District 9-AAA is banding together for future competition in Conference USA.
Beech junior golfer Michael Barnard committed to MTSU on Saturday.
The 16-year-old announced his decision via his Twitter account.
“I really liked MTSU from the beginning,” said Barnard, who also had an offer from Austin Peay. “I really like the coach (Brennan Webb) a ton. Their golf program is very good. I think we’ll be very good.”
Barnard’s 9-AAA counterpart — Hendersonville junior Bryce Lewis — committed to MTSU on Monday. The close friends paired up for the Tennessee Golf Association’s 46th annual Four-Ball Championship last month, reaching the quarterfinals before falling to eventual champions Jack Smith and Ryan Greer.
“It definitely was (a factor),” Barnard said of Lewis’ commitment. “Instead of playing against him, I can play with him and hopefully have the same kind of success (that Hendersonville has enjoyed).”
Barnard’s mother, Julie Scott, played at Vanderbilt, while his father, Corey, played at Austin Peay.
This summer, Barnard finished in a four-way tie for 30th place at the Tennessee State Open, finished in a three-way tie for third at the Tennessee Junior Amateur and placed fifth in the Tennessee Junior PGA Championship.
He’s hoping for his first trip to the TSSAA State Tournament this fall, after falling one stroke short last year and two strokes shy as a freshman.
“I really want to make it this year,” Barnard said. “We’ve never had any (male golfer) from Beech make it. I’m confident with where my game is heading. I think I’ll have a chance.”
The Blue Raiders placed fifth at the Conference USA Championship in April.
Reach Craig Harris at firstname.lastname@example.org . Follow him on Twitter @CHTennessean.