E.A. Sports Today

Cole sets early pace

Hottest golfer in the area scores consecutive eagles on back nine, flirts with course record in Dub Ellis Invitational

By East Alabama Sports Today

CENTRE – About 12 hours before his appointed tee time, Ty Cole was about thisclose to pulling out of the Dub Ellis Invitational. Good thing he didn’t.

Still feeling drained from a record-breaking run in the Sunny King Charity Classic, Cole was seriously considering not playing. But he decided to go for it and all he did in one of the earliest groups of the day Saturday was shoot an opening-round 10-under-par 61 to set the early pace at Cherokee County Country Club.

The round included back-to-back eagles on the back nine that set him up for a chance at golf’s magic number. As it was, the round set the single-round Invitational scoring record and missed the white-tee course record by one.

Eddie Jackson holds the all-time course record, 56, set before they lengthened the course.

“I’ll be honest, we had a get together for my birthday with all the crew from Albertville and on the way home (wife) Ashlin says, ‘You know, you don’t have to go play golf tomorrow,’” said Cole, who turned 41 Monday. “I was tired, I’ve been beat all week, and I said, ‘you’re right.’

“I was very close to texting (pairing partner) Jake (Minnix) and saying you go ahead I’m not coming. Then we got home and (Ashlin) said she wasn’t doing anything tomorrow so I said OK I’m going to the golf course. I’ve got nothing else to do.”

Cole holds a three-shot lead over Fort Payne 14-year-old Dawson Garrett. Grant Hockman is third after a 68 and defending champion Chad Calvert is fourth at 69.

Cole’s round started rather indifferently with a couple loose shots and 1-under through five holes. But then he caught fire and birdied the last four on the front to turn in 5-under.

He was 6-under through 14 and then scored the back-to-back eagles. He drove the par-4 15th green to 18 feet and hit his second shot on the par-5 16th to five feet.

That left a birdie-birdie finish for golf’s magic number – 59. His tee shot on the par-3 17th was 30 feet from the hole and his putt stopped a foot short. He still could break 60 with an eagle at the last, but his chip into the green came up 15 feet short and he two-putted to finish.

“I didn’t really think about (shooting 59),” he said. “When I left that chip 15 feet short Jake came walking by and said, ‘Well, when you’ve got a chip for 59, that’s what you want to do.’ That was about the only time I thought about it.”

Cole is looking to win his fourth straight individual tournament title. Coming into the week he has won the Fort McClellan Credit Union Pro-Invitational, the Gadsden Country Club Invitational and the Silver Lakes Championship. He also this season has won the Sunny King Charity Classic last week, the Calhoun County Four-Ball and the Cherokee County CC Two-Man – all with Gary Wigington.

At Cherokee County CC, Centre
First-round scores

Championship flight
Ty Cole 61
Dawson Garrett 64
Grant Hockman 68
Chad Calvert 69
Matt Rogers 70
Brennan Clay 70
Corey Ray 70
Jeremy Willis 71
David Garrett 71
Mike Granato Sr. 71
Robson Copenhaver 71
Skylar Dennis 71
Steve Horne 71
Byron Reed 71

First flight
Mark Still 72
Jake Minnix 72
Cole Skaggs 72
Brady Garrett 72
John Henderson 72
Clay Stephenson 72
Caleb McKinney 72
Seth Dodd 72
Scott Hays 73
Sid Garrett 73
Lee Morgan 74
Daily Thomas 74
Derrick Nicholson 74
Robin Wood 74
Jordan Bethune 74
Jeremy McGatha 75
Morton Hodgens 75
Clint Whiteside 75
Tim Trammell 75
Kent Colvin 75

Second flight
Scott McFry 77
Mike Googe 77
Larry Guffey 77
Bobby Locklear 77
Rocky Chapman 78
Dustin Underwood 78
Brian Johnson 78
Adam Weaver 79
Terry Tallent 79
Clayton Chandler 79
Chad Gray 79
Tim Hill 80
Scott Grimes 80
Fred Barhorst 80
Phillip Hicks 80
Russell Chambers 80
Jordan White 80
Bill Gilchrist 80
Todd Brock 81
Johnny Willis 81
Dalton Casey 81

Third flight
Caden Garrett 82
Kelly Rogers 82
John Reeves 82
Ray Amberson 83
Mark Reeves 83
Kurt Duryea 84
Paul Gentry 84
Jeff Woodall 84
Mike Bradberry 85
Carson Garrett 85
C.J. Murphy 85
T.J. McGatha 86
Tim Smith 87
Clay Allen 87
Justin Bell 88
Tony King 89
Trai West 89
Larry Stone 91

Player 444 435 434 35 443 454 534 36 71

Ty Cole 434 434 323 30 442 452 334 31 61

Sunday’s pairings
8 a.m. — Larry Stone, Tony King, Justin Bell
8:10 — Tim Smith, Clay Allen, T.J. McGatha
8:20 — Trai West, Mike Bradberry, Carson Garrett, C.J. Murphy
8:30 — Paul Gentry, Kurt Duryea, Jeff Woodall, Ray Amberson
8:40 — Mark Reeves, Kelly Rogers, John Reeves, Caden Garrett
9:00 — Todd Brock, Johnny Willis, Dalton Casey
9:10 — Tim Hill, Scotty Grimes, Phillip Hicks
9:20 — Russell Chambers, Jordan White, Fred Barhorst
9:30 — Bill Gilchrist, Terry Tallent, Clayton Chandler, Adam Weaver
9:40 — Chad Gray, Rocky Chapman, Dustin Underwood, Brian Johnson
9:50 — Scott McFry, Mike Googe, Larry Guffey, Bobby Locklear
10:20 — Tim Trammell, Morten Hodgens, Kent Colvin, Jeremy McGatha
10:30 — Clint Whiteside, Robin Wood, Lee Morgan, Derrick Nicholson
10:40 — Daily Thomas, Jordan Bethune, Sid Garrett, Scott Hays
10:50 — John Henderson, Cole Skaggs, Caleb McKinney, Mark Still
11:00 — Jake Minnix, Clay Stephenson, Brady Garrett, Seth Dodd
11:30 — Steve Horne, Skylar Dennis, Robson Copenhaver
11:40 — Mike Granato Sr., Jeremy Willis, David Garrett
11:50 — Byron Reed, Matt Rogers, Corey Ray, Brennan Clay
Noon — Chad Calvert, Grant Hockman, Dawson Garrett, Ty Cole

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