E.A. Sports Today

McGatha wins at ACC

[corner-ad id=2]Shoots 69 in final round, wins his first ACC title and county’s first major by 3 shots

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

Jeremy McGatha admitted he was as nervous as he’s ever been in a golf tournament, but being able to play through it and win a major championship in the county tells him there are better things to come in a playing career that’s already been pretty good.

McGatha shot a final-round 69 Sunday and kept it together down the stretch to win the Wilfred Galbraith ACC Invitational at Anniston Country Club.

His three-day total of 5-under 205 was three shots better than Ty Cole. They were tied after 13 holes and Cole bogeyed three of his last five. They were the only two players in the field to finish under par.

It was McGatha’s first win in what he considers one of Calhoun County’s two major championships and his eighth career win on the Calhoun County Golf Tour. He now needs only the Pine Hill Invitational to complete a career sweep of the points events currently on the Tour schedule.

“I really wanted this one bad,” he said coming off the 18th green. “I’m just glad I got through it.

“I fought it hard today. I was a nervous wreck. But I did it. I was as nervous today as I’ve been in a long time, and I did it.”

He thought about it for a moment then said it reminded him to the overnight feeling before he and Jaylon Ellison won their first Sunny King Charity Classic title in 2003.

McGatha held a three-shot overnight lead over Cole and defending champion Freeman Fite and said he had a restless night thinking about the day ahead. He chipped in for birdie on 1 and the chase was on.

“Had it not gone in and I miss a six-footer for par coming back and they both make birdie, I might not be sitting here right now,” McGatha said. “Fortunately mine went in first. It was a fortunate shot.”

Cole played the front nine in 4-under to get within one of the lead and finally caught McGatha on 10 after his third straight birdie. The front-runners traded bogeys on the next two holes – with Fite rejoining the conversation with a chip-in eagle on 11 – and were tied through 13 holes.

The whole tournament turned on 14 after Cole got what he called “probably THE worst break I’ve ever gotten on a golf course – and I’ve been playing a long time.”

With McGatha appearing to be in trouble off the tee, Cole hit a big drive that cleared all the trouble. But his ball took a hard bounce when it hit and shot across the fairway, eventually tumbling into the hazard under some overhanging vegetation some 50 yards from where Cole anticipated the ball landing.

The series points leader took a stroke-and-distance drop and made bogey, but admitted “I never recovered from that.” He got back in play from a pulled drive on 15, but missed a three-footer for par and bogeyed 17 when he needed eagle.

“After that bad a bounce I was fried,” he said. “To have that happen when it happened … the only thing worse would have been to have it happen on 17.”

Chad Calvert shot the best round of the day, a 2-under 68 that elevated him to the Championship B flight crown. Chandler Wilborn bounced back with a 74 to win the Championship C flight. The Players flights winners were Timmy Woodard (A), Mike Douglas (B) and Bob Kennamer (C).

The tournament committee tested the 29 championship flight players by lengthening three holes in the final round. The par-4 ninth played from the No. 5 tee box, the par-4 10th, shortened to 250 yards on Saturday, stretched to 350 and the par-3 12th played to 220.

No. 9 played to a stroke average of 4.48 with four birdies and 14 bogeys and others. No. 10 played to a stroke average of 4.58 with two birdies and five doubles and others. No. 12 played to a stroke average of 3.45 with one birdie (David Sanders) and 13 bogeys and others.

The next event on the Calhoun County Golf Tour is the Fort McClellan Credit Union Pro-Invitational June 5-7 at Cane Creek GC.

