E.A. Sports Today

Mission accomplished

Dalton Chandler set a goal of winning County Player of the Year and won the prize in dominating fashion

Dalton Chandler won four tournaments on his way to being the 2017 Calhoun County Player of the Year — (clockwise) Indian Oaks, Anniston CC, Cane Creek, Silver Lakes.

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

Of all the goals Dalton Chandler set for himself at the start of this golf season, winning Player of the Year on the Calhoun County Golf Tour was highest on the list.

He may not have left Anniston Municipal Sunday with the Calhoun County Championship to complete a five-counter sweep, but no one would dispute his standing as the player of the year.

Chandler dominated the County Tour, winning a record four times in seven events and taking the series championship by 240 points; he basically had it won before they even teed off for the final round.

Luckily for the field, they only count a player’s top five finishes in the points standings. If they counted all his starts, he would have finished with 1,990 points.

As it was, with his third-place finish Sunday (second among County Tour players), he had 1,575 points — 132 more Ty Cole had in his dominant year last season.

“It’s a big deal,” Chandler said. “That means you played the best through the whole year.

“At the beginning of the year if they said would I’d rather win the county tournament or Player of the Year, naturally I’m going to say (POY) is a little bit better. Still, it would have been nice to come away with both of them.”

Chandler didn’t miss many. He won at Indian Oaks, Silver Lakes, Anniston Country Club and Cane Creek. He scored second Tour points at Cider Ridge and the County. His only bad outing was a 10th at Pine Hill. He was 38-under-par in his four wins, 50-under for the Tour season.

“Dalton played great this year,” county champion Jeremy McGatha said. “Winning player of the year is hard; I’ve done it twice and it’s hard. Congrats to him. He played awesome, kicked our butt all year.”

Of the tournaments he put on his mantle this year, Chandler said he “liked” winning the ACC Invitational, but admitted beating the pros at the Fort McClellan Credit Union Pro-Invitational at Cane Creek was “cool.”

“Did I prove anything to myself?” he asked. “Yeah, I guess. I learned how to win individual tournaments from this little tour, not just this year, but the past few years.”

His imprint was all over the statistics. He led the Tour in scoring average (68.25) and birdies (86). Only three of his 16 Tour rounds were in the 70s, and two of those were 70. He had only one round over par.

He was among the leaders in almost every other category as well – fairways (8.71), greens (13.29), putts (29.50), putts per GIR (1.780), 3-putts (0.040), scrambling (62.1) and scoring on the par-3s (3.121), par-4s (3.886) and par-5s (4.375).

“It was good,” he said of the year. “It would’ve been really good if I won this one. That would’ve been 5-for-5 in all the (tournaments) I counted. That’d have been the most points one could possibly get; that would’ve been cool. No one would ever break the points record, tie it, but not break it.”

Cover photo by B.J. Franklin

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