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Despite tough final day, Cornett makes presence felt at East Tennessee Amateur

In what is considered to be Northeast Tennessee's premier amateur golf tournament, Mountain City's own Josh Cornett was in contention on the final day.
Though a two-over round of 74 did him in on Sunday, Cornett finished the tournament a very respectable -5 and as a result finished tied for seventh at the prestigious East Tennessee Amateur Golf Tournament at Elizabethton Golf Course.
Church Hill's Carlson Cox won the tournament at -14, but on Saturday the day belonged to Cornett.
Cornett finished with a 66 on Saturday to come into Sunday's round just one shot off the lead.
However, Sunday belonged to Cox and Tusculum golfer David Talley, who finished one back at -13 after coming through with a 64 on the day.
Meanwhile, Cornett actually improved to -8 after a birdie on the fifth, but found trouble in the latter part of his Sunday round.
On 18, Cornett missed a par putt to drop him down to -5, but for the former All-State golfer from Johnson County, his accomplishment was nothing to be ashamed of.
Cornett had his highest E.T.A. finish to date and has asserted himself as one of the top amateur golfers on the local tour.
“I would rate this a seven out of town,” Cornett said. “First two rounds I played awesome. Even when I shot 71 on Friday I was four-under through six holes and just gave it back and yesterday I played great, but today nothing went in.
“The turning point was when I had a shank off the No. 12 golf tee and once you do that you're scared. It was a great learning experience and the best tournament I've had so far. I'm improving and getting to where I want to be.”
The putts that were going in on Saturday were not going in Sunday and that also led to Cornett falling out of contention.
“It's all about making putts and my score showed it,” Cornett said. I put two rounds together, but not three.”
At a normal local golf tournament, the second round would have been the end of the event and Cornett would have finished in second place, but this tournament is the prized jewel of Northeast Tennessee golf and this was a three-round tourney.
“This is way better than a normal event,” Cornett said.
For 40 holes, Cornett played with the very best and he defeated many golfers from his conference and people who came as far away as Ohio to play in this tournament.
Cornett now has the confidence to know he is among the best of the best.
“I'm doing things that I have never done in golf,” the Lincoln Memorial senior said. “I think only one person from our conference beat me and that was David. I played two or three last year and I don't know why this year I can't play No. 1. I'm playing good golf, I just had one bad swing.”
Cornett is focusing on finishing on Sundays in these amateur tournaments and hopefully getting that first amateur victory as an adult.
“I want to win a golf tournament before the summer ends,” Cornett said. “This is the closest I've been in the E.T.A. I shot even par last year and was five strokes better this year. Maybe I'll get it next year, but I still have some summer tournaments coming up. I've learned a lot about the psychological part of golf.”
The improvement Cornett has made both in his golf game and in his maturity level can be pointed back to 2009 when he was very frustrated after missing the cut in the E.T.A.
Since that moment, Cornett has done everything in his life to get his golf game where it needs to be and to also show positive vibes on the golf course.
All this has led to Cornett contending for a prestigious championship, the same one where just two years ago he had one of his lowest moments of his golfing career.
“I still get mad on the golf course, but who doesn't,” he said. “It takes a lot for me to get upset now. Sam Adams at Red Tail has helped me so much and has taught me so much about the mindset.”
Expect so much more from Cornett as he has one more year of college and then in his adult life.
“I'm planning on getting better and better,” Cornett said. “You have to sleep on that practice range to outwork me.”