E.A. Sports Today

Cole tops in County

[corner-ad id=2]History teacher shoots three rounds of 70, wins second County Championship by 6, first Player of the Year award

Ty Cole takes a rip at his approach shot into the fifth green of Sunday's Calhoun County Championship round at Cane Creek. On the cover, Cole (second from left) collects the winner's spoils from (L to R) Jeremy McGatha, Matt Rogers and Kenny Szuch.

Ty Cole takes a rip at his approach shot into the fifth green of Sunday’s Calhoun County Championship round at Cane Creek. On the cover, Cole (second from left) collects the winner’s spoils from (L to R) Jeremy McGatha, Matt Rogers and Kenny Szuch.

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

Ty Cole starts his first full week as a high school history teacher in his hometown this week, but before he gets deep into his first lesson plan he made a little history of his own Sunday.

Playing against what he called “the toughest setup” he’d ever played on this golf course, Cole shot 2-under-par 70 for the third straight day to win the 79th Calhoun County Championship at Cane Creek and secure the Calhoun County Player of the Year in the process.

Cole’s three-day total of 6-under-par 210 at Cane Creek Golf Course was six shots better than Jeremy McGatha, who lamented a sixth runner-up finish in the County and 13th on the County Tour, and nine over third-place Kevin Daugherty. He also won the 2013 County Championship there.

It was his third of the season, to go along with Cider Ridge and Silver Lakes. He also had two seconds (King of the Hill, Anniston CC) and led the Tour this season in stroke average (69.88).

Gary Wigington, who was bidding to win a record seventh County Championship and fourth straight Player of the Year award, shot 75 Sunday and finished fifth. It left him second in the Player of the Year race.

“It means a lot,” Cole said of the double victory. “If it didn’t mean anything I wouldn’t come down here.

“I came in to today playing like I was tied with everybody else and if I won the tournament the rest would take care of itself. I do wish it would’ve been more of a battle. I wish we’d all been there neck and neck battling it out. I love a runaway, too, but I love the competition down here, that’s why I drive an hour and half to get down here.”

Even though his mindset was to play as if it were tight at the top, Cole had a four-shot lead when the round began and doubled it by the time he left the fifth green with his third birdie in five holes.

After that it just became a matter of keeping it in the road. He three-putted for bogey on 8 and then made nine straight pars until closing it out with a birdie on 18.

“I’m not used to being in that position,” he said. “I’m used to going out and trying to make birdie on every hole. To have to stay patient and just par, par, par, par (was different). Not that I was trying to make par or trying not to make bogey, it seemed like every putt I just wouldn’t make myself hit it hard enough to get it to the hole.

“It just got to the point where when I got deeper into the round instead of trying to make birdie, it was just like hit it in the middle of the green, make a par and go on. When the lead in five or six or whatever it was par is going to be good enough because people are going to run out of hole.”

Wigington won last year’s County by a record 11 shots by going on a birdie tear. Cole didn’t have that luxury, it’s just the rest of the field wasn’t making anything to challenge him.

McGatha agreed nobody could have caught Cole “the way the course was set up.”

“It was set up to make pars, not go low; it was nobody’s fault,” McGatha said. “If you get a big lead coming out here on Sunday and the course is set up this way … you ain’t going to shoot a low round; it ain’t happening.

“I played pretty danged good, missed a few putts. I shot 71, could’ve shot 68, maybe, and still wouldn’t have come close to winning. It’s difficult when you need to go low and the course is set up to not go low.”

Still, McGatha was able to separate himself from Daugherty and Wigington in The Hollow and then birdied three of his last six holes for his 13th runner-up finish in the history of the County Tour.

“You’re always fighting,” McGatha said. “Of course I would like to win (but) second is better than third. At least I’ve got eight wins on the Tour over the years; if I had 21 seconds, it’d be different. It’s hard to win out here. We’ve got a competitive county.”

Daugherty finished strong, too, but he had to in order to salvage his round. He started the day four shots back and fell farther behind with bogeys on each of his first three holes, but he finished with three straight birdies to rocket up the leader board.

“It all washes out,” the former Anniston Country Club pro said. “I didn’t play that bad today. I bogeyed the first three holes and didn’t hit any bad shots. I kept leaving myself in bad places and just struggled, and then finally made some putts. I hit it way better than being 6-over through 15.”

By winning the season-long Player of the Year race, Cole now becomes the No. 1 seed in the Calhoun County Match Play Championship. He has yet to commit to playing in the event.

