E.A. Sports Today

Thompson splits long day

Thompson wins County Match Play match, falls to Turley after rallying in The Sharps

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

OXFORD — Billy Thompson won four straight holes on the back nine and defeated Ott Chandler 3&2 in a first-round match Sunday in the Calhoun County Match Play Championship at Cane Creek, but fell short in his attempt to pull off a daily double.

Later in the day, in a separate event on a different course, he rallied from an early deficit to force extra holes before losing to Benji Turley in 19 holes in The Sharps at Cider Ridge.

“Two rounds of golf usually don’t wear me down, but two rounds of match play and all the grinding, that’ll get to you,” Thompson said. “There was a lot of grinding today.”

The match with Chandler was back-and-forth until Thompson won holes 13 through 16 to erase a 1-down deficit. Interestingly, it was the same stretch where last year’s second-round match with Jaylon Ellison got away from him.

“I thought don’t do the same thing you did last year,” he said. “My game plan going into playing Ott, who has been one of the better players for a while, was to stay around par all day and make him make mistakes and if I made birdies that was a bonus. On 13 is where my game plan came through.”

He now plays top-seeded Player of the Year Ty Cole.

In the match with Turley, he fell behind 4 down after six holes and was 3 down through 13, but fought back to get to square the match on 16 and was dormie going to 18.

Thompson won the 18th after Turley hit a 2-iron into the left hazard off the tee. Turley won the match with a birdie on the first extra hole, hitting his approach into the par-4 No. 1 inside two feet.

“I was mad at myself, but I wasn’t worried,” Turley said. “Hitting that ball close on 1 made it a lot easier (to take).”

Had he pulled off the day’s sweep, Thompson would have been the only player left with a chance to pull off the rare double.

“I hadn’t thought of that,” he said. “That would’ve been pretty cool to keep that run going.”

Buddy Moore Bracket
Ty Cole (1) def. Daniel Black (16), walkover
Billy Thompson (8) def. Ott Chandler (9), 3&2
Caleb McKinney (5) def. Andrew Brooks (12), 2 up
Dalton Chandler (4) def. Lance Evans (13), 4&2
Chris Banister Bracket
Jeremy McGatha (3) def. Jake Goggans (14), 21 holes
Kevin Daugherty (6) vs. Matt Rogers (11)
Clay Calkins (7) vs. Adrian Geeting (10)
Gary Wigington (2) def. Dan Griffin (15), 6&4

Second-round matches
Cole vs. Thompson
McKinney vs. D. Chandler
McGatha vs. Daugherty-Rogers winner
Calkins-Geeting winner vs. Wigington

at Cider Ridge GC

First-round matches
Lance Evans def. Jake Goggans, 2 up
Jerry Kemp def. Tony Hicks, 4&3
Landon Winfrey def. Ryan Huff, 2&1
Austin Minter def. Jason Johnson, 4&2
Rob Davie def. Chandler Wilborn, 2&1
Benji Turley def. Billy Thompson, 19 holes
Timmy Woodard def. Daniel Black, 4&2 (ret.)
Eric Cannington def. Nick Pollard, 5&4

Second-round matches
Evans def. Kemp, 3&2
Winfrey vs. Minter
Davie vs. Turley
Woodard vs. Cannington

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