E.A. Sports Today

Driggers new ACC GM/pro

Former UAB ace comes to Anniston CC from Greenville G&CC; looks forward to growing membership at ‘great, old-school golf course’

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

Steven Driggers’ door has always been open to his members and since the start of the week a steady stream has been stopping by to see him.

Driggers is the new general manager and head pro at Anniston Country Club. Since the news reached his members at Greenville (MS) Golf & Country Club Tuesday, they’ve been stopping by to wish him well.

“I’m really looking forward to getting over there,” Driggers said Wednesday. “The two clubs are not too dissimilar. I’m pretty comfortable coming over there, excited to get over there and meeting everyone, and seeing if we can grow golf at the Anniston Country Club.”

He replaces Jake Spott, who left last month to take the head pro job at the University of Louisville Golf Club, where former ACC general manager Jack Sauers is the GM.

Driggers, 46, grew up in Mississippi but he and his wife have family outside Birmingham and Montgomery.

He played No. 1 at UAB in the early 90s, winning twice, and is still “a halfway decent player.” He holds the course record at his current club, a 60 he shot during his first year there.

He hasn’t played ACC yet, but from what he saw on his tour he said it looks like a “great old-school golf course.”

Driggers’ strength is golf operations and tournament administration. He also enjoys teaching, especially juniors. His initial priorities are growing the private club’s membership and boosting the golf shop.

He is scheduled to arrive on site June 6, in plenty of time to get familiar with the Sunny King Charity Classic but too late for next week’s 68th annual Wilfred Galbraith Invitational.

In the meantime, assistant Chris Burley will continue to gain valuable professional experience handling things in the pro shop and overseeing the Invitational. He got his feet wet with the club championship (won by Garrett Burgess in a playoff) and the two high school sub-state tournaments earlier this week.

Speaking of the Invitational, club officials have announced the $30 late registration fee will not go into effect until May 7. The tournament is May 13-15. Entry fee is $200 ($150 for ACC members).

MORE MOVEMENT: Silver Lakes Class A pro Brennan Clay is leaving the RTJ Trail and the golf business for other opportunities. He plans to apply to get his amateur status back and looks forward to playing on the Calhoun County Golf Tour when reinstated as an amateur.

FIRST WIN: Jaylon Ellison scored eagles two short par-5s on the back side and shot 7-under-par 65 at Smoke Rise G&CC to collect his first pro win on the Open Golf Atlanta Tour.

He won by six shots. And his round Wednesday included two bogeys.

Since getting engaged, the former Anniston resident has won an Open Golf Atlanta event, lost a sudden-death playoff in another and just missed qualifying for the PGA Tour’s Wells Fargo open qualifier by a shot.

He next plays in the pre-qualifier for the Byron Nelson.

ACES IN THE CROWD: Several players scored holes-in-one at county courses this week.

Paul Dorsey scored his first ever hole-in-one when he aced the fourth hole at Pine Hill Country Club from 156 yards with a 5-iron. On the same day, Jonathan Pate scored his third ace, holing an 8-iron from 165 yards on the 16th.

Leon Morrow aced the 15th at Cane Creek Golf Course with a 6-iron.

Rick Pollard of Breman, Ga., scored his first hole-in-one when he aced the eighth hole at Cider Ridge from 140 yards with a 5-wood.

UPCOMING EVENTS: Here are the most recent upcoming fundraising tournaments reported to East Alabama Sports Today. Unless noted, contact the courses for more information.

Chip-In for Children, a four-person scramble to benefit The Learning Tree programs is Auburn and Tallassee, is June 21 at the Auburn University Club. Entry fee is $125 per player, $400 per team. Sponsorship opportunities also are available. Contact Stephanie Weldon for more information (334-415-9372).

The ERA/King Scrambling’ for UCP is Friday at Cider Ridge GC. Entry fee for the four-man scramble is $100/player.

The Two-Man Fun Fest at Pine Hill, May 7-8, is offering entry fees into the Sunny King Charity Classic for its flight winners. Entry fee is $75/player.

Other Pine Hill events this month include Harvest Church of God 3-Person Scramble (May 6), Woodruff Memorial Tournament (May 7), League of Animal Welfare 4-Man Scramble (May 14) and Cleburne County Basketball Scramble (May 20).

