E.A. Sports Today

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[corner-ad id=2]Kemp scores ace at Cider Ridge, Sawyer advances from local Drive, Chip & Putt qualifier, tournament updates

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

The first thing Gail Kemp thought when the ball left her club face was “get down.” It got down all right – right into the bottom of the cup.

Kemp scored her second hole-in-one when she aced the 12th hole at Cider Ridge Golf Club Sunday. She used a rescue club on the 118-yard signature hole at the Oxford course.

It’s the first ladies’ hole-in-one reported to EASportsToday since the website began logging local aces and the first by the ladies at a county course in recent memory. She was playing with regular partners Brenda Seales and Diane Nunnally.

“The way that hole is you’d think you’re supposed to back down (a club), but for me there it has never been that way,” said Kemp, an 18-handicap who has been playing Cider Ridge regularly for about three years. “After I hit it I was screaming ‘stop, stop.’

“It landed on the green about 10 or 15 yards (from the pin) in an absolutely perfect place. It started moving to the right and it was like it was tracking. We watched it all the way ’til it dropped.”

Her playing partners were just as excited about the ace and couldn’t wait to post the news on social media. After pulling the ball from the cup, Kemp told her partners not to expect much from her game the rest of the day, but she was able to keep it together and played consistent to her handicap coming home.

ON THE MARK: Mark Sawyer probably hasn’t had a better birthday since he got a new set of clubs when he was 8.

The rising Cedar Bluff sixth-grader turned 12 Saturday and he got the party started by winning the boys 12-13 division in the Drive, Chip & Putt qualifier at Silver Lakes.

Absolutely the youngest competitor in his division, he scored 137 points and advanced to subregional competition at Tennessee National in Loudon, Tenn., July 16.

“It was extremely cool to actually be able to go out and win that,” Sawyer said. “I was thinking the whole way if I could win this and move on that’d be an excellent birthday present to myself.”

The Cherokee County CC member won the chipping segment with 55 points and finished third in driving (42). He hit three good putts in the putting stage.

The winners in Tennessee advance to regional play at TPC Sawgrass, with those winners moving on to the finals at Augusta National the Sunday before the 2016 Masters.

“I’ve thought a little bit about those and how exciting that would be,” he said. “But I’m just concentrating on Tennessee right now. I feel confident in myself and hope to do really well.”

JUNIOR TOUR WINNERS: Layton Bussey (77) and Hannah Dyar (86) were the overall winners in the second event of the Future Champions Junior Golf Tour season earlier this week at Anniston Country Club.

Bussey and Cameron McCareeth were 1-2 in the boys first flight, while Dyar and sister Layne were 1-2 in the girls first flight.

The other prize winners were Harrison Hughston and Charlie Smith (boys second), Hailey Tidwell and Katelyn Barnett (girls second), and Baylie Webb and Wade Pressley (girls third).

FUN ON THE HILL: The Red, White & Blue tournament at Anniston Municipal, a 27-hole Par-3 tournament with a patriotic bent, is July 18. Every hole on the course will be set up to a par-3 yardage.

It already is gaining traction. No sooner had the event been announced in-house than 21 players committed to the limited first-40 field. Entry fee is $50 and the field will be flighted. Call the course (231-7631) or Keith Robertson (453-0350) to secure a spot.

PARENT-CHILD: U.S. Open/Father’s Day weekend at Anniston CC means the annual Parent-Child Tournament. The event is open to any combination of parent-child regardless of age. It’s a 9:30 a.m. shotgun start both days. Entry fee is $200 per team.

CUP CALL: The second round of the EA Sports Today Challenge Cup matches is June 24 at Cider Ridge. First round winners Cider Ridge and Anniston CC go head-to-head, with Cane Creek and Silver Lakes battling in the other match.

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