E.A. Sports Today

Cole holds on at Silver Lakes

[corner-ad id=2]County Tour points leader uses big birdie run to build lead, survives triple bogey on final hole to win

Jeremy McGatha hits a shot off the bridge on Backbreaker No. 6 at Silver Lakes. He made a double bogey on the hole,  but bounced back on the Heartbreaker nine to finish third overall. Ty Cole (cover) won by a stroke.

Jeremy McGatha hits a shot off the bridge on Backbreaker No. 6 at Silver Lakes. He made a double bogey on the hole, but bounced back on the Heartbreaker nine to finish third overall. Ty Cole (cover) won by a stroke.

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

SILVER LAKES — Ty Cole shot a final-round 70 Sunday and had a big enough of a cushion going into the final hole to survive a triple bogey on 18 to win the RTJ Silver Lakes Championship.

His two-day total of 5-under-par 139 was one shot better than Gary Wigington. First-round leader Jeremy McGatha was third (144).

It was Cole’s second win of the Calhoun County Golf Tour season and extended his lead in the Player of the Year points standings.

“I’ve got to create a little drama, don’t I?” he said.

For six holes the only thing exploding from Cole’s golf bag was his frustration. The same mental mistakes he made the day before left him 2-over for the round, but then his putter exploded and there were birdies everywhere, and it looked like he was headed for a runaway victory.

Cole had a stretch of six birdies in eight holes, including four in a row, to pull away from a tight wind-swept leaderboard. He led by four shots coming to the final hole – Heartbreaker No. 9 — when he popped up his drive into the water and re-teed. He proudly was able to retrieve his original ball from the lake but couldn’t play it, hit the green in 4 and then three-putted.

It was a shocking end to a brilliant display of iron play and putting in the middle of the round that reminded him of his opening-round 63 in this tournament a year ago. He had 10 one-putts in the first 17 holes and his eight birdies were the most in a round on the Calhoun County Golf Tour this season.

After making back-to-back bogeys on 5 and 6 to fall out of the lead Cole ran in birdies on 7, 9, 11, 12, 13 and 14 to get to 7-under for the tournament.

He lost the lead right before his run when Clay Calkins holed out from the sand for eagle on 7 in the group in front of him.

But Calkins had one of those rounds where he followed prosperity with despair. He double bogeyed the next hole to fall out of the lead. He bounced back with a birdie on 10, but then double bogeyed the drivable 11th (Heartbreaker 2) after losing his drive right and then failing to get up and down from the greenside bunker.

“It’s almost like I can’t stand prosperity,” the 50-year-old Calkins said. “I was 5-over for the tournament and it was all on the back nine.

“But it was nice to be back in contention, it really was. I haven’t been playing a whole lot this year, so being able to be in contention on the back nine was fun. I didn’t play well, but it is what it is and we’ll get ready for (the next Tour event at) Pine Hill.”

Wigington and Zach Contris tried to keep it interesting while Cole was pulling away, but couldn’t keep pace. Contris was at 2-under throughout much of the back nine, but fell back by playing the last two holes in 3-over.

Wigington got to 4-under with an eagle on 16 that was inches from being an albatross, but couldn’t make another birdie coming home. As it turned out he could’ve used one.

“I played pretty good, just shot myself coming out of yesterday with those two double bogeys there,” Wigington said. “I knew I had to birdie the last two holes to have a chance and didn’t do it.”

McGatha really struggled out of the gate. He was 6-over after back-to-back double bogeys on 5 and 6 and turned in 7-over for the day, but he played the back in bogey-free 33 and passed a lot of people with back-to-back birdies on 15 and 16.

Cole appeared to have sealed his victory with an eighth birdie on 17. At that point he’s thinking “you can hit it anywhere on 18 and win.”

Then he hit it in the one place he couldn’t to have an easy finish – the water.

And that set off the drama that almost threw him in the company of Jean Van de Velde, the Frenchman who famously lost the 1999 British Open in a playoff when he took 7 on the final hole of regulation needing only a double-bogey 6 to win.

“I’m like anybody else, I’ll take a win anyway I can get it,” Cole said. “After shooting 5-under on the first eight holes on the back and not birdying a par-5, to close out with a triple bogey, yeah, I’m mad about that, but I’ll take a win if it’s by a half a stroke or 100 strokes. A win’s a win, to me.”

