E.A. Sports Today

Updated county golf notes

Ace at ACC; Watson WDs at Bay Hill after passing of friend, a past local champion

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

A hole-in-one is a thrill at any age.

Tom Roberts, 75, scored his second hole-in-one in 65 yards playing golf Wednesday when he aced No. 4 at Anniston Country Club from 164 yards with a 5-iron.

The shot was witnessed by Bob Kennamer, John Carrozza, Jim Nolen and Bob Orchid.

In other ACC news, Jack Sauers, the general manager who brought pro Jake Spott to the club, is leaving to become GM at the University of Louisville Club. It’s the home of both Louisville golf teams and he will report directly to athletics director Tom Jurich.

Head professional Jake Spott will assume the dual role of GM on an interim basis.

“My 13 months in Anniston were very good,” Sauers said. “I had a very cooperative board and they allowed me to make a lot of changes. The club is in a much more financially sound position now and with the expected growth and membership should be on solid footing for years to come.

“Jake Spott is an outstanding young man and a very good golf professional. He will continue to be instrumental in the future of Anniston Country Club. My wife, Diane, and I made many lifelong friends during my time here.”

Spott has several Demo Days planned for April — 3: Taylor Made, 17: Ping, 24: Titleist. They will run from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The Days are open to everyone, but participants are encouraged to call the pro shop to register. Participants desiring a fitting are required to register an appointment.

MOURNING MILLER: Bubba Watson withdrew from this week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational following the news of the sudden death of childhood friend and college teammate David Miller.

Miller, 36, died in his sleep Tuesday night, a day after visiting the doctor for chest congestion.

Local golfers may remember the impact Miller had here. The Daphne pro won Cane Creek’s Fort McClellan Credit Union Pro-Invitational in 2013.

He won by one shot over defending champion Kyle Sapp. It was his first win on any professional tour in five years.

“David Miller quietly showed up, made birdies and took home the winner’s check,” Cane Creek pro Kenny Szuch remembered. “After one swing I knew he had game. Some get it, some don’t; David got it. Live each day like it’s your last.”

Anniston amateur Jaylon Ellison finished ninth in the pro division that year and has played with Miller in various mini-tour events. He will be attending the funeral Friday in Fairhope.

“It’s very sad,” Ellison said. “David was always so enjoyable to compete and practice with; a true competitor who was always uplifting and encouraging.

“In my last Emerald Coast Tour event — the Tour Championship in Mississippi — I knew I had a chance to win on 17 and needed a good finish. I ended up bogeying 18 to miss the playoff by two. I was a little discouraged in the scoring tent and he was the first to lift me and share some kind words. He said keep grinding, J-Lo, the best is yet to come.”

Oxford native Nathan Bennett became close friends with Miller after moving to the Mobile area to prepare for the mini-tours. They’d often play and practice together.

“David was a man of few words, but when he did say something everyone listened,” Bennett said. “He has been one of my closer friends for the past few years; he was kind of like a big brother figure to me. I will miss our conversations and our times together on the course.”

TOUR EVENT REGISTRATION: Entries are now being accepted for the King of the Hill, the first points event of the Calhoun County Golf Tour season, next weekend at Anniston Municipal Golf Course.

Entry fee is $100, which includes registration for the CCGT. It’s $90 for those not wishing to participate in the County Tour. After the King of the Hill, the registration fee for the Tour is $25.

Players can register for the tournament at the Anniston Municipal pro shop.

Entries are also being accepted for the second Tour event, the Cider Ridge Invitational, April 25-26. Entry fee is $135 and deadline for entries is April 18.

WEAVER TOURNAMENT: The Weaver wrestling team is hosting a four-man scramble at Pine Hill Country Club May 2. Entry fee is $200 per team. Hole sponsorships are available for $100.

Tournament officials are hoping to draw at least 15 teams for this inaugural event, proceeds of which will go towards outfitting the team in new singlets and defraying travel expenses for the upcoming season. For details call 405-5090.

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