E.A. Sports Today

Brooks wins at wire

Andrew Brooks won a back-and-forth match with Adrian Geeting on Thursday with a birdie on the 18th hole. (File photo by Greg McWilliams)

Andrew Brooks won a back-and-forth match with Adrian Geeting on Thursday with a birdie on the 18th hole. (File photo by Greg McWilliams)

Top-seeded Wigington advances to third round with 3&1 victory

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

Andrew Brooks took the final match of the first round to the final hole and top-seeded Gary Wigington won the first match played in the second round as the Calhoun County Match Play Championship continued Thursday.

No. 10 Brooks scored a mild upset when he defeated No. 7 Adrian Geeting 1 up with a birdie on the 18th hole. Wigington defeated No. 8 Matt Rogers 3 & 1.

Brooks, who missed the Match Play field last year by only a few points, defined his match with Geeting at Cane Creek Golf Course as “an up-and-down, back-and-forth grind … as much back-and-forth, one-on-one competition as I’ve ever had.”

He opened a 2-up lead through four holes, but Geeting won the next there holes to forge ahead, and then the fun really began. Brooks won 8, Geeting won 9 and Brooks won 10 and 11. Geeting won 13 to draw even, Brooks went back ahead with a par on 15 and then Geeting put it inside Brooks’ fine approach on 17 to make birdie and square the match going to 18.

“Going into 17 I was 1 up and thought I’m going to try my best to hit a good shot and put pressure on him,” Brooks said. “I felt if I could go into 18 1 up I felt good about my chances not to lose the hole. When he topped my eight-footer with a four-footer and made the birdie, it was a different ball game then.”

Both players found the fairway off the tee. Geeting had to hit a big cut from 240 yards and the ball didn’t cut enough. It flew over the greenside bunker and forced him chip from off the back of the green.

Brooks’ second shot, meanwhile, caught some trees and dropped some 50 yards short of the green. He hit a bump-and-run that stopped about four feet from the hole.

Geeting ran his chip 15 feet past the hole and missed his birdie putt coming back. Brooks then knocked in “not the easiest putt I ever made” to win.

“I had an easy chip and carried it too far,” Geeting said. “It’s disappointing because it was an easy chip.”

Wigington, meanwhile, got control of his match in the middle of the front nine and played steady to the end.

The players were even through 3, then Wigington won the next three holes and carried it to the turn. Rogers birdied 10 and it stayed 2 up until Wigington won 15 to go 3 up with three to play.

Rogers added some drama when he chipped in for birdie on 16 – with Wigington looking at closing it out from 20 feet — but he hit an errant drive on 17 and the three-time reigning Player of the Year closed out the match there with a par.

“(No.) 16 for most of us is one of the hardest holes out there,” Wigington said. “I was 20 feet and you think you’re going to end it right there with a two-putt par and he chips it in. It makes you think you’d better grind it out and finish strong. It definitely made you think more and grind a little more.”

Brooks now plays No. 15 Clay Calkins in the second round. Wigington awaits the winner of Friday’s Jaylon Ellison-Billy Thompson match in Round 3.

Calhoun County Match Play Championship
(All matches at Cane Creek Golf Course)

First-round matches
Buddy Moore Bracket

No. 1 Gary Wigington def. No. 16 Jeff Borrelli, 6 & 5
No. 8 Matt Rogers def. No. 9 Scott Martin, 2 & 1
No. 13 Billy Thompson def. No. 4 Grant Hockman, 2 & 1
No. 5 Jaylon Ellison def. No. 12 Lance Evans, 2 & 1

Chris Banister Bracket
No. 15 Clay Calkins def. No. 2 Ty Cole, walkover
No. 7 Adrian Geeting vs. No. 10 Andrew Brooks, 1 up
No. 3 Jeremy McGatha def. No. 14 Nick Pollard, 5 & 4
No. 11 Daniel Black def. No. 6 Ott Chandler, 19 holes

Second-round matches
Wigington def. Rogers, 3 & 1
Thompson vs. Ellison
Calkins vs. Brooks
McGatha vs. Black

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