E.A. Sports Today

Twig off to another fast start

[corner-ad id=1]Reigning Player of the Year makes seven birdies, opens four-shot lead in Pro-Invitational amateur side

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

Every time Gary Wigington tees it up you know he’s going to be a tournament factor, and he always is when it comes to the Calhoun County Golf Tour. But when he thinks he’s going to play well it makes him doubly dangerous.

The three-time reigning Calhoun County Player of the Year is in one of those modes this week.

Boosted with an extra dose of confidence, he went out and shot 5-under-par 67 to open a four-shot lead in the amateur portion of the Fort McClellan Credit Union Pro-Invitational at Cane Creek Golf Course.

“I started hitting the ball real good at the Country Club and got to feeling real good and it’s been getting a little bit better as I go,” Wigington said. “Coming into this week I played good in a lot of the practice rounds, hit some real good shots, putted good; kind of everything was hitting on all cylinders and I felt real confident.

“There aren’t many times during the year that you feel strong about every part of your game. There’s a few weeks out of the year you feel ‘I’m going to play good.’ That’s the way I felt all week.”

Usually, that feeling doesn’t find its way into his bag until around the Sunny King Charity Classic, but he’s way ahead of schedule because he’s getting to play a little more than usual. The Classic is still more than a month away. Earlier this week he won a PGA Dixie Section event with Pine Hill pro Cory Etter.

Wigington opened his round Saturday with two straight birdies — chipping in on 1 — and three straight 3s. He made seven birdies altogether offset by bogeys at the par-5 eighth and par-3 15th. It was the third time this season he had seven birdies in a Calhoun County Golf Tour round.

Jeremy McGatha was the only other player in the amateur field to shoot under par (71). He didn’t make his first birdie until No. 9, but had four in his last 10 holes and three bogeys. Kevin Daugherty and Dalton Chandler are another shot behind him.

“All day I’m trying to catch Twig,” McGatha said. “It’s like that guy out here he’s got it figured out. He’s hard to beat out here. Here and Pine Hill it’s like wow, you’d better be on your game to beat him.

“You could tell today. It looked to me he had a good warm-up session on the range and then we go to the first tee and he chips in on 1. To me, one of the most underestimated parts of Twig’s game is his short game. He has one of the best short games in this area, if not in Alabama. He can chip and when he’s putting good he’s hard to beat.”

Daugherty looked like he was in for a real big day early. He started birdie-eagle, holing out from 65 yards on No. 2, and turned in 2-under. But four bogeys on the back – wrapped around a birdie at 14 – thwarted the bid.

“I was just hoping to keep it in the red,” the former Anniston CC pro said. “I couldn’t do that though. Four bogeys on the back killed me.”

Chandler, meanwhile, turned in 2-over, and then made three birdies in his first five holes on the back. He gave a shot back on 17.

Fort McClellan Credit Union Pro-Invitational
Invitational scores

Championship flight
Gary Wigington 34-33–67
Jeremy McGatha 36-35–71
Dalton Chandler 38-34–72
Kevin Daugherty 34-38–72
Lance Evans 39-34–73
Janson Wilborn 37-36–73
Ty Cole 39-35–74
Scott Martin 37-37–74
Caleb McKinney 38-36–74
Caleb Bowen 37-38–75
Kenneth Patterson 39-36–75

First flight
Clay Calkins 39-37–76
Dan Griffin 37-39–76
Al Johnson 37-39–76
Nick Pollard 41-35–76
Chandler Wilborn 39-38–77
Layton Bussey 38-40–78
Adrian Geeting 40-38–78
Jacob Lecroy 39-39–78
Tim Steward 37-41–78
Daniel Black 37-42–79
Jake Goggans 43-36–79
Chip Howell 39-40–79
Landon Straub 41-38–79
Eric Cannington 35-45–80
Ott Chandler 41-39–80
Scott Eaton 41-39–80
Kenny Wright 39-41–80

Second flight
Sean Hayes 40-41–81
Benji Turley 38-43–81
Andrew Brooks 42-40–82
John McKenzie 43-39–82
Matt Rogers 38-44–82
Mike Fincher 44-39–83
Chase Larkin 44-39–83
Cory Parker 41-42–83
David Sanders 43-40–83
Austin Minter 44-40–84
Skip Talbert 41-43–84
Shane Chappell 42-43–85
Luke Armstrong 41-45–86
Rocco D’Gomez 44-42–86
Chase Hollingsworth 43-43–86
Keith Raisanen 40-46–86
Dakota Yawn 51-35–86

Third flight
Rodney Guy 46-41–87
Brad Hardin 42-45–87
Dan McClellan 41-46–87
Dennis Moyer 43-44–87
Steve Davis 43-45–88
Ted Heim 47-41–88
T.J. McGatha 48-40–88
Harrison Szuch 44-44–88
Cole McNeal 42-48–90
Jackson Johnson 43-48–91
Bo Savage 44-47–91
Craig Rivard 44-47–91
Jimmy Jackson 45-49–94

Fourth flight
Vinny Floyd 47-48–95
Tyler Teneyck 46-50–96
Mark Cotton 49-49–98
Clark Cunningham 48-55–103
Jeff Jungers 51-52–103
Paul Szuch 56-47–103
Kelly Rogers 46-58–104
Trey Ragland 55-52–107
Roger Bennett 57-54–111

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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