E.A. Sports Today

Wigington completes ‘ace slam’ at Indian Oaks

 

Jim Prince (on ladder) and Cane Creek director of golf operations Kenny Szuch work on a moveable cover that will become a fixture on course's range.

Jim Prince (on ladder) and Cane Creek director of golf operations Kenny Szuch work on a moveable cover that will become a fixture on course’s range.

Couch posts another Top-5 in World Masters; 4 county teams break into preseason prep poll

 

By Al Muskewitz

East Alabama Sports Today

 

It has been some 30 years in the making, but Bob Wigington on Wednesday completed one of the coolest if not rarest feats in recreational golf.

 

When Wigington aced the 10th hole at Indian Oaks Country Club for his seventh lifetime hole-in-one, he completed the Grand Slam of aces at his home club.

 

The 73-year-old Anniston golfer has now made holes-in-one on all four par-3s on the Alexandria-area course. He started the run on No. 3, playing through in a practice round for the old Miller Tournament in the late ’70s, and in order checked off Nos. 6, 17 and, now, 10. He also has aces at Joe Wheeler State Park and Pine Hill Country Club.

 

“I kept hoping,” he said. “After you’ve had three holes-in-ones on the others … you keep trying and hoping one day maybe I can complete that Grand Slam of the par-3s. Well, it finally happened.

 

“Sometimes you can feel when you hit a good shot. When I looked up it was heading right toward the flag. It hit about five and a half feet short and (playing partner) Ed Shetter said where did it go. I said, ‘Ed, I think it went in.’”

 

Wigington hit the same Ping 5-hybrid on Wednesday’s 150-yard shot he used on his last ace at Joe Wheeler State Park in September. The other witnesses were Dave Daugherty and Reani Mattox, who also was on hand for the ace in September.

 

The shot helped him shoot 34 on the back nine for a round of 77. Course officials rewarded his feat with a new Indian Oaks cap.

 

“I’m a little bit proud and excited,” he said. “It’s kind of neat to have two holes-in-one within a year. All these years, I used to spend a good bit of time on the practice tee and taking my shag bag to the parade field (at Fort McClellan). I guess all these years of hitting practice balls paid off.”

 

And while he wasn’t exactly sure, he thought he might have more holes-in-one than his son, two-time reigning County Player of the Year Gary Wigington.

 

“I’ll have to remind of that sometime,” the elder Wigington said with a laugh.

LOCAL GOLF: There is still room for 10 players to complete a full shotgun in Friday’s opening round of the Calhoun County Senior Championship at Anniston Municipal. Because of the current size of the field consideration is being given to making Friday’s round an afternoon shotgun start. It was hoped to have two waves.

Entries will be accepted throughout the day Thursday. Entry fee is $85 for the two-day event that concludes Saturday at Cane Creek Golf Course. Check with Cane Creek (820-9174) about securing a spot. (See the list of former winners below.)

Anniston’s Jaylon Ellison will play Sheldon Statkewicz of Mobile in his opening match of the 14th State Match Play Championship Thursday at Cherokee Ridge CC. The winner of the match meets No. 2 seed Steve Hudson of Birmingham in the round of 32 later in the day.

Jacksonville State player Zach Contris of Hokes Bluff drew a first-round bye and he awaits the winner between Austin Gean of Florence and Ivan Truss of Clanton.

BIG FINISH: Anniston swimmer Bob Couch wrapped up his schedule in the World Masters Swimming Championships in Montreal Wednesday with a fourth-place finish in the men’s 65-69 200-meter individual medley in a time of 2:53.53. He went into the event seeded sixth.

The top two finishers in the event both came in under the world record.

“It was a good race for me,” he said. “I was able to come back in the second half and overcome a four-second deficit at 100 meters, touching out two guys by about a half-second each. Love it when that happens.”

Couch finished in the top seven in all five events he entered this week.

PRESEASON PREP POLL: The Alabama Sports Writers Association released its preseason high school football poll late Tuesday night and four Calhoun County schools are in their respective Top 10s.

Piedmont is the highest-ranked county team, coming in second in the Class 3A rankings. Welborn is fifth in 3A. Saks is sixth in 4A and Alexandria is ninth in 5A. Oxford received one point in the 6A poll, while Donoho collected 11 points in the 1A poll.

The respective No. 1s are Hoover (7A), Spanish Fort (6A), St. Paul’s (5A), Leeds (4A), Madison Academy (3A), Tanner (2A), Brantley (1A) and Edgewood Academy (AISA). See the complete poll below.

Al Muskewitz is Content Editor/Senior Writer of East Alabama Sports Today. He can be reached at musky@wrightmediacorp.com and followed on Twitter @easportstoday1.

CALHOUN COUNTY SENIOR GOLF CHAMPIONSHIP

Past champions

5 – David Martin (1998, 1999, 2000, 2004, 2005)

4 – Paul Powell (1988, 1989, 1991, 1992)

3 – Ralph Carter (1994, 1997, 2002); Doug Bragg (1995, 1996, 2011)

2 – James Cheatham (1986, 1987); Ted Towns (2006, 2007)

1 – Ray Burgess (1990), Clarence Pate (1993), James Ramey (2001), Pat O’Brien (2003), Robert Monroe (2008), Mike Braxton (2010), Ron McClellan (2012), Mike Zinn (2013).

 

ASWA PRESEASON FOOTBALL POLL

Class 7A

1. Hoover (32) (15-0) 384

2. Bob Jones (11-2) 233

3. McGill-Toolen (12-2) 224

4. Spain Park (8-3) 218

5. Auburn (13-2) 190

6. Central-Phenix City (6-4) 158

7. Foley (6-6) 137

8. Vestavia Hills (11-3) 133

9. Fairhope (9-3) 75

10. Prattville (7-3) 45

Others receiving votes: Smiths Station (10-3) 13, Murphy (6-5) 5, Gadsden City (5-6) 4, Baker (6-4) 3, Mountain Brook (7-4) 1, Tuscaloosa Co (7-4) 1.

