E.A. Sports Today

Newcomers lead in Oxford

Egui, Crowe shoot 69s, lead Cider Ridge event by 1 going into Sunday’s final round

First-round co-leader Erich Egui hits an approach shot on his way to a 69 Saturday. On the cover, Brad Crowe takes a break after posting a 69 to grab a share of the lead. (All photos except cover by B.J. Franklin/GungHo Photos)

First-round co-leader Erich Egui hits an approach shot on his way to a 69 Saturday. On the cover, Brad Crowe takes a break after posting a 69 to grab a share of the lead. (All photos except cover by B.J. Franklin/GungHo Photos)

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

OXFORD — Brad Crowe and Erich Egui come from two different golf worlds, but they both came into the Oxford City Championship Saturday with similar mindsets.

Crowe is a 35-year-old business owner from Villa Rica, Ga., who plays out of The Frog — where he is the reigning club champion — and never played college golf. Egui is a 24-year-old from Venezuela who just finished playing at Faulkner and is contemplating turning pro.

They both shot 3-under-par 69 Saturday at Cider Ridge Golf Club to grab the opening-round tournament lead. Although he has never played the course before, Crowe came to the event with winning in mind. Egui, who played here last year for the first time, was looking to improve on last year’s finish and maybe get in the final group.

They’re both on target. They lead defending champion Ty Cole, Dalton Chandler and Kevin Daugherty by one shot. Gary Wigington and Andrew Brooks are another shot back at 71.

Crowe is looking to follow the lead of the season’s first winner on the Calhoun County Golf Tour, Chad Calvert, who won the Indian Oaks Championship the very first time he ever set soft spikes on the property.

Crowe hasn’t played so much as one hole here before Saturday, but the three-time Rome Tour points champion said “I came here to win it.”

He played like he did. He hit 17 greens, played without making a bogey and the only reason he didn’t go real low was he couldn’t get the putter going. The longest putt he had all day was 30 feet – on 18. All three of his birdies were inside 10 feet.

Not making any birdies early in the round made him anxious, but experience has taught him to be patient. His birdies came on 9, 13 and 15.

“I was surprised to be leading,” he said. “I knew coming in there was a strong field with some big sticks out here. It was a little bit nerve-wracking out there trying to go low because I knew the field was strong.”

Unlike Crowe, Egui had seen Cider Ridge’s elevation changes and fast greens before. He finished second in the third flight last year with rounds of 80-74. But what he called “a whole year of progress” has put him in contention to win it all.

He was even for the round through 14, then caught fire at the end with birdies on three of his last four holes (15, 16, 17). Not bad for the first round of his first tournament of a season that will determine whether he chooses to turn pro.

“I just wanted to do as best I could and concentrate hole-by-hole,” said Egui, who now lives in Birmingham and plays out of Oxmoor Valley. “My big problem last year was I was doing good, but I was finishing really bad.

“What I liked about today I was always making the right decision. Even if I was missing the shot a little I was still close and hitting the green, so I always had a look at it. I didn’t play my speed very well on the first nine holes, but on the second nine I kept my head down and my patience and it paid off in the end.”

Among their three closest challengers, Daugherty birdied 8, 9, 11 and 12 to get his round to 3-under, then had the most frenetic finish. He had a double, bogey, par and two birdies in his last five holes.

Chandler birdied 4, 5 and 6 to reach 3-under but stayed there until he bogeyed 18 after hitting his approach over the green. He missed several chances to take it really deep.

Cole was 2-under through 6, then made a bad swing on 7 and was “lucky” to make double bogey. His back got tight at the turn and worsened as he came home. He’s hoping to be able to play Sunday.

Brooks, a former Cider Ridge assistant and one of the players at 71, eagled 15 to get to 4-under, but then bogeyed each of the last three holes.

