E.A. Sports Today

Record prep

Dalton Chandler shoots record-tying 58 at The Hill in practice round for County Tournament

Here is the front nine of Dalton Chandler’s 58 at Anniston Municipal GC Monday. The back nine is below.

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

Dalton Chandler tuned up for this weekend’s 81st Calhoun County Tournament in a big-time way Monday.

The dominant player on the Calhoun County Golf Tour played at practice round at Anniston Municipal Golf Course and tied the course record with a 12-under-par 58. The round featured three eagles – in the first five holes – and seven birdies and included a three-putt bogey.

He had a chance to take it even lower. He missed a pair of three-foot putts and parred the par-5 18th with a 6-iron on his approach. He was playing with Tanner Wells and Brock Wright.

“This was just a freak of nature day,” he said. “It was the craziest round of golf I’ve ever seen.”

It couldn’t have started better. He eagled 1 with a 20-foot putt, birdied 2 from two feet, eagled 3 from eight feet and eagled 5 (a par-4) from two feet. He turned in 8-under 27. On the back he birdied 10, 12, 13, 14 and 17. The bogey came on the par-3 16th.

He hit nine fairways, 16 greens and took 25 putts.

It had the same feel as the round he had here in the Calhoun County Match Play Championship when he made 10 birdies in closing out Brennan Clay on the 14th hole.

“I shot 8-under on the front, which is just stupid, but I never let my foot off the gas; I was aggressive every shot,” Chandler said. “It’s going to take a low number to win out there (this weekend). You’re not going to have to shoot 58, but one round of 64 or better. It’s an easy golf course, but you’ve still got to get it in the hole.”

He had a two-foot par putt on No. 4 and normally would have taken the gimme and moved on, but after such a big start Wells suggested he put everything out for the possibility of a course record. He knocked it in and eventually went on to tie James Ramey’s course record.

Jeremy McGatha shot 61 in the opening round of the County Tournament last year. Ott Chandler, Dalton’s dad, shot a 63 in the final round and won on the second hole of a playoff.

Dalton Chandler has won four tournaments on the Calhoun County Tour this season and takes a more than 100-point lead over Gary Wigington into the tournament for County Player of the Year honors, but despite his dominance there’s still a chance he could be denied.

Chandler would win it by winning the tournament or finishing higher than Wigington, but Wigington would steal the title if he wins the tournament and Chandler finishes tied for third or worse.

U.S. AMATEUR: Gadsden’s John Hilliard Catanzaro shot 2-over-par 70 at Bel-Air CC and is currently tied for seventh after the first round of stroke play qualifying for the U.S. Amateur. Catanzaro was 4-under at the turn and through 14 holes, then bogeyed three straight holes before closing with a birdie. He plays at Riviera Tuesday hoping to make it to match play.

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