E.A. Sports Today

Etter improves, but misses mark

Local pros go in opposite directions in the Dixie Section Assistant Championship

BIRMINGHAM — Cory Etter and Brennan Clay went in opposite directions in the second round of the Dixie Section Assistant Championship at Riverchase CC Tuesday, neither advancing to the national championship later this year.

Pine Hill pro Etter made a 10-shot improvement over his opening-round score, shooting a bogey-free 5-under-par 67, and finished at even-par 144. Silver Lakes’ Clay went into the day two shots off the lead, but shot 82 and finished at 155.

Zach Portemont of Birmingham won the tournament with a second-round 64, another 10-shot improvement over his opening-round score. Birmingham’s Todd McCorkle, last week’s Dixie Senior PGA champion, claimed the second spot to the nationals from the event.

The difference in Etter’s round was evident. On Monday, he missed one fairway and six greens, but was 0-for-6 getting up and down. On Tuesday, he missed two fairways and two greens, and got up and down both times. He also made two birdies putts of at least 25 feet.

“I hit my irons better and chipped and putted a little better,” Etter said. “I live by the saying you can’t win the first day, but you can lose it and yesterday’s score put me out of it.

“I got a new set of irons about a week ago and only played with them three times up to today. Yesterday, I wasn’t trusting that little fade and today I trusted it and hit the ball good.”

He was playing in the event for the first time since winning it in 2006 and 2007 as the assistant pro at Cider Ridge.

A tough day off the tee and two big numbers did in Clay. He made a triple bogey on 3 and a quadruple-bogey on 13.

“I didn’t hit the ball good off the tee at all,” he lamented.

ACE IN THE CROWD: Danny Jones scored a hole-in-one at Stoney Brook Golf Course on Monday. He aced the 169-yard second hole with an 8-iron. The shot was witnessed by Sonny Gray, Guy Rose, Charles Sivley and Don Willis.

The ace will now be recorded in the “Aces In the Crowd” registry elsewhere on the East Alabama Sports Today webpage.

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