E.A. Sports Today

McGatha wins Dub Ellis title

Jeremy McGatha (L) sinks a birdie putt on 18 to clinch the Dub Ellis Invitational at Cherokee County CC with Matt Rogers looking on. In the main photo, McGatha is congratulated by Bo Abney after the round. (Photos by Kurt Duryea)

Jeremy McGatha (L) sinks a birdie putt on 18 to clinch the Dub Ellis Invitational at Cherokee County CC with Matt Rogers looking on. In the main photo, McGatha is congratulated by Bo Abney after the round. (Photos by Kurt Duryea)

UPDATE with scores

From staff reports

CENTRE — Sometimes the hardest thing to do on a golf course is be patient. But because he was, Jeremy McGatha claimed victory Sunday afternoon.

McGatha won his third Dub Ellis Memorial Invitational title and first since 2011 when he shot a final-round 70 at Cherokee County Country Club.

He finished at 6-under-par 136 and won by three shots over Skyler Dennis of Phenix City and Chad Calvert of Boaz. Anniston’s Matt Rogers was fourth at 140.

Because he kept things together when he turned in 2-over for the day, bogeying Nos. 8 and 9, McGatha was in the right position to pounce when first-round leader Bo Abney faltered late in the round. McGatha, a former CCCC member and club champion, took the lead with four holes to play, then birdied 16 and 18 to slam the door.

“I was trying my darndest to shoot a low score and it wasn’t happening,” McGatha said. “But I never started forcing it and going for stuff.

“Over all the years I’ve played, I’ve learned golf is a game of patience; you can’t force things. Matt (Rogers) always tells me you never know what you’re going to look like until they finish the picture; when you start forcing things is when you blow it.”

McGatha started the day three shots behind Abney, a teacher and coach from Acworth, Ga., and was four back at the turn. There was a two-shot swing on 10, then McGatha drew even on 13 when he got up and down from the woods for par and Abney double-bogeyed.

McGatha passed his playing partner on the next hole when he parred again and Abney made 8.

“I feel for Bo,” McGatha said. “I’ve been in his position. It’s tough when you’ve got it and you have a couple bad holes.”

Meanwhile, players were charging from behind.

Dennis and Calvert were both at 3-under for the day through 15 holes and a shot off the lead. Dennis birdied 16 to tie McGatha, but the eventual winner birdied right behind him to stay on top.

“I watched him birdie to go 4-under, so I knew I needed to birdie or at least par to keep pace,” McGatha said. “I hit the putt a little left, but it broke and broke and curled and fell in at the end.”

Dennis then bogeyed 17. McGatha finished with a flourish, hitting his second shot on 18 to within three feet and making the clinching birdie.

“They told me I had a two-shot lead going into 18, but I didn’t know for sure,” McGatha said. “I had a lot of demons on my shoulder. All I was thinking about was that double (bogey) in the Gadsden City Championship to lose by one and I didn’t want to have that again. I had to step back and take a deep breath.”

At Cherokee County CC
Final scores

Championship flight

Jeremy McGatha 66-70—136
Skyler Dennis 71-68—139
Chad Calvert 71-68—139
Matt Rogers 67-73—140
Kenneth Patterson 70-71—141
Bo Abney 63-79—142
Clay Calkins 72-72—144
Stephen Keen 72-73—145
Brad Crowe 71-75—146
Jaylon Ellison 71-75—146
David Martin 71-76—147
Sid Garrett 72-77—149
David Garrett 67-WD

First flight

Jake Minnix 74-68—142
Jon Bailey 74-68—142
Clay Stephenson 73-71—144
Wayne Garrett 73-72—145
Ty Cole 75-70—145
Hal Lamb 75-70—145
Byron Reed 74-72—146
Nick Pollard 75-72—147
Lee Morgan 73-75—148
Eric Abernathy 73-76—149
Shawn Wigley 74-80-154
Kaleb Kines 75-80—155
Tim Hill 75-81—156
Grant Hockman 74-83—157
Dawson Garrett 75-87—158

Second flight

Jeremy Rieger 76-72—148
Eddie Robertson 77-73—150
Scott Hays 77-77—152
Johnny Bentley 76-77—153
Terry Adams 77-77—154
Kim Nichols 78-77—155
Beau Gammage 76-80—156
Looney Atkinson 78-82—160
Doug East 76-85—161
TJ McGatha 78-83—161
Tim Gamble 78-84—162

Third flight

Brady Garrett 79-74—153
Mike Granato 79-76—155
Billy Mack Garrett 79-76—155
Stacy Willis 79-78—157
Casey McGinnis 79-78—157
Sean Webb 79-80—159
Robin Wood 80-79—159
Adam Lawrence 80-79—159
Ted Heim 79-81—160
Kurt Duryea 79-82—161
Trai West III 79-82—161
Wendell Pruitt 79-83—162
Carson Garrett 80-82—162
Jeff Woodall 80-83—163
Gary Martin 79-86—165
Renae Coley 79-87—166
Scotty McFry 80-88—168
Jeremy Willis 79-WD

Fourth flight
(One-day shootout)

Jeffrey Lindsey 42-37—79
Alex Russell 38-41—79
Ricky Hairston 39-41—80
Brad Coley 41-40—81
Howard Mackey 41-41—82
Steve Baker 39-45—84
Colby Abernathy 43-41—84
Larry Haynes 42-43—85
Phillip Hicks 42-44—86
Tommy Collins 41-46—87
Paul Gentry 42-46—88
Ricky Young 44-45—89
Caden Garrett 44-47—91
Randy Kelley 40-52—92
Thomas Russell 45-48—93

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