E.A. Sports Today

Golf roundup

Chandler, Ellison close strong to pull within 5 at State Senior Four-Ball

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

ALEXANDER CITY – The score wasn’t close to what they wanted, but Ott Chandler and Dusty Ellison at least had a strong finish to carry them into the next round.

Chandler, a McClellan resident, and former Oxford resident Ellison birdied three of their last five holes to shoot 4-under-par 68 and stand among seven teams tied for seventh after the opening round of the 20th State Senior Four-Ball at windy Willow Point Golf & Country Club.

Robert Nelson of Fairhope and Walker Grant of Montgomery shot 9-under 83 and hold a three-shot lead over Lester Mitchell and Moses Ngirailab. Four other teams are at 5-under. Nelson made a hole-in-one.

“We hung in there,” Chandler said. “That (finish) shows me if we had played like that the whole day, the way we’re supposed to play, we’d have been right in there with them. It gives us confidence going into tomorrow.

“I told Dusty if we shoot 4-under on the back we’d be right in there with them. I didn’t think they’d shoot 9-under in this wind. I thought there’d be a 6 and we’d be two or three (shots) out. We’re in there. Check out tomorrow, same bat time, same bat channel.”

The local pair played the back nine in even-par going out, making a birdie at 12 and a three-putt bogey on 17. Coming home, away from the lake, they birdied 2, 5, 6 and 9.

“I woke up after the (first) nine and played good on (their) back nine,” Chandler said. “If it hadn’t been for Dusty on the front we’d have shot 3- or 4-over.”

SHARP PLAYING: The first three matches in the Sharps Match Play Championship at Cider Ridge are in the books.

Landon Winfrey upset Daniel Black 2 & 1, top-seeded Lance Evans defeated Jamie Strickland 2 & 1 and Nick Pollard edged Jake Goggans 1 up.

The remaining first round matches: Steve Minton vs. Benji Turley; Billy Thompson vs. Ryan Huff; Eric Cannington vs. Chase Thomas; Jason Johnson vs. Danny Smith; and Tim Steward vs. Timmy Woodard. Most of the remaining matches are tentatively scheduled for Sunday.

ACE IN THE CROWD: Doug Sears is back playing golf after several years away and it was like he was never away.

Sears scored his 14th lifetime hole-in-one Thursday when he aced No. 3 at Pine Hill Country Club. It played 153 yards and he used a 6-iron.

ON THE LEADERBOARD: Chris Dyda, Mike Jones, Rick Clay and Tucker Pearson shot 6-under 30 to win the daytime wave of Pine Hill’s Night Tournament earlier this week. They won by a shot over Carter Gable, Derek Webb, John Roe and Matt Rogers.

Nick Pollard, Jeff Roszell, Jaren Humphrey and Chase Hollingsworth shot 5-under and won the nighttime wave. They edged John Reynolds, Al Reynolds, Doyle Hard and Kevin Hard.

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