E.A. Sports Today

Archer on target

Logan Archer bounces back from losing a two-shot lead on the final hole to winning the Cider Ridge Invitational in a playoff

Logan Archer checks the yardage on the par-3 17th. Archer defeated Ty Cole (background) on the second playoff hole Sunday to win the Cider Ridge Invitational. (Photo by B.J. Franklin)

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

OXFORD — Pardon the fractured English, but some days on the golf course you play good and some days you learn good.

Logan Archer did both Sunday in the Cider Ridge Invitational, although he’ll tell you there was more learning than anything.

Archer bounced back from losing a two-shot lead on the final hole of regulation to win his first Calhoun County Golf Tour title on the second hole of a playoff with Ty Cole.

“I learned real good today,” Archer said. “It ain’t grammatically correct, but I learned real good.”

The biggest lesson pertained to where being aggressive on the golf course was appropriate. He fell into the playoff after taking 8 on the final hole when he could have played safely down the fairway, in part for ripping a 2-iron from 247 through the green and into the hazard — after hitting his tee shot out of bounds.

He faced a similar shot on the first hole of the playoff, but there, instead of going for it, he laid up with a pitching wedge and wound up making par to extend the match. The decision was made easier when Cole drove into the left hazard, but Cole saved his par with a brilliant pitch into the green.

Cole conceded the victory after failing to locate his errant tee shot on the second playoff hole with Archer in the fairway less than 100 yards from the green.

“He played solid today; deserves to win,” Cole said. “He’s got a bright future.”

Both playoff combatants shot final-round 72s for a two-day 4-under-par 140. Brennan Clay finished third, one shot out of the playoff after posting the day’s best round in the championship flight (70).

Archer, a junior on the North Georgia golf team, started the day one off Randy Lipscomb’s overnight lead and trailed Cole by two at the turn after the nine-time County Tour winner eagled No. 9 from 20 feet. But he pulled even with a birdie-to-bogey exchange on 12 that touched off a run of four straight birdies (nearly holing an 8-iron from 177 yards), then making a brilliant par save on 16 he called “the best save of the day” after dropping out of the hazard off the tee. He took a two-shot lead into 18 when Cole three-putted for bogey on the par-3 17th – and then the fun began.

“Ty’s a good player, you know he’s going to make birdies, you have to keep your foot on the gas,” Archer said. “You didn’t get to 4- or 5-under playing safe, so you stay aggressive throughout the day and if you do you hit good shots. You know you have the swing to do it, you just have to make yourself put a good swing on it.”

That aggressive approach almost cost him. He contemplated 2-iron off the 18th tee with his lead, but went with driver and sailed it out of bounds. With the advantage Cole found the fairway bunker. Archer’s re-tee was perfect, 247 from the green; Cole, meanwhile, escaped the bunker to about 130 out.

Archer then ripped a 2-iron with his fourth shot that found the right hazard surrounding the green and he had to take another drop. Cole was only slightly more fortunate, his approach going through the green and down the hill, but stopping short of the water.

“I played 17 good holes,” Archer said. “You’ve got to stay positive. I know it’s easy to get negative on yourself real quick, but I hit good shots all week. The iron I hit out of the fairway was a good shot, it was just too much.”

Cole pitched up with his fourth shot and two-putted for 6. Archer pitched up with sixth shot and two-putted for 8 to force the playoff. Both players’ first putts just missed the hole.

“I got lucky to have a chance with his tee shot on 18, then got unlucky with the bounce on the wedge into the green,” Cole said.

The playoff started on 18 and this time Archer’s drive found the fairway. Cole, however, found the left hazard off the tee and he had to drop after finding the ball. His third shot left a nice approach, which he deposited close to the hole to save his par.

Cole’s misfortune off the tee and his own painful memory of the play in regulation prompted Archer to hit a pitching wedge down the fairway to 100 yards on his second shot and then a 60-degree wedge to the back of the green, where he two-putted for par to extend the playoff.

“I learned in some situations you need to not play quite as aggressive as you do in others,” he said. “If he would have hit one right down the middle I probably would have went for it; I had 10 yards less. I could’ve squeezed 4-iron on there, but at that point you knew there was no chance. I knew after he hit it in the hazard, dropped and hit it down there I knew he had to get up and down from 50-60 yards.”

Both players hit 3-wood off the tee on the second hole. Archer’s settled 87 yards from the green. Cole’s got lost left of the cart path and after a brief search he conceded the victory.

NOTES: Eric Lett scored a hole-in-one on No. 3 from 161 yards; it’s believed to be the third ace all-time on the CCGT. He was playing with Heath Walker … Ty Cole (No. 9) and Gary Wigington (No. 9) also scored eagles in the round, making it six for the tournament … Luke Armstrong made the biggest turnaround (87-69). Others were turned in by Billy Thompson (93-80), Chase Thomas (91-79) and Timmy Woodard (85-75).

Ty Cole pitches his ball towards the 18th green during Sunday’s playoff. Cole hit it close, helping him save par and extend the playoff, which Logan Archer won on the next hole. (Photo by B.J. Franklin)

To see a photo gallery from the round visit www.bjfranklin.smugmug.com


First-round scores
Championship flight
x-Logan Archer 68-72—140
Ty Cole 68-72—140
Brennan Clay 71-70—141
Jeremy McGatha 69-75—144
Randy Lipscomb 67-78—145
Chad Calvert 73-72—145
Gary Wigington 71-75—146
Adrian Geeting 73-75—148
Jake Goggans 73-82—155
Daniel Black 72-91—163
x-won on second playoff hole

First flight
Layton Bussey 75-77—152
Richard Starling 78-74—152
Scott Martin 77-76—153
Heath Walker 75-78—153
Kevin Daugherty 75-78—153
Matt Rogers 76-79—155
Dustin Travis 78-78—156
David Lawrence 78-78—156
Jeff Borrelli 78-79—157
Eric Lett 74-83—157
Dalton Chandler 74-NC
Chad Reavis 78-WD

Second flight
Caleb Bowen 79-70—149
Clay Calkins 80-76—156
Graham Morrow 80-80—160
Mark Highland 79-81—160
Wayne Hudgins 80-82—162
Austin Minter 80-82—162
Chris Cox 79-86—165
Andrew Brooks 81-84—165
Kaine Gibson 81-87—168
Brad Baird 81-90—171
Phillip Hunt 81-WD
Jeremy Willis 80-WD
Kyle Daugherty 79-WD

Third flight
Timmy Woodard 85-75—160
Chance Harris 82-81—163
Jeff Bain 83-81—164
Randy Archer 82-82—164
Tanner Wells 84-80—164
Chase Hollingsworth 85-81—166
Tim Steward 83-84—167
Keith Raisanen 85-82—167
Casey Harmon 82-89—171
Mike Granato 83-94—177
Kenny Wright 84-WD
Rick Taylor 83-WD

Fourth flight
Luke Armstrong 87-69—156
Daily Thomas 87-80—167
Billy Thompson 93-80—173
y-Chase Thomas 91-79—170
Clayton Chandler 91-85—176
Scott Sikes 88-88—176
Kobie Webb 88-90—178
Landon Holley 94-86—180
Seth Collett 94-87—181
Bruce Collins 90-92—182
Lamar Ward 97-94—191
Aaron Jones 105-98—203
Kelly Rogers 98-106—204
Ron Fleming 93-113—206
Charley Estes 87-WD
y-awarded third place

Brennan Clay finished third, one shot out of the playoff, after posting the best round of the Championship Flight Sunday. (Photo by B.J. Franklin)

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