E.A. Sports Today

McKinney first to finals

Cane Creek teen wins big for second day in a row in Calhoun County Match Play Championship

By East Alabama Sports Today

One half of the title match for the Calhoun County Match Play Championship is set.

Caleb McKinney closed out the Buddy Moore Bracket when he drummed Billy Thompson 7&6 Wednesday at Cane Creek Golf Course.

McKinney, at 19 the youngest player in the field, now awaits the completion of two matches in the Chris Banister Bracket to learn the identity of his opponent.

“I knew it was going to be a long road to get there, but playing at my home course is an advantage to me and I’ve been playing good,” he said. “It’s a confidence thing. I’ve just been trying to play with confidence lately and made a confident swing.”

It was McKinney’s second one-sided win in as many days. He beat Dalton Chandler 5&4 on Tuesday.

“Having some confidence from yesterday made things a little smoother,” he said. “Yesterday I was a little tense, a little worried. Today, I just went out there knowing I could do it and tried to play with confidence. I hit the ball well both days and when when you hit the ball well it translates into good scores.”

McKinney got ahead early and stayed in control. He won 2, 4 and 7 to go 3-up, halved 8, then won 9, 10, 11 and 12 to close out the match.

“Its easy to play good when I didn’t apply any pressure,” Thompson said. “It was just not a good day. You’ve got to hit more than two greens in 12 holes.”

McKinney, the No. 5 seed, now waits for second-seeded Gary Wigington to play the winner between Jeremy McGatha and Kevin Daughtery to learn his championship match opponent. All three are among the top six seeds.

“I’m not too worried about who it’s going to be; anyway it goes I know it’s going to be a good player,” he said. “The three guys on the other side are all good players and they’re gonna force my hand, make me play good. I’ve got to get prepared now to do what I’m called upon.

“So far I’ve played pretty good golf up to this point. I hope to ride that momentum and confidence and do what I’ve done the last three matches.”

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 def. D. Chandler, 5&4
McGatha vs. Daugherty
Wigington def. Calkins, 4&3

McKinney def. Thompson, 7&6
McGatha-Daugherty winner vs. Wigington

McKinney vs. McGatha/Daugherty-Wigington winner

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