E.A. Sports Today

Locals come up short in ECT finale

Anniston players stumble in rain coming home, Rousey wins in playoff

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

Garrett Burgess and Jaylon Ellison were locked in a heated battle coming down the stretch Monday in the Emerald Coast Tour Championship, but stumbled in the rain down the stretch and missed a three-way playoff for the title.

Former Anniston resident Nick Rousey won the event – and the $10,000 first prize – ending a blistering final round with a birdie on the first extra hole. Rousey shot 10-under 62 at Hickory Hill CC in Gautier, Miss., to join a playoff with second-round co-leaders Jimmy Brandt and Glen Day at 14-under 202.

Burgess, Ellison, Brandt, Day and the already-finished Rousey were all tied for the lead when the final group stood on the 15th tee.

“It was kind of good because we were all there, nobody was out of it; you felt like you had a shot,” Burgess said. “We were right there neck-and-neck all day long and the last three holes were a game-changing event.”

Burgess actually held the outright lead through seven holes, but neither he nor Ellison could close.

Burgess bogeyed 15, 16 and 17 and Ellison played the final three holes in 1-over with a three-putt bogey and they finished in a three-way tie for fourth at 204. They were joined by Michael Arnuaud, who shot a final-round 64.

“You’ve got to be able to make putts to win those types of tournaments,” Ellison said. “I didn’t have my flat stick working today and didn’t finish.”

Rousey’s putter certainly was working. He reportedly made five putts longer than 30 feet and dropped a 20-foot birdie putt on the first playoff hole.

ACE IN THE CROWD: Brandon Roberts scored his second hole-in-one in two months Monday when he aced Mindbreaker No. 4 at Silver Lakes. He used a 6-iron from 181 yards. The shot was witnessed by Nate Pearce, Paul Bender and Todd Pate.

Roberts’ first hole-in-one came on No. 17 at Cider Ridge in the Sunny King Charity Classic and earned him two airline tickets. This one cost him a little in the traditional celebratory buying.

“This one didn’t sink it because I didn’t see it,” Roberts said. “The other one was kind of exciting because I got to watch it. This one, somebody else walked up and told me it was in there.

“At first I didn’t believe them. That hole goes uphill and over a hump and I didn’t see it. We got up there and one was right by the hole (Pearce’s) and we couldn’t find mine – and mine was in. To go from none to two in a couple months is pretty cool.”

Roberts’ hole-in-one will be permanently recorded in the East Alabama Sports Today repository of county aces.

FOOTGOLF FIRST: Santiago Balma, a former kicker on Weaver’s football team, made Alabama FootGolf history Monday when he scored the first hole-in-one on McClellan’s first-in-state FootGolf course.

Balma, a native of Uruguay, scored his 1 on the 59-yard first hole of the city’s test course. He started eagle-birdie-eagle (1-3-3).

MATCH DELAYED: Jeremy McGatha and Andrew Brooks tried to play their Match Play Championship semifinal Monday, but the weather chased them from the course. It was uncertain when they’d be able to get together again.

Ellison and top-seeded Gary Wigington are scheduled to play their semifinal Tuesday at Cane Creek.

NEXT ON THE TEE: Ellison, Matt Rogers and Lance Evans will be representing Calhoun County in the 26th State Mid-Amateur Championship that starts Friday at Montgomery Country Club.

Golden Nugget ECT Tour Championship
At Hickory Hill CC, Gautier, Miss.

x-Nick Rousey, Pensacola, Fla., $10,000 68-72-62—202
Jimmy Brandt, Auburn, $2,150 64-67-71—202
Glen Day, Little Rock, Ark., $2,150 64-67-71—202
a-Jaylon Ellison, Anniston 65-68-71—204
Michael Arnuaud, Mandeville, La., $1,200 73-67-64—204
Garrett Burgess, Anniston, $1,200 64-68-72—204
Pope Sprueill, Livingston, $900 68-69-68—205
Chase Blaich, Defuniak Springs, Fla., $300 72-67-69—208
Kyle Sapp, Gardendale, $300 74-65-69—208
Jared Garcia, Jacksonville, Fla. 71-71-69—211
David Miller, Daphne 75-71-66—212
Brandon Godwin, Montgomery 68-73-73—214
Jordan Anderton, Birmingham 73-72-71—216
Kenny Perry, Ocean Springs, Miss. 77-69-70—216
Cole Claassen, Ozark 73-70-79—222
Evan Berry, Gulfport, Miss. 73-72-78—223
Thomas Joiner, Tallahassee, Fla. 74-74-75—223
Andrew Richards, Arkadelphia, Ark. 78-76-71—225
Jerry Covich, Ocean Springs, Miss. 76-77-76—229
Nathan Bennett, Daphne 77-75-81—233
a-Trent Adams, Korisco, Miss. 72-74-WD
x-Won on first playoff hole

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