E.A. Sports Today

Fite, Hathorn share ACC lead

[corner-ad id=2]Championship flight qualifying results and Saturday’s tee times

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

Freeman Fite goes into the weekend with a chance to make tournament history, but after Friday’s opening round that’s the farthest thing from his mind.

Fite is currently tied with legendary Chris Banister for the most wins in the history of the Wilfred Galbraith ACC Invitational (six) — and he’s tied at the top of the leaderboard today.

The defending champion and Cypress Hathorn both signed for 1-under-par 69s to grab a one-shot lead over four players – Jeremy McGatha, Seth Bryan, Ty Cole and Dan McClellan. Four others are tied at 71.

“Not really,” Fite said when asked if the record was on his mind this week. “I just want to play well. I didn’t play all that well today. … If I play well, then it’ll happen. If I don’t, then it won’t.”

Fite went out in a bogey-free 32, but had trouble maintaining his rhythm through the pace of play on the back and came home in 37. He bogeyed 18 to finish.

“I played well on the front and just stalled on the back,” he said.

Hathorn’s round featured four birdies. He played the front in 33 — with back-to-back birdies on 6 and 7 in the rain — and played the back in even-par 36. He didn’t birdie either of the par-5s on the back and made pars on 14 and 15 with the help of some favorable bounces out of the concrete spillway.

“I hit the ball really good on the front, but horrible on the back,” Hathorn said. “Those ditches were friendly today. Usually they’re not.”

Among the early finishers at 70, Bryan’s round got off to a most fortuitous start when he birdied No. 1 after his ball caromed off Billy Thompson’s ball into the cup. The former Birmingham Southern player double-bogeyed 6, then rebounded with back-to-back birdies on 7 and 8. He made two birdies on the back.

Thirty players made the cut for the championship flight. The cut score was 78, several strokes lower than it was a year ago.

STATE SENIORS: Several Calhoun County Golf Tour regulars who usually play in the ACC Invitational skipped the event this year to play in the 18th State Senior at Musgrave CC in Jasper.

Jacksonville’s Clay Calkins shot 78 and is seven shots off the lead in the 50-56 division. Anniston’s Chip Howell shot 82 in the 57-64 division. Piedmont’s David Martin and Norris Ray shot 78 and 79, respectively, in the 65-and-over division.

Defending champion Steve Hudson and David Head share the overall first-round lead after firing 2-under 69s.

Wilfred Galbraith ACC Invitational
Championship flight qualifying

Freeman Fite 69
Cypress Hathorn 69
Jeremy McGatha 70
Seth Bryan 70
Ty Cole 70
Dan McClellan 70
Richard Douglas 71
Brian Woodfin 71
Gary Wigington 71
Ott Chandler 71
Chandler Wilborn 72
Rob Davie 72
David Sanders 74
Adrian Geeting 74
Dalton Chandler 74
Jace Gordon 75
Jonathan Pate 75
Chris Weaver 75
Lance Evans 75
Adam Sanders 75
Kenneth Patterson 76
Caleb McKinney 76
Ryan Huff 76
Chad Reavis 76
Dan Griffin 76
Cole McNeal 77
Billy Thompson 77
Grant Hockman 78
Chase Thomas 78
Chad Calvert 78

Saturday’s tee times

8 a.m. – Seth Bryan, Freeman Fite, Cypress Hathorn,
8:10 – Ty Cole, Dan McClellan, Jeremy McGatha.
8:20 – Ott Chandler, Richard Douglas, Gary Wigington, Brian Woodfin.
8:30 – Ryan Abernathy, Michael Hudson, Jacob Lecroy, Michael Wiedmer.
8:50 – Rob Davie, Adrian Geeting, David Sanders, Chandler Wilborn.
9:00 – Dalton Chandler, Jace Gordon, Jonathan Pate, Chris Weaver.
9:20 – Lance Evans, Caleb McKinney, Kenneth Patterson, Adam Sanders.
9:30 – Dan Griffin, Ryan Huff, Cole McNeal, Chad Reavis.
9:40 – Chad Calvert, Grant Hockman, Chase Thomas, Billy Thompson.
11:10 – Luke Armstrong, Daniel Black, Hunter Brown, Matt Rogers.
11:20 – David Beard, Landon Straub, Janson Wilborn, Timmy Woodard.
11:30 – Caleb Bowen, Chris Cox, Keith Raisanen, Steve Taylor.
Noon – Mike Douglas, Greg Rainey, Kelly Rogers, Heath Waldrop.
12:10 p.m. – Brian Howell, Ken Howell, Bob Kennamer, Danny Smith.
12:30 – Wes Couch, Jeff Hansek, John Lindsey, Don Whitlow.
12:50 – Dale Burgess, Allen Mangham, Michael Marbut, Austin Minter.
1:10 – Scott Eaton, Ian Evans, Ryan Jones, John Tucker.
2 p.m. – Jimmy Jackson, Gordon Stewart, Eric Stringer,

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