Player 443 453 454 36 443 453 445 36 72—216

Cole 353 343 464 35 443 453 444 35 70—210
McGatha 444 454 354 37 453 343 435 34 71—216
Daugherty 554 443 564 40 444 454 334 35 75—219
McKinney 554 553 454 40 444 443 435 35 75—221

Championship A

Ty Cole 70-70-70—210
Jeremy McGatha 75-70-71—216
Kevin Daugherty 74-70-75—219
Caleb McKinney 73-73-75—221
Gary Wigington 72-75-75—222
Clay Calkins 73-75-76—224
Dalton Chandler 73-76-80—229
Andrew Brooks 74-76-81—231
Billy Thompson 73-81-78—232
Lance Evans 77-77-78—232
Austin Minter 72-80-86—238
Daniel Black 73-81-85—239

Championship B
Matt Rogers 73-82-78—233
Jake Goggans 80-77-80—237
Chip Howell 78-78-81—237
Adrian Geeting 79-76-83—238
John Tucker 77-81-80—238
Scott Eaton 76-83-80—239
Dan Griffin 79-85-75—239
Layton Bussey 79-79-83—241
Keith Raisanen 78-79-85—242
Chandler Wilborn 79-88-83—250
Dan McClellan 75-83—158-WD

First flight
Dakota Yawn 80-76—156
Jacob Lecroy 76-80—156
Dave Dillman 78-78—156
Chris Maye 75-82—157
Nick Pollard 72-86—158
Layne Dyar 81-79—160
Vinny Floyd 81-92—173

Second flight
Steve Davis 86-78—164
Rick Dickson 87-82—169
Bo Savage 83-88—171
Don Hill 83-88—171
T.J. McGatha 87-85—172
Britton Proper 85-89—174
Heath Waldrop 87-88—175
Dalton Leatherwood 87-91—178
John McKenzie 88-91—179
Will Coker 88-92—180

Third flight
Kyle Turner 89-76—165
Jimbo Phillips 91-82—173
Rocco D’Gomez 90-87—177
Corey Trantham 91-91—182
Kane Gibson 92-91—183
Sean Hayes 91-93—184
Greg Rainey 89-96—185
Kelly Rogers 91-97—188
Marshall Dunn 103-90—193
Tyler Teneyck 105-95—200

Dakota Yawn (second from left) came out of a three-way playoff to win the first flight.

Dakota Yawn (second from left) came out of a three-way playoff to win the first flight.

Buddy Moore Bracket
Ty Cole (1) vs. Daniel Black (16)
Billy Thompson (8) vs. Ott Chandler (9)
Caleb McKinney (5) vs. Andrew Brooks (12)
Dalton Chandler (4) vs. Lance Evans (13)

Chris Banister Bracket
Jeremy McGatha (3) vs. Jake Goggans (14)
Kevin Daugherty (6) vs. Matt Rogers (11)
Clay Calkins (7) vs. Adrian Geeting (10)
Gary Wigington (2) vs. Dan Griffin (15)


Ty Cole 1550
Gary Wigington 1385
Jeremy McGatha 1350
Dalton Chandler 1195
Caleb McKinney 1017.5
Kevin Daugherty 1005
Clay Calkins 915
Billy Thompson 910.45
Ott Chandler 904.2
Adrian Geeting 883.75
Matt Rogers 855
Andrew Brooks 825
Lance Evans 822.95
Jake Goggans 793.75
Dan Griffin 787.5
Daniel Black 787.5
Chandler Wilborn 765
Janson Wilborn 732.5
Jacob Lecroy 687.5
Chip Howell 671.25
Cole McNeal 657
Austin Minter 636.25
Nick Pollard 605
Dan McClellan 560
Jonathan Pate 512.5
Eric Cannington 497.5
Benji Turley 495
Keith Raisanen 480
Caleb Bowen 467.5
Dustin Travis 455
Tim Steward 417.5
Scott Eaton 395
Kelly Rogers 395
Landon Straub 390
Scott Martin 385
Layton Bussey 335
Kenny Wright 307.5
Josh Poole 285
Luke Armstrong 282.5
T.J. McGatha 257.5
Jimbo Phillips 232.5
Ted Heim 232.5
Brad Hardin 230
Brandon Roberts 147.5
Jeff Borrelli 122.5
Al Muskewitz 115
Jackson Johnson 105
Ted Saylors 87.5
George Salmon 85
Davis Glass 50

Kyle Turner (second from left) won the third flight after posting a final-round 76.

Kyle Turner (second from left) won the third flight after posting a final-round 76.

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