E.A. Sports Today

Cole halfway home

Calhoun County Tour points leader shoots 66, leads by 3; halfway to sixth straight individual win

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

Ty Cole was starting to wonder what it was going to take to break through at Pine Hill Country Club.

He had posted four straight rounds under par in the Pine Hill Invitational the last two years and didn’t have anything better than a fifth-place finish to show for it.

A year ago he shot his best round ever on the course, a 66 in the final round, the second-best round of the day, and finished fifth. On Saturday he shot 66 again, but this time it was good enough to get him the lead.

The hottest player on the Calhoun County Golf Tour made five birdies, an eagle and one bogey on the way to a three-shot lead over four challengers, halfway home to his sixth straight individual tournament title and third straight on the County Tour.

Jeff Borrelli, Chip Howell, Brennan Clay and Gary Wigington are all tied for second. Four other players are another shot back at 70.

“It seems like every year – here – somebody goes stupid low,” Cole said. “Name another tournament were 9-under finishes fifth. That just doesn’t happen on this Tour.

“Was it a good score? Yeah, I’ll take (last year’s) 69-66 on every Tour event from now until Jesus comes back and probably win 90 percent of them, but out here for the last couple years somebody’s gone crazy early.”

A lot of grass and a lot of rain kept that from really happening Saturday. In 2013 and 2014 Wigington shot 65 in the opening round. Last year Dalton Chandler opened with a 63, but Wigington shot 63 in the final round – for the third year in a row – to win for the third year in a row.

“You can’t rely on (shooting 63), but at least you know you have done it before and hopefully can try to do it again,” Wigington said. “You’ve got to make a lot of putts. It’ll take a 65 or better (to challenge the lead).”

As well as Cole has played this summer that still might not be enough. Since mid-May he has won individual titles at Cane Creek, Silver Lakes, Gadsden CC, Cherokee County CC and Chesley Oaks. He also won two-man events in Anniston (the Sunny King Classic) and Centre.

Things have been going so well he thinned a 6-iron from the fairway on 15 that rolled to five feet for an eagle that got him to 5-under for the day. He bogeyed the par-3 16th and then birdied 17 and 18 coming home.

Wigington also birdied the last two holes to climb into contention. He had seven birdies in the round.

“I hit it better the last nine so I feel like I’ve got a chance to shoot a pretty good number tomorrow if I make the putts,” he said. “I missed four of them inside four feet today. If I make three of those four, which I should, it’d have been a different number.”

Borrelli and Howell both made five birdies, their season highs on the County Tour. Borrelli had 12 one-putt greens and finished with 24 putts in the round.

“The last two tournaments I’d shoot an OK round on Saturday and then I’ve been really playing great on Sunday, but they’re too late,” Borrelli said. “I went into this one (looking to) shoot 68, 67 on Saturday. I’d rather shoot 68-80 and have a shot at it, then 80 the first day and 68 the second.”

In his last four full tournaments he has a Saturday stroke average of 80.0 and a Sunday average of 77.5.

Howell had his round to 3-under before the rain hit on 13 and suspended play for about 15 minutes, causing his back to tighten. His first full shot when play resumed was an iron on the par-3 14th that missed the green right, but he chipped in for birdie to get to 4-under, then bogeyed the next two holes. He birdied 17.

It was his first full round in three weeks as he’s trying to pace himself for a U.S. Senior Amateur bid next month.

“Right now my mental game is better than it’s ever been,” he said. “My expectations are a little less, but I still demand a lot of myself.

Clay turned in 1-under-par despite missing six of nine greens on the front. He got up and down on seven of the eight greens he missed in the round. He leads the County Tour in scrambling, getting up and down nearly 70 percent of the time.

Cole’s eagle on 15 wasn’t the only one in the round. Jonathan Pate eagled the par-4 17th on his way to an even-par 72.

