E.A. Sports Today

Golf notes: Playing for a title

Oxford golfers Evans, Lindsey take on PGA West in Golf Channel Am Tour national championship; Highway 9 Challenge pairings

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

Two years ago Lance Evans and John Lindsey went to PGA West together for the Golf Channel Am Tour national championship in vastly different roles.

Evans went to play for the championship and Lindsey, who was just getting started in the game at the time, went along to caddy and learn.

The two Oxford golfers are back at LaQuinta this week and this time they’re both competing for a title.

“It’s a tremendous difference just being able to get out there and being able to play the course instead of watching,” Lindsey said after a practice round on the Nicklaus Private course Thursday. “The course is just amazing. It’s nothing like playing on any of the courses we play on. We’re going to have to play the course; you can’t just throw it out there.

“When (Evans) talked to me about joining the Tour, I felt confident I could get to this point. I don’t know how well I’m going to do, but my mindset is I can’t let this get by. For nine months when I started playing on the Am Tour I felt confident that I’d be here to play. I guess the excitement made me put forth the effort to get to where I am now.”

The tournament starts Saturday. The two Oxford golfers will be playing the same rotation of courses — Norman, Stadium, Palmer Private and Nicklaus Private – with Evans in the championship flight, Lindsey in the Jones Flight, an adjustment he learned about only recently.

Evans won his flight in eight of the 10 local Tour events he entered. Lindsey won his flight in three.

When Evans played in the national championship two years ago a knee injury kept him from playing as well as he’d have liked. His approach this week will be no different, but a sharper game, stronger knee and a little course knowledge all should make things better.

“I don’t have any excuses to not play good,” he said. “I’m going in the same way I went in two years ago, to go out and stay close to even par and maybe one day have a big day.”

Lindsey thought he could win the championship in his initial flight and still believes he will be “competitive” in his advanced flight. He’d like to finish in the top 25.

“I’ll try to relax and play smart and grind it out,” he said. “I’m still a beginner. I just need to use my head and stay in control of not making any stupid moves.”

Once the players return to Oxford, Evans will move into organization mode as co-tournament director for the Birmingham section of the Tour. He already has an event booked at Silver Lakes Oct. 11 and is finalizing plans for one at Anniston Country Club Oct. 10. Players interested in getting involved should check out the GC Am Tour website or call Evans at 452-2900.

MATCH PLAY UPDATE: Ty Cole, the County Player of the Year and top seed, has withdrawn from the Calhoun County Match Play Championship after aggravating an old knee injury. He was scheduled to meet Billy Thompson in the second round.

Cole advanced after his opening-round opponent, Daniel Black, withdrew. Thompson, the No. 8 seed, now plays the Caleb McKinney-Dalton Chandler winner in the semifinals. McKinney and Chandler plan to play Tuesday.

UPCOMING EVENTS: The Calhoun County Senior Championship is Thursday and Friday at Pine Hill CC. Entry fee for the individual stroke play event is $60. Currently 30 players are registered. … The Oxford City Schools Education Foundation third annual four-man scramble is Oct. 1 at Cider Ridge Golf Club. Entry fee is $60 per player. For details call Brad Williams (310-5723, 241-2386 fax, bwilliams@accmats.com … The USMC Toys for Tots tournament is Nov. 21 at Indian Oaks GC (820-4030).

Buddy Moore Bracket
Ty Cole (1) def. Daniel Black (16), WD
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) def. Matt Rogers (11), 5&4
Clay Calkins (7) def. Adrian Geeting (10), 5&3
Gary Wigington (2) def. Dan Griffin (15), 6&4

Second round matches
Thompson def. Cole, WD
McKinney vs. D. Chandler
McGatha vs. Daugherty
Wigington def. Calkins, 4&3

Thompson vs. McKinney-D. Chandler winner
McGatha-Daugherty winner vs. Wigington

Thompson-McKinney/D. Chandler winner vs. McGatha/Daugherty-Wigington winner

Saturday at Cherokee County CC
Sunday at Pine Hill CC

Saturday’s pairings
7:30 a.m. — Adam Lawrence-Jon Bailey, Brad Hardin-Tim Turner
7:40 — Cory Etter-Andrew Brooks, Corey Trantham-Vic Cashen
7:50 — Phillip Hicks-Steve Baker, Johnny Bentley-Eddie Robertson
8:00 — Scotty McFry-Bryan Beal, Josh Reynolds-Bart Smith
8:30 — Jeremy McGatha-Lee Waldron, TJ McGatha-Scotty Grimes
8:40 — Ricky Young-Stan McCarley, Kevin Bedwell-Will Bedwell
9:00 — Randall Doss-Robbie Robertson, Tony Hicks-Lynn Coffey
9:20 — Heath Waldrop-Dennis Austin, Chuck Harmon-Tim Harmon
9:30 — Bill Vaughn-Mike Hammonds
10:00 — Rick Taylor-Doug Sears, Robbie Hurst-Jake Goggans
10:30 — Mike Patey-Rick Okins, Nick Pollard-Derrick Stewart
10:40 — Ott Chandler-Dalton Chandler, Jerry Irwin-Steve Minton
1:30 — Josh Poole-Caleb McKinney, Jono Waugh-Chance Harris

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