RTJ Silver Lakes Championship

Championship flight
Ty Cole 69-70—139
Gary Wigington 72-68—140
Jeremy McGatha 68-76—144
Zach Contris 71-74—145
Scott Martin 72-74—146
Chad Calvert 74-73—147
Clay Calkins 72-77—149
Eric Lewis 73-78—151
Dalton Chandler 73-81—154
Dan Griffin 73-84—157
Kevin Daugherty 74-83—157

Championship B flight
Caleb McKinney 75-74—149
Michael Watson 75-75—150
Rob Davie 78-75—153
Dustin Travis 75-78—153
Janson Wilborn 75-78—153
Matt Rogers 75-78—153
Lewis Lecroy 77-77—154
Billy Thompson 75-80—155
Chad Reavis 75-80—155
Cole McNeal 78-77—155
Kenneth Larkin 76-79—155
Eric Cannington 75-81—156
Chad Hare 76-83—159
Jason Thomason 75-84—159
Doug East 77-83—160
Jeremy Willis 76-85—161
David Beard 78-WD

First flight
Josh Jackson 79-72—151
Brady Garrett 79-73—152
Wes Coleman 80-74—154
Tim Steward 80-74—154
Phillip Hunt 79-76—155
Jeff Bain 80-75—155
Andrew Brooks 79-78—157
Michael Skinner 79-78—157
Jake Goggans 79-78—157
Kenny Wright 80-77—157
Ott Chandler 81-77—158
Benji Turley 81-77—158
Jacob Lecroy 81-78—159
David Sanders 81-79—160
Chip Howell 81-80—161
Timmy Woodard 80-81—161
Adrian Geeting 79-82—161
Ryan Huff 80-83—163
Trevor Lane 80-84—164
Michael Downey 80-89—169
Luke Armstrong 81-90—171

Second flight
Austin Hooks 82-78—160
Joe Hedgepeth 85-78—163
Eric Messer 82-81—163
Daniel Black 88-75—163
Adam Carns 88-75—163
Tony Hicks 85-78—163
Chris Maye 82-82—164
Mark Durden 82-85—167
Nick Pollard 88-80—168
Rick Houston 86-83—169
Josh Haynes 83-88—171
Dilion Davis 88-83—171
John Gasser 88-85—173
Rick Okins 82-91—173
Clayton Chandler 88-85—173
Trey Stone 83-91—174
Brad Hardin 87-98—185
Landon Straub 83-WD
Casey McGinnis 82-WD

Third flight
Alan Darnall 93-78—171
Dakota Yawn 91-80—171
Austin Minter 92-81—174
Jerry Kemp 92-83—175
Tyler Davis 92-83—175
Dan McClellan 91-85—176
Al Muskewitz 92-89—181
Richard Hughes 91-92—183
Lamar Ward 94-92—186
Curtis Barker 93-100—193
Kelly Rogers 92-105—197

Fourth flight
(One-day shootout, first round in parenthesis)
Marty Branson (97)-86
Bill Leach (104)-88
Nick Hubbard (99)-89
Haden Downey (99)-92
Heath Waldrop (103)-94
Mickey Travis (95)-95
Jackson Johnson (95)-96

Calhoun County Golf Tour
Points Standings
Name Total

Ty Cole 1325
Gary Wigington 1262.5
Jeremy McGatha 1135
Dalton Chandler 1032.5
Ott Chandler 869.2
Caleb McKinney 867.5
Adrian Geeting 755
Janson Wilborn 732.5
Matt Rogers 707.5
Dan Griffin 705
Daniel Black 627.5
Billy Thompson 621.7
Chandlr Wilborn 600
Lance Evans 571.7
Jake Goggans 565
Cole McNeal 560
Clay Calkins 525
Jacob Lecroy 515
Andrew Brooks 515
Eric Cannington 497.5
Kevin Daugherty 485
Dan McClellan 452.5
Austin Minter 437.5
Tim Steward 417.5
Landon Straub 390
Jonathan Pate 387.5
Scott Martin 385
Nick Pollard 377.5
Benji Turley 367.5
Chip Howell 347.5
Caleb Bowen 320
Dustin Travis 320
Kenny Wright 307.5
Kelly Rogers 300
Keith Raisanen 272.5
Scott Eaton 200
Luke Armstrong 180
Brad Hardin 160
Layton Bussey 155
Ted Heim 152.5
Brandon Roberts 147.5
Jeff Borrelli 122.5
T.J. McGatha 122.5
Al Muskewitz 115
Jimbo Phillips 105
Jackson Johnson 105
Ted Saylors 87.5
George Salmon 85
Josh Poole 55
Davis Glass 50

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