First-round scores

Championship flight
Ty Cole 34-32—66
Jeff Borrelli 36-33—69
Chip Howell 33-36—69
Brennan Clay 35-34—69
Gary Wigington 36-33—69
Tanner Wells 34-36—70
Kenny Wright 35-35—70
Chase Hollingsworth 35-35—70
Scott Eaton 35-35—70
Lance Evans 35-36—71
Kevin Daugherty 37-34—71
Tyler Dopson 37-34—71
Matt Rogers 37-35—72
Jonathan Pate 35-37—72
Caleb Bowen 36-36—72

First flight
Caleb McKinney 36-37—73
Dalton Chandler 34-39—73
Jeremy McGatha 35-38—73
Chad Calvert 36-37—73
Daniel Black 35-38—73
Andrew Brooks 33-40—73
Ott Chandler 35-39—74
Billy Thompson 38-36—74
Keith Raisanen 39-35—74
Josh Poole 38-36—74
Janson Wilborn 37-38—75
Austin Minter 37-38—75
Dan McClellan 36-39—75-WD
Dan Griffin 37-38—75
Benji Turley 37-38—75

Second flight
Tony Hicks 37-39—76
Cameron McCareeth 37-39—76
Adrian Geeting 38-38—76
Christian Rogers 38-38—76
Casey Harmon 38-38—76
David Sanders 37-40—77
Mark Durden 39-38—77
Carter Gable 39-38—77
Andrew Williams 39-38—77
Jeff Watkins 39-38—77
Nathan Griffin 37-40—77
Bo Robinson 38-40—78
Rick Okins 40-38—78
Robin Wood 38-40—78
Andrew Picton 37-41—78
Dennis Austin 42-37—79
Graham Morrow 39-40—79
Clayton Chandler 40-39—79

Third flight
David Coffey 38-42—80
Glenn Heathcock 41-39—80
Nick Pollard 41-39—80
Jerry Cobb 37-44—81
Mike Hughston 40-41—81
Daily Thomas 40-41—81
Dustin Viehe 39-42—81
Johnny Tucker 40-41—81
Steve Taylor 42-40—82
Brandon Roberts 40-42—82
Kenny Okins 43-40—83
Scott Watson 44-39—83
Brady Grasser 43-40—83
Chandler Wilborn 43-40—83
Mark Gaines 42-42—84
Kelly Rogers 45-39—84

Fourth flight
Mickey Travis 43-42—85
Joel Brown 40-45—85
Heath Waldrop 43-42—85
David Stephens 42-44—86
Lenn Coffey 42-44—86
Caleb Morrow 42-44—86
Brad Hardin 43-44—87
Chance Harris 42-46—88
John Lindsey 44-44—88
Keaton Borrelli 47-42—89
Hayden Crowe 42-47—89
Greg Rainey 44-45—89
Gage Miller 47-43—90
Grant Greenwood 46-44—90
Wesley Jenkins 46-45—91
Jamie Lewis 51-41—92
Jimbo Phillips 49-43—92
Steve Borrelli 47-46—93
Wayne Boyd 47-47—94
Tim Croft 51-49—100
Kolby Slick 55-46—101

Player 453 345 444 36 444 435 345 36 72

Cole 453 344 434 34 444 333 434 32 66
Wigington 444 444 534 36 345 434 334 33 69
J. Borrelli 364 344 444 36 334 434 345 33 69
Howell 443 344 344 33 444 426 435 36 69
Clay 453 434 444 35 444 434 344 34 69

Sunday’s pairings
7 a.m. Shotgun

No. 1 — Lewis, S. Borrelli, Craft
No. 17 – Hughston, Watkins, Austin, Heathcock

1 p.m. Shotgun
No. 1A – Wigington, Wells, Wright, Hollingsworth
No. 1B – Cole, Borrelli, Howell, Clay
No. 2 – Daugherty, Evans, Eaton, Dobson
No. 3 – Bowen, Pate, M. Rogers, McKinney
No. 4 – Calvert, McGatha, D. Chandler
No. 5 – Thompson, O. Chandler, Brooks, Black
No. 6 – Minter, J. Wilborn, Poole, Raisanen
No. 7A – Sanders, Harmon, C. Rogers, Geeting
No. 7B – Tucker, Hicks, D. Griffin, Turley
No. 8 – N. Griffin, R. Okins, Gable, Durden
No. 9 – Picton, Wood, Robinson, Williams
No. 10 – Pollard, D. Coffey, G. Morrow, C. Chandler
No. 11 – Viehe, McCareeth, Taylor, Thomas
No. 12 – Watson, Cobb, Roberts, K. Okins
No. 13 – K. Rogers, Gaines, C. Wilborn, Grasser
No. 14 – Travis, Brown, Waldrip, Stevens
No. 15 – L. Coffee, C. Morrow, Hardin, Harris
No. 16 – Rainey, Crowe, K. Borrelli, Lindsey
No. 17 — Miller, Greenwood, Jenkins
No. 18 – Phillips, Boyd, Slick

You must be logged in to post a comment Login