E.A. Sports Today

Winning is fun

Hubbard sinks 12-foot birdie putt on fourth playoff hole to send him and partner Clay Calkins to Buddy Moore Tournament title

Chris Hubbard pulls his winning birdie putt out of the cup as partner Clay Calkins is congratulated by Brennan Clay for winning the Buddy Moore Charity Tournament Sunday.

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

Clay Calkins and Chris Hubbard can’t remember the last time they had this much fun on a golf course.

Winning, of course, is always fun, but it was the way with which they won the Buddy Moore Charity Scramble at Anniston Municipal Golf Course Sunday that they’ll remember fondly for a long, long time.

In what surely will be remembered as a county classic, Hubbard ended a day of dueling birdies when he drained a 12-footer on the fourth hole of sudden death to bring the regular tournament partners to victory over Brennan Clay and Andrew Brooks.

But it wasn’t just that one birdie that got everyone excited. The winners were two shots down with seven holes to play in regulation and then went on a tear with 10 birdies in their last 11 holes through the playoff. Actually, they birdied 11 of the last 13 holes in their round after the turn.

And they all were needed either to apply pressure or relieve it after their opponents had put one in the hole first. In regulation, Clay made a 22-footer from the fringe for birdie on 15 to get to 25-under and then Hubbard made a six-footer on top of him to keep it tied. On 17, Brooks chipped to five inches from below the green for a gimme birdie and 27-under and Hubbard drained an eight-footer to match that.

On the first hole of the playoff, Clay rolled in a must-make 10-footer for birdie when it looked like their opponent had birdie in the bag, but all of a sudden Hubbard’s three-footer became a lot testier to extend the match.

“That was so much fun; I had so much fun,” Hubbard said. “I love the competition, that’s what it’s all about. It’s been a long time since I had this much fun.”

The winners knew they were two shots down early on the back nine, but Hubbard said they weren’t worried. In fact, he said, they didn’t even talk about it. They just played golf and let the chips falls.

No one dared blink, though; birdies were flying everywhere. The final group was a six-some that also included first-round co-leaders Jeremy McGatha and Matt Rogers. Over the final five holes of regulation, the three groups scored 14 birdies. Altogether, the group scored 32 birdies and three eagles on the day.

“It’s probably one of the most fun times I’ve ever had in golf,” Calkins said. “I played in a playoff with my dad in one of his two-man invitationals in California and it went five holes and we just had a blast. Other than that, this was as much if not more fun than that. Oh my gosh was that fun.”

Neither team really had an advantage on the playoff holes until the deciding par-3 fourth. Clay gave his team a chance with a shot to the front edge of the green below the hole. Calkins flew the green off the tee, but his partner stuck it with an 8-iron after putting the 9 back in the bag. “I think it was a pretty good choice,” Hubbard said.

Brooks’ putt climbed the hill but finished short of the hole. Clay nearly dropped his, but the ball stopped two inches to the right of the cup. Hubbard putted first for his team and was money.

“We thought we had it read right,” Brooks said. “Brennan hit a great putt and it just didn’t curl at the end like we thought it would. When he hit it we both thought he had made it. We had a couple of those this weekend we thought we had read and when we hit it, it just didn’t happen. But we got outplayed in the playoff, pretty simple.”

The hole was good for Hubbard all day. He chipped in for birdie playing it as No. 4 the first time through and then as No. 13 he lofted an approach shot over the trees to eight feet for a birdie that drew them into a tie for the lead and “lit a fire under us.”

The only hole they didn’t birdie from there to the end was No. 2, and par was good enough there to extend the playoff.

The two playoff combatants completed regulation in 28-under-par 112, four shots ahead of McGatha-Rogers and Cory Etter-Caleb Bowen. Calkins and Hubbard shot 56 for the second day in a row – with an early bogey — while Clay and Brooks shot 57.

“When you have both teams playing good like that you just have to keep matching each other and somehow get a leg up on somebody,” Clay said. “When we made the birdies on 10 and 11 to go up two, that was really the only part of the round there was any kind room, and then they go birdie-birdie to tie us immediately.

“They didn’t miss any shots, we didn’t miss many shots. It was a matter of time before somebody stuck one in there and made a putt.”

And Hubbard answered the bell.

“I’m really excited to Hub; he really, really played well today,” Calkins said. “He holed out on the fifth hole for eagle after chipping in for birdie on the hole before that. Just very happy for Hub because he really played well and we played good enough to win.”

