E.A. Sports Today

Winfrey sharpest at Cider Ridge

Wins event with net birdie on 18th hole; updates with Lindsey’s first win on GC Am Tour

By East Alabama Sports Today

OXFORD — Landon Winfrey has always liked match play, but he never thought he was very good at it.

He might want to rethink that approach after defeating Lance Evans 1 up Friday to win The Sharps Match Play Championship at Cider Ridge Golf Club.

“I’ve always enjoyed it — it’s different kind of golf — but I don’t usually do well in it,” he said.

He did all right in this tournament, defeating Daniel Black, Nick Pollard and Jason Johnson.

The 26-year-old was getting six strokes from his Evans in the net event and won it with a net birdie on 18.

Evans was 2 up through 10 holes, but Winfrey turned the tables by winning holes 11 through 14 — two with natural birdies and one with a stroke. Evans squared the match by winning 16 and 17 with pars before Winfrey won 18 by playing conservatively.

He hit driver, 5-wood and sand wedge to reach the green. Both players had about 10 feet for birdie and two-putted to end the match.

“I knew I had to keep it in play off the tee,” he said. “That last hole it was a little nerve-wracking. My long ball wasn’t good all day; I just had to grind it out.”

Evans wasn’t down long after the setback. On Saturday he was playing in the Golf Channel Am Tour Iron Bowl Classic at Greystone Golf & Country Club. Oxford friend and Sunny King Classic sponsor John Lindsey also was playing in the event.

Evans has won several GC Am Tour events already this season to qualify for the national championship. Lindsey was playing in his second event, having finished second in his flight in his debut at Highland Park two weeks ago.

Lindsey won his Snead Flight Saturday by one shot and moved a step closer to joining Evans at the national championship tournament. He needs two more wins, a high finish in the points standings or a promotion to a higher flight.

Understandably, Evans explained, Lindsey was a little nervous in his debut and was feeling some jitters with a modest crowd gathering around the first tee. His friend didn’t want to take driver on the short par-4 and risk an embarrassing start.

So, he took out a 3-wood and landed his first tee shot 10 feet from the pin. He made the birdie and wound up shooting 87.

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