Class 6A

1. Spanish Fort (29) (15-0) 370

2. Clay-Chalkville (1) (10-2) 279

3. Shades Valley (1) (10-2) 216

4. Carver-Montgomery (1) (10-3) 198

5. Opelika (7-4) 190

6. Florence (9-4) 150

7. Daphne (8-3) 147

8. Blount (9-2) 97

9. Muscle Shoals (13-2) 60

10. Bessemer City (10-2) 49

Others receiving votes: Decatur (5-6) 33, Saraland (12-2) 14, Southside-Gadsden (13-1) 7, Hartselle (8-3) 6, Scottsboro (7-4) 3, Briarwood Chr. (9-3) 2, Athens (9-4) 1, Oxford (9-3) 1, Stanhope Elmore (4-6) 1.

Class 5A

1. St. Paul’s (24) (10-3) 347

2. Pleasant Grove (3) (10-2) 249

3. Vigor (3) (2-8*) 228

4t. Central-Clay Co. (10-3) 223

4t. Jackson (1) (12-1) 223

6. Charles Henderson (1) (14-1) 160

7. J.O. Johnson (11-2) 139

8. Etowah (7-4) 67

9. Alexandria (3-7) 59

10. Guntersville (10-2) 24

*-includes five forfeit

s Others receiving votes: Dora (5-6) 20; Demopolis (7-4) 17; Madison Co. (8-3) 16; Calera (10-2) 15; Mortimer Jordan (4-7) 11, Sylacauga (8-4) 9, Greenville (2-8) 6, Eufaula (6-5) 3, Russellville (4-6) 3, Moody (6-5) 2, Lincoln (4-7) 1, Parker (8-4) 1, West Point (4-6) 1.

Class 4A 1. Leeds (16) (12-3) 332

2. UMS-Wright (12) (11-3) 321

3. Dadeville (11-2) 198

4. Straughn (10-3) 175

5. Oneonta (4) (14-1) 167

6. Saks (13-1) 165

7. Thomasville (5-6) 139

8. Deshler (8-4) 98

9. Andalusia (8-3) 50

10. Trinity (8-3) 47

Others receiving votes: Bibb Co. (10-2) 38, Fayette Co. (10-2) 38, Munford (12-2) 32, Hamilton (9-3) 6, North Jackson (2-8) 6, St. James (4-6) 6, Haleyville (10-2) 4, Childersburg (9-3) 2.

Class 3A

1. Madison Acad. (30) (15-0) 378

2. Piedmont (11-2) 271

3. T.R. Miller (2) (12-1) 267

4. Dale Co. (11-1) 192

5. Walter Wellborn (8-4) 141

6. Pike Co. (7-5) 132

7. Colbert Co. (11-2) 129

8. Glencoe (8-4) 120

9. Midfield (7-5) 59

10. Lauderdale Co. (9-3) 48

Others receiving votes: Geraldine (8-3) 15, Daleville (5-5) 14, Plainview (7-4) 12, Fultondale (10-2) 9, Gordo (7-4) 8, Oakman (10-2) 7, Montgomery Acad. (11-2) 6, Lamar Co. (10-2) 5, Aliceville (7-4) 3, Hillcrest-Evergreen (7-4) 3, Bayside Acad. (8-5) 2, Excel (5-5) 2, New Hope (8-3) 1.

Class 2A

1. Tanner (28) (13-1) 369

2. Fyffe (3) (12-2) 266

3. Lanett (1) (11-1) 251

4. Washington Co. (13-2) 238

5. Sweet Water (10-4) 161

6. G.W. Long (10-2) 160

7. Addison (9-2) 88

8. Cottonwood (6-5) 86

9. Pickens Co. (15-0) 64

10. Falkville (9-2) 54

Others receiving votes: Geneva Co. (9-3) 36, Luverne (11-2) 24, Red Bay (8-3) 13, Reeltown (7-4) 9, Gaston (7-4) 5.

Class 1A

1. Brantley (19) (11-3) 336

2. Maplesville (12) (14-1) 272

3. Linden (1) (9-4) 252

4. Hubbertville (11-3) 191

5. R.A. Hubbard (8-4) 136

6. Loachapoka (10-3) 131

7. Cedar Bluff (4-5) 11

5 8. Valley Head (9-2) 90

9. Ragland (10-2) 72

10. A.L. Johnson (7-3) 69

Others receiving votes: Marion Co. (6-4) 32, Berry (7-6) 28, J.U. Blacksher (1-9) 18, McKenzie (9-3) 16, Autaugaville (8-4) 15, Donoho (7-3) 11, Lynn (3-7) 8, Shades Mtn. Chr. (2-7) 7, Billingsley (8-3) 6, Brilliant (7-5) 6, Kinston (5-6) 5, Hackleburg (7-4) 2, Millry (3-7) 2, Gaylesville (6-5) 1, McIntosh (2-8) 1, Spring Garden (3-7) 1, Talladega Co. Cent. (5-6) 1.

AISA

1. Edgewood Acad. (30) (14-0) 378

2. Restoration (12-2) 260

3. Bessemer Acad. (12-2) 248

4. Monroe Acad. (1) (13-0) 224

5. Marengo Acad. (1) (13-0) 194

6. Wilcox Acad. (8-4) 189

7. Escambia Acad. (10-3) 112

8. Clarke Prep (8-5) 9

9 9. Autauga Acad. (8-3) 63

10. S. Choctaw Acad. (4-7) 25



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