E.A. Sports Today

Shields, Ellison win Two-Man in playoff

UPDATED: Shields’ long birdie putt on first extra hole brings team repeat title

P.J. Shields raises his putter in triumph after sinking a 35-foot birdie putt on the first playoff hole in the County Two-Man Sunday.

P.J. Shields raises his putter in triumph after sinking a 35-foot birdie putt on the first playoff hole in the County Two-Man Sunday.

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

P.J. Shields figured he’s made hundreds of putts behind his partners over the years, but he can’t remember many with so much on the line. And never that long.

Shields coaxed in a 35-foot birdie putt on the first hole of a sudden death playoff to give him and partner Jaylon Ellison their second straight Calhoun County Two-Man Championship at Cane Creek Golf Course Sunday.

They won the playoff over first-round leaders Gary Wigington and Ty Cole. Both teams shot 17-under-par 127 in regulation.

The winners, who started the day three shots back and were that far behind with seven holes to play, posted the day’s best round, a 63. Including the playoff, they played their last three holes of the tournament in 4-under-par.

“Did I really just do that?” Shields said recounting his initial thought when the playoff putt disappeared into the cup. “I’ve made putts 100 times like that, but not when it really counts, and mostly they’re a lot shorter.

“Under the gun, to make a 30-, 35-footer was very …. fortunate and blessed.”

The field played a scamble format in Sunday’s round, but the playoff was a scramble. Ellison was the first to putt on the extra hole and he just missed on the edge, but his effort gave Shields the look he needed.

Wigington and Cole had the advantage on the green and were in there about 15 feet for their birdie, but the hole shrunk considerably after Shields made his putt. Cole left his putt just on the edge.

Wigington and Cole led virtually the entire tournament, but found themselves having to rally to force the playoff.

They forced extra holes by going birdie-birdie on 17 and 18. They were glad to be there considering they’ve only played about 10 combined rounds since August, but were disappointed the championship had come down to that.

“The whole day was disappointing, really,” Wigington said. “It was our tournament to win … but we lost it.”

“The ham and egg that we had yesterday got fried,” Cole said. “Us not playing all winter got exposed today.”

Shields and Ellison trailed by three after a bogey on 12, but they took the lead by going eagle-birdie on 18 and 1. Ellison made a 30-footer on 18 — hitting a 6-iron from 195 yards with Shields out of the hole — and a 12-footer on 1.

“I told (Shields) on 18 tee if went 3-3 we may have a chance for a playoff, and we needed it,” Ellison said. “We were just hoping for a playoff.”

Interestingly, Ellison is one of the better ball-strikers in the area, but his putting stats had fallen to the bottom of the Calhoun County Golf Tour rankings for players who were eligible last season. Recognizing the weakness, he sought professional help this off season and the recent adjustments he made to that part of his game clicked at the most opportune time this weekend.

In addition to it being his second straight Two-Man title with Shields and at least third in a row, it was Ellison’s ninth win in the event in the last 13 years.

“Those two putts he made coming in were just absolutely clutch,” Shields said. “The one thing you had to do to get into a playoff or for a chance at a playoff or to win he did.”

The eagle on 18 was their second of the round. They started the day with an eagle at the par-4 second. By the time they made their turn they were tied for the lead.

“We were eager to tee off today because we felt like we left a few out there yesterday,” Ellison said. “We felt if we played our game we could get ourselves to a playoff and today we played better than we did yesterday, especially late. As a team we played real well under the gun.”

Jaylon Ellison pumps his fist after sinking a 30-foot eagle putt on 18 to give his team the tournament lead.

Jaylon Ellison pumps his fist after sinking a 30-foot eagle putt on 18 to give his team the tournament lead.

Calhoun County Two-Man Championship
At Cane Creek GC

Championship flight
x-Jaylon Ellison-P.J. Shields 64-63—127
Gary Wigington-Ty Cole 61-66-127
Chandler Wilborn-Janson Wilborn 66-66—132
Clay Calkins-Chip Howell 66-66—132
Jeremy McGatha-Grant Hockman 66-68—134
Benji Turley-Eric Cannington 63-72—135
Vernon Marcoullier-Josh Poole 66-70—136

First flight
Kenny Wright-Adrian Geeting 67-68-135
Sam Sanders-Ted Heim 68-67—135
Nick Pollard-Daniel Black 67-69—136
George Salmon-Lee Waldron 67-71—138
Luke Armstrong-Dane Moore 68-70—138
Dan McClellan-Dan Griffin 68-70—138
Jake Goggans-Rob Davie 69-70—139
Caleb McKinney-Landon Straub 68-71—139
Chuck Woodard-Tim Steward 69-72—141

Second flight
Timmy Woodard-Billy Thompson 70-66—136
Austin Minter-Will Brown 70-68—138
Shane Chappell-Matt Miller 70-70—140
Andrew Brooks-Steve Akers 71-70—141
Sean Hayes-Vince Floyd 72-72—144
Brad Hardin-Richard Hughes 70-77—147
Randy Carroll-Jackson Johnson 73-76—149
Jimmy Jackson-Tim Frederick 71-88—159

Third flight
Michael Ray-Terry Cobb 74-79—153
Rick Dickson-John McKenzie 76-78—154
Clark Cunningham-Tyler Teneyck 80-81—161

x-won on first hole of playoff

Boom! Ty Cole shows his intensity after sinking a birdie putt on 17 Sunday to give his team a chance to force a playoff on 18.

Boom! Ty Cole shows his intensity after sinking a birdie putt on 17 Sunday to give his team a chance to force a playoff on 18.



You must be logged in to post a comment Login