PAIRINGS: Here are the first-round tee times for East Alabama players at the AHSAA state golf championship:

AHSAA State Championship
At RTJ-Hampton Cove


7:00 a.m. – Sophie Burks, Trinity; Grayson Gladden, Helena
7:09 – Anna Fassnacht, Brooks; Abby Stevens, Alexandria
7:18 – Josie Willis, Russellville; Lexee Cunningham, White Plains; Lauren Kendall Graham, UMS-Wright
7:27 – Jordan Revere, UMS-Wright; Hannah Webb, Demopolis; Bailey Tubb, Russellville
7:36 – Caroline Webb, Demopolis; Morgan Moon, Russellville; Hanna Dyar, White Plains
7:45 – Ashton Moore, Russellville; Morgan Prickett, White Plains; Maizie Summersell, UMS-Wright
7:54 – Layne Dyar, White Plains; Lauren Gilchrist, UMS-Wright; Anna Reid, Demopolis

8:12 a.m. – Ike Alexander, Mars Hill; Dew Matthers, St. Lukes; Spencer Arnold, St. Lukes
8:21 – Jake McDonald, Houston Academy; Robert Clausen, Donoho; Cody Maddox, Marion County
8:30 – Harrison Hughston, Donoho; Chase Smith, Providence Christian; Riley Thrasher, Decatur Heritage.
8:39 – William Speigner, Providence Christian; Riley Heath, Decatur Heritage; Matthew Streitman, Houston Academy
8:48 – John Reese Hamn, Decatur Heritage; Emmett Lee, Houston Academy; Ross Svenson, Donoho
8:57 – John Michael McAllister, Houston Academy; Jack Svenson, Donoho; Alec Davis, Providence Christian
9:06 – Jacob Lecroy, Donoho; Thomas Speigner, Providence Christian; Mac Murphy, Decatur Heritage
9:15 – Thomas Ponder, Providence Christian; Sam Murphy, Decatur Heritage; Hal Dove, Houston Academy

10:45 a.m. – Dakota Terry, West Morgan; Logan Forrester, Geraldine; Troy Hart, T.R. Miller
10:54 – Craig Jones, Bayside; Jeremiah Ward, Glencoe; Bradley Cassady, Opp
11:03 – Ethan Womack, Glencoe; Jackson Bowman, Westbrook Christian; Rob Pulliam, Indian Springs
11:12 – JP Pirani, Westbrook Christian; Pete Schilli, Indian Springs; Henry Wise, Bayside
11:21 – Hal Rogers, Indian Springs; Bryce Roush, Bayside; Andrew Lang, Glencoe
11:30 – Brice Warden, Bayside; Brock McNeely, Glencoe; William Wethington, Westbrook Christian
11:39 – Jack Sims, Glencoe; Harrison Martin, Westbrook Christian; Varun Yerramsetti, Indian Springs
11:48 – John Hilliard Catanzaro, Westbrook Christian; Chandler Pulliam, Indian Springs; William Buhl, Bayside

12:06 p.m. – Hannah Pope, Mars Hill; Chloe Borders, Jacksonville Christian
12:15 – Kylee Tavares, Clements; Stephenie Fowler, American Christian; Allison Howard, Providence Christian
12:24 – Meg Bowen, Winfield; Gracie Guyton, Westbrook Christian; Blakely Jones, Bayside
12:33 – Sydney Fairchild, Westbrook Christian; Paige Hammele, Bayside; Nicole Towe, Clements
12:42 – Kaitlyn Morris, Bayside; Abigail Baker, Clements; Nikki Moore, Winfield
12:51 – MaKayla Browning, Clements; Molly Norris, Winfield; Ellie Porter, Westbrook Christian
1:00 p.m. – Jordan Clark, Winfield; Hope Cone, Westbrook Christian; Tori Roush, Bayside


8:21 a.m. – Garrett Johnson, Mortimer Jordan; Anthony Lumpkin, Douglas; Andrew Black, Helena
8:30 – Jaceton Murray, Russellville; Blair Bailey, Clay County; Mark Johnson, Demopolis
8:39 – Dawson Harry, Clay County; John Martin Doyle, Guntersville; William Hunt, St. Paul’s
8:48 – Trey Moore, Guntersville; Matthew Hunt, St. Paul’s; Triston Tubb, Russellville
8:57 – Noble Smith, St. Paul’s; Eric Boutwell, Russellville; Peyton Davidson, Clay County
9:06 – Joshua Seal, Russellville; Nick Watts, Clay County; Paul Bruce, Guntersville
9:15 – Riley Sanford, Clay County; Morton Holcomb, Guntersville; Will McFadden, St. Paul’s
9:24 – Reagan Harrell, Guntersville; Kyle Cornelius, St. Paul’s; Eli Hodges, Russellville

11:03 a.m. – Matt Johnson, North Jackson; Korlan Trull, Fayette County
11:12 – Ben Bricken, Trinity; Jake Lackey, Westminster Christian; PM Taupeka, UMS-Wright
11:21 – Will Holmes, Trinity; Corey Nolan, UMS-Wright; P.J. Sotelo, White Plains
11:30 – Andrew Graves, UMS-Wright; Colman Hayes, White Plains; Ty Hays, Oneonta
11:39 – Cameron McCareeth, White Plains; Colby Chaviers, Oneonta; Carter Green, Trinity
11:48 – Will Patrick, Oneonta; Wilson Shanahan, Trinity; JP Cave, UMS-Wright
11:57 – Phelps Williams, Trinity; Felix Ronderos, UMS-Wright; Nathan Griffin, White Plains
12:06 p.m. – Thomas Iturbe, UMS-Wright; Layton Bussey, White Plains; Stewart Miller, Oneonta

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