E.A. Sports Today

Sapp-Seaborn showdown set

[corner-ad id=2]Crafty veteran, tournament rookie hold top two spots in the Fort McClellan Credit Union pro division

Andy Shim (C) visits with the starters prior to his round in the Fort McClellan Credit Union Pro-Invitational. Shim and second-round leader Kyle Sapp (cover) waged a back-and-forth battle early in the round.

Andy Shim (C) visits with the starters prior to his round in the Fort McClellan Credit Union Pro-Invitational. Shim and second-round leader Kyle Sapp (cover) waged a back-and-forth battle early in the round.

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

The top two players on the pro leaderboard of the Fort McClellan Credit Union Pro Invitational come from opposite ends of the experience spectrum.

Kyle Sapp, a crafty veteran from Gardendale with more than 100 mini-tour starts to his credit and a half-dozen wins on the Emerald Coast Tour (including this one), carries a three-shot lead into Sunday’s final round after a “pretty stress free” second straight 71 Saturday at Cane Creek Golf Course.

Meanwhile, his closest challenger, Mason Seaborn, is just starting his journey on the professional trail. The 22-year-old Fairhope native is playing in his first multi-day event as a pro since turning after his graduation from UL-Monroe in early May.

He shot even-par 72 Saturday and is at 1-over 145.

“It’s pretty fun,” Seaborn said of this pro stuff. “I hope it’s like that for the rest of my career; I think things will be pretty good if that’s the case. I’m definitely excited about it. It’s always kind of fun coming from behind, having that opportunity.”

Sapp knows a little about what it takes to chase down the leader here. When he won here in 2012, he came from two shots behind second-round leader and future Big Break winner Jimmy Brandt to do it. But, then, he was four years into his pro career, not four weeks.

“It’s going to be a lot of fun,” Sapp said. “Tomorrow’s going to be a good little battle.”

Zach Portemont of Andalusia (146) and Andy Shim of Atlanta (147) will complete Sunday’s final foursome. Portemont moved into contention with the best round of the day, a 2-under 70. He bounced back from three straight bogeys in The Hollow with birdies on three of his last four holes.

First-round co-leader Glenn Northcutt couldn’t seem to get in a rhythm Saturday and shot 78 for a two-day total 149.

For a while it appeared as if it was going to be a Sapp-Shim Sunday Showdown, with Seaborn on the periphery. The two players swapped pieces of the lead in the middle of the round before Shim, the 2012 U.S. Junior Amateur champion, fell back with bogeys on four of his last six holes.

Shim pulled into a share of the lead for the first time with a two-shot swing on the par-5 eighth hole — his birdie to Sapp’s three-putt bogey from the upper tier.

Sapp regained the lead with a birdie on 9 — where Mason jarred a 60-degree wedge from 69 yards for eagle to join the fray. “I hit a good shot and I got a little lucky; that’s what it takes,” Seaborn said.

Shim retied it with a birdie on 10. Northcutt fell away with a 7 on 11, Seaborn fell back with a bogey-double bogey on 12 and 13 and Shim backed up with bogeys on 13, 14, 16 and 17.

“I was kind of struggling with my irons today,” Shim said. “My short game was pretty good … but it kind of got me at the end. I’ve just got to go practice. Practice makes perfect. Maybe tomorrow will be better.”

While the competition was dropping back, Sapp simply played steady. After the birdie on 9, he parred every hole on the back until closing with a birdie on 18. Seaborn, the only left-hander in the pro field, climbed back into it by making birdie on both par-5s on the back; he came within inches of an eagle on 18.

“I was just telling myself hang on, let’s survive,” Sapp said. “Priority A is making no worse than par, especially after No. 8. It’s a survival game out there. You shoot anything under par you’ve played a nice round. My goal (Sunday) really is to make a lot of pars and a few birdies.”

And let the rookie do all the grinding.

Fort McClellan Credit Union Pro-Invitational
Pro Division
Second-round scores

Kyle Sapp, Gardendale 71-71—142
Mason Seaborn, Monroe, La. 73-72—145
Zach Portemont, Andalusia 76-70—146
Andy Shim, Atlanta 73-74—147
Jaylon Ellison, Atlanta 77-71—148
Glenn Northcutt, Dothan 71-78—149
Jake Spott, Anniston 75-75—150
Garrett Burgess, Oxford 78-72—150
Neal Grusczynski, Milwaukee, Wis. 75-75—150
Tommie Bush, Pensacola, Fla. 82-75—157
Jordan Anderton, Maylene 82-76—158
a-Stephen Garner, Albany, Ga. 77-81—158
Thomas Joiner, Tallahassee, Fla. 78-84—162
Daniel Alldredge, Point Clear 81-83—164
Geno Celano, Destin, Fla. 83-87—170
Ethyn Roberts, Weaver 88-83—171

PLAYER 443 453 454 36 443 453 445 36 72

Sapp 444 452 463 36 443 453 444 35 71
Seaborn 543 453 452 35 444 643 444 37 72
Portemont 443 453 354 35 354 552 434 35 70
Shim 443 453 444 35 343 563 555 39 74

Mason Seaborn walks into his shot on the back nine Saturday. The newly declared pro is three shots off the lead going into Sunday's round.

Mason Seaborn walks into his shot on the back nine Saturday. The newly declared pro is three shots off the lead going into Sunday’s round.

Fort McClellan Credit Union Pro-Invitational
Sunday pairings

8:30 a.m. – Roger Bennett, Trey Ragland, Clark Cunningham
8:40 – Kelly Rogers, Jeff Jungers, Paul Szuch
8:50 – Mark Cotton, Tyler Teneyck, Vinny Floyd
9:00 – Jimmy Jackson, Jackson Johnson, Bo Savage, Cole McNeal
9:10 – Cory Parker, T.J. McGatha, Harrison Szuch, Rodney Guy
9:20 – Ted Heim, Steve Davis, Dan McClellan, Dennis Moyer
9:30 – Brad Hardin, Chase Hollingsworth, Keith Raisanen, Dakota Yawn
9:40 – Luke Armstrong, Rocco D’Gomez, Shane Chappell, Skip Talbert
9:50 – Austin Minter, Mike Fincher, Chase Larkin, David Sanders
10:00 – Benji Turley, Andrew Brooks, John McKenzie, Matt Rogers
10:10 – Sean Hayes, Ott Chandler, Scott Eaton, Kenny Wright
10:20 – Eric Cannington, Landon Straub, Jake Goggans, Chip Howell
10:30 – Daniel Black, Adrian Geeting, Jacob Lecroy, Tim Steward
10:40 – Layton Bussey, Chandler Wilborn, Nick Pollard, Al Johnson
10:50 – Clay Calkins, Dan Griffin, Caleb Bowen, Kenneth Patterson
11:00 – Ty Cole, Scott Martin, Caleb McKinney
11:10 – Lance Evans, Janson Wilborn, Kevin Daugherty
11:20 – Dalton Chandler, Jeremy McGatha, Gary Wigington
11:30 – Ethyn Roberts, Geno Celano, Daniel Alldredge
11:40 – Thomas Joiner, Stephen Garner, Jordan Anderton
11:50 – Tommie Bush, Neal Grusczynski, Garrett Burgess
Noon – Jake Spott, Glenn Northcutt, Jaylon Ellison
12:10 p.m. – Andy Shim, Zach Portemont, Mason Seaborn, Kyle Sapp.

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