Taylor Upson

MichaelNagy MichaelMonroe TaylorUpson

Also celebrating today is former Tennessee baseball player Buddy Gilbert. The Knoxville native, who turns 79 today, played professionally with the Cincinnati Reds organization and is a member of the Greater Knoxville Sports Hall of Fame.


Johannessen Sets Course Record


On Monday, Tennessee signee Kristian Johannessen set a course record (63) in the Open Regional Qualifying at Bruntsfield Links (Scotland).

The Norwegian amateur is now a step closer to playing in next month's Open Championship. En route to his record breaking score of 63, Johannessen connected on five consecutive birdies (13th - 17th hole).

"I came over just for the chance -- I had never been to Edinburgh before, so it was nice to visit," said a thrilled Johannessen.

He became one of 134 successful players at 13 courses in England, Scotland and Ireland who now go through to the 36-hole Final Qualifying next Tuesday at Gailes Links, Hillside, Sunningdale New and Woburn.

Read more: Record breaking Johannessen leads the way to Final Qualifying

Good Times for Vol Golf


The last few days have been extremely good for the Tennessee men's golf program.

On Friday, four Vol golfers compete in the 66th Annual SunTrust State Open Championship at the Belle Meade Country Club. Recent UT graduate Brandon Rodgers (pictured above) finished runner-up at the State Open with a 210 (-3). Rodgers shot rounds of 71-69-70. Making the week even more special, Rodgers celebrated his 22nd birthday on Saturday.

Former Vol golfer Marshall Talkington had a top 10 finish at the State Open, placing in a tie for 9th. The native of Jackson, Tenn., shot a 54-hole total of 215 (+2) with rounds of 75-71-69.

Current UT golfers Jack Smith and Grant Daugherty also competed in the 66th State Open, but failed to make the cut.


Rick Lamb was also in action this weekend at the Willow Creek Open in High Point, N.C. The former UT star made his first career start on the eGolf Tour circuit. Lamb finished in 3rd place after pushing the leader, Andrew Yun, for most of the tournament. 

Lamb birdied on Nos. 2, 3, 5 and 6 to push him to 11-under par early on Friday, but a bogey-birdie-bogey stretch on Nos. 13 through 15 dropped him back down to 10-under par and out of contention for the event title. Lamb was tied for 2nd place heading to the tee of the par-4 18th, but closed with a bogey to finish his week with a 70 (-2).

One final note: Next week, former Vols Jay Vandeventer and David Holmes will begin their stints on the PGA Canadian Tour starting in Vancouver.

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