LEADERS SCORECARDS
Player 444 334 444 34 453 444 354 36 70

McGatha 343 423 544 32 454 444 354 37 69
Cole 343 334 433 30 363 455 364 39 69
Wigington 443 335 443 33 443 455 344 36 69
D. Chandler 434 335 454 35 463 434 335 35 70
Fite 355 334 344 34 434 446 364 38 72

Wilfred Galbraith ACC Invitational

Championship flight A
Jeremy McGatha 70-66-69—205
Ty Cole 70-69-69—208
Dalton Chandler 74-66-70—210
Gary Wigington 71-70-69—210
Freeman Fite 69-70-72—211
Ott Chandler 71-73-74—218
Cole McNeal 77-68-75—220
Seth Bryan 70-71-83—224
Cypress Hathorn 69-75-83—227

Championship flight B
Chad Calvert 78-71-68—217
Adam Sanders 75-72-77—224
David Sanders 74-74-76—224
Lance Evans 75-76-74—225
Jonathan Pate 75-73-79—227
Caleb McKinney 76-75-77—228
Adrian Geeting 74-76-79—229
Dan McClellan 70-80-79—229
Kenneth Patterson 76-75-78—229
Rob Davie 72-74-84—230
Grant Hockman 78-73-86—237
Richard Douglas 71-77-WD

Championship flight C
Chandler Wilborn 72-81-74—227
Jace Gordon 75-80-72—227
Chris Weaver 75-79-74—228
Brian Woodfin 71-82-78—231
Chase Thomas 78-78-75—231
Chad Reavis 76-78-82—236
Ryan Huff 76-77-84—237
Billy Thompson 77-78-82—237
Dan Griffin 76-83-85—244

Players Flight A
Timmy Woodard 72-73—145
Chris Cox 75-75—150
Matt Rogers 76-74—150
Allen Mangham 76-75—151
Daniel Black 73-80—153
John Tucker 76-78—154
Jacob Lecroy 76-79—155
Danny Smith 78-80—158
Hunter Brown 73-87—160
Michael Wiedmer 77-83—160
Ryan Abernathy 78-82—160
David Beard 78-82—160
Austin Minter 78-86—164
Caleb Bowen 76-91—167

Players Flight B
Mike Douglas 79-75—154
Janson Wilborn 82-76—158
Ryan Jones 81-78—159
Ian Evans 80-82—162
Landon Straub 81-82—163
Brian Howell 79-85—164
Michael Marbut 79-88—167
Keith Raisanen 83-86—169
John Lindsey 83-86—169
Eric Stringer 83-88—171
Gordon Stewart 83-93—176
Jeff Hansek 83-95—178

Players Flight C
Bob Kennamer 86-80—166
Michael Hudson 87-83—170
Steve Taylor 85-86—171
Dale Burgess 85-90—175
Heath Waldrop 88-89—177
Don Whitlow 86-92—178
Ken Howell 89-93—182
Wes Couch 89-93—182
Jimmy Jackson 92-92—184
Kelly Rogers 88-96—184
Greg Rainey 93-95—188

Calhoun County Golf Tour
Players Points Standings

Name Total
Ty Cole 800
Gary Wigington 762.5
Jeremy McGatha 725
Ott Chandler 606.7
Dalton Chandler 570
Caleb McKinney 512.5
Adrian Geeting 490
Chandler Wilborn 472.5
Billy Thompson 469.2
Matt Rogers 440
Dan Griffin 437.5
Janson Wilborn 390
Daniel Black 387.5
Jonathan Pate 387.5
Lance Evans 371.7
Cole McNeal 357.5
Dan McClellan 320
Jake Goggans 317.5
Austin Minter 290
Eric Cannington 260
Jacob Lecroy 260
Andrew Brooks 257.5
Caleb Bowen 247.5
Landon Straub 222.5
Keith Raisanen 217.5
Kelly Rogers 200
Nick Pollard 192.5
Benji Turley 192.5
Kevin Daugherty 187.5
Clay Calkins 152.5
Tim Steward 147.5
Brandon Roberts 147.5
Dustin Travis 145
Jeff Borrelli 122.5
Chip Howell 112.5
Jimbo Phillips 105
Ted Heim 102.5
Kenny Wright 97.5
Scott Eaton 92.5
Ted Saylors 87.5
George Salmon 85
T.J. McGatha 72.5
Layton Bussey 70
Josh Poole 55
Davis Glass 50
Brad Hardin 50
Luke Armstrong 50
Al Muskewitz 50



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