E.A. Sports Today

Bowen, Etter lead County Two-Man

First-time partners from Pine Hill ride contrasting styles to 3-shot lead; Player of the Year Cole recognized at Tour awards dinner

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

SILVER LAKES — Caleb Bowen and Cory Etter played the contrast in their playing styles to a three-shot lead after the scramble round of the Calhoun County Two-Man Championship Saturday.

The first-time partners from Pine Hill Country Club scored 12 birdies and an eagle in windy conditions on the way to a 14-under-par 58 on the Backbreaker/Heartbreaker nines at Silver Lakes.

It gave them a three-shot lead over Jake Goggans and Rob Davie (61) and a four-shot edge over former pros Kevin Daugherty and Jeff Champion (60) going into today’s final-round scamble.

“Any double-digit (score) in this format without any mulligans is pretty good,” Champion said. “We said if we got double digits we’d at least have a chance.”

The leaders moved to the top of the leaderboard behind Bowen’s length and Etter’s accurate iron play. Bowen was consistently 40 to 50 yards longer than Etter and was so sharp with the putter his Pine Hill pro partner putted only five times in the round.

“We knew going in that our two contrasting styles should go well together in this format,” Bowen said. “I think we worked really well as a team. It was really good, especially seeing the impressive teams we’re ahead of.”

Bowen chipped in for eagle on Backbreaker 9 for the team to turn in 8-under. They played holes 4 through 10 in 8-under and never went more than one hole without making a birdie.

“I would have to say it was some of the best ball striking I have ever seen from Cory Etter and Caleb Bowen today in Round One,” playing partner Terry Cobb said.

Goggans and Davie birdied their first three holes and then played the back Heartbreaker 9 in 6-under.

Daugherty, last year’s Calhoun County Match Play runnerup, and Champion got off to a slow start in the format with four straight pars, then birdied seven of their next eight holes to climb into contention. They birdied three in a row on the way home and Daugherty lipped out a fourth on 18 that would’ve pulled them into a tie for second.

“On 6 I hit it in the water, but he stayed up and we made the putt for birdie,” Daugherty said. “It could’ve gone the other way right there.”

After the round the players headed back into Anniston to recognize the top 16 players in last year’s Calhoun County Golf Tour season. Ty Cole received his Player of the Year trophy as well as crystal from the Tour for winning the Cider Ridge Invitational and several statistical categories during the season.

“Somebody had to finally knock off Twig,” Cole said, referring to Gary Wigington, the three-time Player of the Year and his Two-Man partner for the second year in a row. “I kind of like the fact the tournaments I won last year are on hard golf courses (Cider Ridge, Silver Lakes, County at Cane Creek).

“This is a little justification. (In 2014) I had the lead going into the last one, Twig played well and I didn’t. Last year I had the lead and played good enough to win the (county) and not have it come down to who gets what amount of points in the tournament.”

Also at the gathering Caleb McKinney was presented his trophy for winning the County Match Play title and Wigington was presented crystal from the Tour for winning the King of the Hill and Pine Hill Invitational titles.

Cole, a Marshall County resident, reaffirmed his commitment to playing on the Calhoun County Tour, which this year has been opened to all comers. He is playing this week after undergoing knee surgery three weeks ago to clean up an old college basketball injury that ultimately led him to golf; he was cleared to play only Tuesday.

“I just like playing and the competition down here is as good as it is anywhere,” he said.

On the cover: Ty Cole (R) stands with Calhoun County Tour directors Matt Rogers (L) and Jeremy McGatha after receiving his 2015 Player of the Year trophy.

At Silver Lakes
First-round scores

Championship flight
Cory Etter-Caleb Bowen 28-30—58
Jake Goggans-Rob Davie 31-30—61
Kevin Daugherty-Jeff Champion 32-30—62
Chad Calvert-Daily Thomas 31-33—64
Gary Wigington-Ty Cole 32-33—65
Ott Chandler-Dalton Chandler 33-32—65
Lance Evans-David Sanders 34-31—65

First flight
Timmy Woodard-Ryan Huff 31-35—66
Steve Bailey-Paul McGee 32-34—66
Andrew Brooks-Billy Thompson 32-34—66
Adrian Geeting-Austin Minter 34-32—66
Michael Watson-Wes Coleman 32-34—66
Clay Calkins-Chris Hubbard 35-32—67
Shane Chappell-Will Brown 35-32—67
Daniel Black-Tim Steward 32-35—67
Erick Eavi-Eric Messer 34-33—67
Benji Turley-Marcus Harrell 34-33—67
Jeremy McGatha-Matt Rogers 33-35—68
Justin Graveman-Patrick Crane 33-35—68
Chase Thomas-Ryan Abernathy 34-34—68
David Martin-Caleb McKinney 35-33—68
Jacob Sittere-Steven Crane 36-32—68
Dennis Austin-Jimbo Phillips 33-35—68

Second flight
Lee Waldron-Randy Lipscomb 33-36—69
Kevin Carr-John Blakeney 35-34—69
Chase Hollingsworth-Cain Hollingsworth 36-33—69
Brian Stewart-Ted Heim 33-36—69
Blake Abercrombie-Alex Jessen 34-36—70
Chad Reavis-Gabe Fullinvider 35-35—70
Mike Granato-Gary Hopper 34-36—70
Dan Griffin-Kenny Wright 33-37—70

Third flight
Michael Ray-Terry Cobb 37-35—72
Kyle Daugherty-Chance Harris 36-36—72
Nick Pollard-Mike Patey 40-33—73
Richard Hughes-Brad Hardin 34-39—73
Brandon Roberts-Shane Lilly 37-38—75
Jennifer Jetton-David Jetton 35-40—75
Jackson Johnson-Randy Carroll 37-41—78
Trey Vice-Jim Stovall 39-44—83

Sunday’s pairings
8 a.m. — Trey Vice-Jim Stovall
8:10 — Benji Turley-Marcus Harrell, Brandon Roberts-Shane Lilly
8:20 — Jennifer Jetton-David Jetton, Jackson Johnson-Randy Carroll
8:30 — Nick Pollard-Mike Patey, Richard Hughes-Brad Hardin
8:40 — Michael Ray-Terry Cobb, Kyle Daugherty-Chance Harris
8:50 — Chad Reavis-Gabe Fullinvider, Dan Griffin-Kenny Wright
9:00 — Blake Abercrombie-Alex Jessen, Mike Granato-Gary Hopper
9:10 — Brian Stewart-Ted Heim, Lee Waldron-Randy Lipscomb
9:20 — Kevin Carr-John Blakeney, Chase Hollingsworth-Cain Hollingsworth
9:30 — Chase Thomas-Ryan Abernathy, Dennis Austin-Jimbo Phillips
9:40 — Jacob Sittere-Steven Crane, Justin Graveman-Patrick Crane
9:50 — Jeremy McGatha-Matt Rogers, David Martin-Caleb McKinney
10:00 — Clay Calkins-Chris Hubbard, Daniel Black-Tim Steward
10:10 — Erich Eavi-Eric Messer, Shane Chappell-Will Brown
10:20 — Timmy Woodard-Ryan Huff, Michael Watson-Wes Coleman
10:30 — Andrew Brooks-Billy Thompson, Adrian Geeting-Austin Minter
10:40 — Lance Evans-David Sanders, Steve Bailey-Paul McGee
10:50 — Chad Calvert-Daily Thomas, Gary Wigington-Ty Cole
11:00 — Kevin Daugherty-Jeff Champion, Ott Chandler-Dalton Chandler
11:10 — Cory Etter-Caleb Bowen, Jake Goggans-Rob Davie

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