Click on photos to enlarge


Pictured players (from left): Lance Evans, Billy Thompson, Will Turley, Cypress Hathorn

Oxford City Championship
At Cider Ridge Golf Club

First-round scores

Championship Flight
Erich Egui 35-34—69
Brad Crowe 35-34—69
Ty Cole 36-34—70
Dalton Chandler 33-37—70
Kevin Daugherty 35-35—70
Gary Wigington 35-36—71
Andrew Brooks 34-37—71
Jeremy McGatha 33-39—72
Craig Whatley II 38-34—72
Caleb McKinney 39-33—72
Cypress Hathorn 37-36—73
Nicky Randriamanan 37-36—73
Chad Calvert 39-35—74

First Flight
Timmy Woodard 38-37—75
David Lawrence 34-41—75
Janson Wilborn 38-37—75
Jacob Lecroy 40-36—76
Scott Martin 39-37—76
Lewis Lecroy 39-37—76
Caleb Bowen 37-39—76
Billy Thompson 36-40—76
Christopher Carlson 39-37—76
Clay Calkins 39-37—76

Second Flight
Ott Chandler 42-35—77
Lance Evans 40-37—77
Chance Harris 40-37—77
Brandon Roberts 37-40—77
Cain Hollingsworth 41-38—79
Matt Rogers 39-40—79
Chad Reavis 38-41—79
Jeremy Willis 38-41—79
Jerry Kemp 39-41—80
Drake Moseley 37-43—80
Jonathon Nelson 37-43—80
Dustin Travis 42-38-80

Third Flight
David Sanders 45-36—81
Rick Riley 44-37—81
Daily Thomas 42-39—81
Eric Lett 38-43—81
Mike Granato 43-39—82
Tim Steward 42-40—82
Scott Sikes 39-43—82
Christopher Cox 43-39—82
John Tucker 43-40—83
Will Turley 43-40—83
John Dillingham 43-40—83
Chip Howell 43-40—83
Kyle Daugherty 46-37—83

Fourth Flight
Dan Griffin 43-41—84
Luke Armstrong 43-41—84
Chase Hollingsworth 37-47—84
Kenny Wright 42-42—84
Lamar Ward 40-44—84
Jared Waits 45-40—85
Dan McClellan 43-42—85
Maram Macham 43-43—86
Frank Toland 45-42—87
Chase Thomas 43-45—88
Richard Starling 42-46—88

Fifth Flight
Ryan Huff 43-46—89
John Waugh 46-44—90
John Lindsey 48-42—90
Casey Harmon 44-48—92
Mark Highland 43-50—93
Bill Cooley 48-46—94
Kelly Rogers 50-42—92
Phillip King 46-49—95
Tyler Baker 48-49—97

Player 443 454 435 36 443 445 435 36 72

Crowe 443 454 434 35 443 344 435 34 69
Equi 433 454 435 35 443 544 325 34 69
D Chandler 443 343 435 33 443 445 436 37 70
Cole 343 444 635 36 443 345 434 34 70
Daugherty 444 454 424 35 432 464 534 35 70

Sunday’s tee times
10:15 a.m. – Kelly Rogers, Phillip King, Tyler Baker
10:23 – Casey Harmon, Mark Highland, Bill Cooley
10:31 – Ryan Huff, John Waugh, John Lindsey
10:38 – Frank Toland, Chase Thomas, Richard Sterling
10:46 – Kenny Wright, Dan McClellan, Jared Waits, Maram Macham
10:54 – Dan Griffin, Luke Armstrong, Chase Hollingsworth, Lamar Ward
11:04 – John Dillingham, Chip Howell, Kyle Daugherty
11:12 – Christopher Cox, John Tucker, Will Turley
11:20 – Tim Steward, Mike Granato, Scott Sikes
11:28 – David Sanders, Eric Lett, Rick Riley, Daily Thomas
11:36 – Jerry Kemp, Drake Moseley, Jonathon Nelson, Dustin Travis
11:44 – Matt Rogers, Chad Reavis, Cain Hollingsworth, Jeremy Willis
11:52 – Lance Evans, Chance Harris, Ott Chandler, Brandon Roberts
Noon – Caleb Bowen, Christopher Carlson, Clay Calkins
12:08 p.m. – Lewis Lecroy, Jacob Lecroy, Billy Thompson
12:16 – Timmy Woodard, David Lawrence, Janson Wilborn, Scott Martin
12:24 – Cypress Hathorn, Nicky Randriamanana, Chad Calvert
12:32 – Jeremy McGatha, Craig Whatley II, Caleb McKinney
12:40 – Kevin Daugherty, Gary Wigington, Andrew Brooks
12:48 – Erich Egui, Brad Crowe, Ty Cole, Dalton Chandler


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