NOTES: Calkins also won the tournament in 2011 with Gary Wigington – the only time he didn’t play in the event with Hubbard … Tournament organizers are expected to have a final number Monday, but they anticipate having raised more than $20,000 for its charities. That would be a record … Scott Moore and Will Prickett won the Angie (fourth) Flight. The tournament is named is honor of Scott’s dad, longtime Hill pro Buddy Moore, and the flights for members of their family. Unfortunately, Scott’s team fell two shots shy Saturday of qualifying to play in his own flight … Mark Sawyer Long Drive prizes (No. 1) went to Will Mullendore (AM) and Guy Bradley (PM). Mike Clonts Long Putt prizes (No. 6) went to Nick Pope (AM) and Bradley (PM). Sarge Coleman Closest to the Pin prizes (No. 7) went to Charles Carden (AM) and Matt Rogers (PM) … Calhoun County Golf Tour officials said Sunday the 2017 County Match Play Championship is tentatively scheduled for Sept. 9-10 at The Hill.

Andrew Brooks (L) and Brennan Clay contemplate their birdie putt from the fringe on the second playoff hole Sunday. Both teams parred the hole to extend the playoff.

At Anniston Municipal GC
Final scores

Buddy Flight
x-Clay Calkins-Chris Hubbard 56-56—112
Andrew Brooks-Brennan Clay 55-57—112
Jeremy McGatha-Matt Rogers 55-61—116
Cory Etter-Caleb Bowen 57-59—116
Adrian Geeting-Austin Minter 58-62—120
Shane Chappell-Matt Miller 61-60—121
George Salmon-Jason Johnson 61-63—124
Daniel Clonts-Brett Key 61-67—128
Mike Zinn-Brian Whitley 61-68—129
x-won on fourth hole of playoff

Maryann Flight
Lenn Coffey-Nick Pollard 62-61—123
Frank Brady-Landon Winfrey 62-61—123
Allen Mangham-Chris Maye 62-64—126
Andy Soleman-Henry Donald 64-64—128
Chris Randall-James Randall 63-65—128
Andrew Tyson-Guy Bradley 63-66—129
Warren Askew-Bruce Collins 62-70—132
Nick Hubbard-Tony Hicks 63-69—132
Tony Strickland-Michael Herndon 64-70—134
Danny Whitaker-Cary Thomas 63-72—135

Scott Flight
David Hill-David Fitzgerald 66-67—133
Lynn Oswalt-Charles Carden 67-66—133
Mark Gaines-Andy Jenkins 69-66—135
Jimmy Jackson-Gordon Stewart 66-71—137
Steve McClellan-Ron Wheeler 68-70—138
Mike Braxton-Tim Mullinax 69-69—138
Tom Mullins-Henry Higginbotham 69-71—140
Tim Davis-Grady Sapp 69-71—140
Carter Gable-John Roe 68-74—142

Angie Flight
Scott Moore-Will Prickett 70-67—137
Steve Akers-John Harpe 71-69—140
Donnie McGinnis-Ron Dulaney 71-71—142
Ted Heim-Garrett Heim 72-71—143
Jerry Dingler-David Wray 72-72—144
Tom Sawyer-Trey Sawyer 70-74—144
Kelly Rogers-Elbert Rogers 70-75—145
Steve Mullendore-Will Mullendore 74-77—151
Keith Gann-Jeff Shaddix 75-75—150
Dallas Snow-Sage Snow 75-76—151
Nick Pope-Tommy Pope 77-75—152
Ken Renfroe-Kenner Renfroe 80-78—158

Players 535 344 344 35 434 444 345 35 70

Clk-Hub 344 224 244 29 333 333 234 27 56 (112)
Cly-Brk 424 333 334 29 324 433 234 28 57 (112)
McG-Rog 433 333 245 30 434 434 234 31 61 (116)
Ett-Bow 434 333 334 30 424 333 244 29 59 (116)

Playoff 535 3
Clk-Hub 434 2
Cly-Brk 434 3


2009 — Jeremy McGatha-Matt Rogers
2010 — Benji Turley-Marcus Harrell
2011 — Gary Wigington-Clay Calkins
2012 — Jaylon Ellison-Gonzalo Berlin
2013 — Jeremy McGatha-Matt Rogers
2014 — Jeremy McGatha-Matt Rogers
2015 — Ott Chandler-Dalton Chandler
2016 — Benji Turley-Marcus Harrell
2017 — Clay Calkins-Chris Hubbard

The good-time gallery enjoys the action from behind No. 2 green at Anniston Municipal Sunday.

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