Joseph Newgarden Dogwood Blossom VII Open – Roger Dickson

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It was a gorgeous day, April 7, 2012, and the sun was not the only thing shining at the Phyllis Wheatley YWCA Gym! It was the gold dollars brightening the room as the upsets just kept on happening. Bill Neely decided that rewards for great play should have some reward a few events ago and the idea has really helped pack the events in Knoxville, Tennessee.

The top four seeds sat out the morning session, as the field battled for the gold dollars and a place in the afternoon Championship division. Awaiting the qualifiers’ were Mississippi College students Zhiqiao Xie and Yang (Sam) Yu, who came in as the number one and two seeds. They made the trip to prepare for the College Nationals in Plano, TX and they did get a work out! Both players finished second in group play, but hit full stride by getting to the final and having a fierce topspin battle that culminated in yet another upset! By Sam pulling out the victory, he got not only the Championship check but a hand full of gold dollars too!

The Class A division champion Dennis Rountree confused a lot of people all day. Not only is Dennis left - handed, he also uses both a Seemiller grip and long pips! With a true mix of touch and power Dennis picked up not only the A division championship check but some more gold for upsetting Babak Fakharpour of Lexington, KY in the final.

Along with the pizza lunch there was a sheet cake for the “retirement” of club president Bill Neely. Under his watch the KTTC has grown dramatically and now Bill can actually play in the upset event he has been so instrumental in making a success! All our best to a true ambassador of the sport!

Roger Dickson

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