E.A. Sports Today

Crazy 8 settles race

Cole claims Cane Creek crown, his 10th Calhoun County Tour win but first in 20 months; key moment comes on iconic eighth hole

Ty Cole (R), shown on the tee with Randy Lipscomb, has won 10 times on the Calhoun County Golf Tour since 2013. Half of those wins have come at Cane Creek Golf Course. (Photo by B.J. Franklin)

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

Ty Cole shot a final-round 69, survived a front-nine challenge from Gary Wigington and completed a wire-to-wire victory in the Fort McClellan Credit Union Cane Creek Invitational.

Cole posted a two-day total 12-under-par 132 and won by four shots over Wigington. Jeremy McGatha finished third, six shots back.

It was Cole’s first win in an individual stroke play tournament in Calhoun County since the 2016 Pine Hill Invitational, the last of his three straight Calhoun County Golf Tour wins that season.

“I had a great year two years ago and had a solid year last year,” Cole said. “I won Centre, Gadsden, Etowah County, I just didn’t win anything in Calhoun County on the Tour. To get a win on the Tour two tournaments in feels good.

“Silver Lakes aside (in U.S. Open local qualifying), I’ve been playing pretty good golf, which is kind of rare this early in the year for me. I’ve been hitting the ball really well, figured out that little thing in my putting; I feel pretty good going forward.”

He wasn’t completely shut out in Calhoun County last year. He and Wigington won the Calhoun County Two-Man at Silver Lakes in March and repeated as Sunny King Charity Classic champions in July.

The turning point Sunday came on one of the most famous holes in the county – the eighth.

For years, the eighth at Cane Creek had been known as the “S” hole, a serpentine par-5 that conservative players approach as three par-3s – get it in the fairway, lay it up in front of the hazard, then pitch onto the green.

When course managers undertook their tree removal project last year to promote turf growth, it opened up the hole to where long hitters from the forward tees could reasonably reach the green in 2.

“If you play the blue tees every day, No. 8 doesn’t change,” Cole explained. “You still can’t get super aggressive off the tee, but you can be more aggressive to the green because all those trees are gone. It’s still a tricky hole even without the trees, but if you’re playing the white tees and hit a solid tee ball, it’s an eagle hole.”

Wigington started the day five shots back of Cole, but with five birdies in his first seven holes had drawn within a shot of the lead when he birdied No. 7 to Cole’s double bogey. But all those gains went away on the iconic par-5 when Wigington popped up his 3-wood off the tee and into the hazard and eventually took an 8 to Cole’s birdie. Cole then birdied 9 to turn with a six-shot lead.

“If he hits that tee ball solid and in the fairway you’re talking about a battle royal for the last 10 holes,” Cole said. “(Instead) it went from a nip-and-tuck tournament to where he has all the momentum to where we started with 10 holes to play. After he made the big number the aggressiveness went out of my game.”

Wigington birdied two of the last three holes and posted the best round of the day, a 4-under 68 that had seven birdies, an eagle and only seven pars, but it will be that tee shot off 8 that will stick with him.

“It was a great round other than that one bad hole,” he said. “Make a triple on 8 and bogeyed it yesterday doing the same thing and just knocked myself out of the tournament. Bad decision, bad swing, whatever, I just didn’t make contact at all with the ball. Just everything went wrong that could go wrong.”

Of Cole’s 10 all-time County Tour wins, five have now been taken at Cane Creek. He has won this tournament three times.

“This golf course sets up good for me,” he said. “I love the way it looks, the way the holes set up; normally we play it a lot farther back than we did for two days. I’ve always had good success at that golf course because it sets up good, looks good to me off the tee. I’ve made a few putts out there.”

The other flight winners were Kaine Gibson (First, 144); Clay Calkins (Second, 151) and Tyler Tenecyk (Third, 166).

On the cover: Ty Cole watches his drive off the 14th tee as Gary Wigington looks on. To see a photo gallery from Sunday’s round visit www.bjfranklin.smugmug.com. (Photo by B.J. Franklin)

Adrian Geeting finished fourth, his highest finish on the Calhoun County Golf Tour since a T-4 in the 2014 Cane Creek Pro-Invitational. (Photo by B.J. Franklin)


Championship flight
Ty Cole 63-69—132
Gary Wigington 68-68—136
Jeremy McGatha 66-72—138
Adrian Geeting 73-70—143
Kenny Wright 73-76—149
Chad Calvert 73-76—149
Randy Lipscomb 72-77—149
Brennan Clay 73-76—149
Jerome Wilson 73-80—153
Tanner Wells 73-79—156

First flight
Kaine Gibson 75-69—144
Matt Rogers 74-71—145
Caleb Bowen 75-73—148
Chip Howell 75-76—151
Walt Drake 78-73—151
Kevin Rogers 75-79—154
Andrew Brooks 77-77—154
Norris Ray 76-79—155
Landon Straub 78-79—157
Daily Thomas 78-82—161

Second flight
Clay Calkins 81-70—151
Jeff Borrelli 80-73—153
Jansen Wilborn 80-77—157
Vince Floyd 83-81—164
Scotty Grimes 79-85—164
John McKenzie 81-86—167
Rocco D’Gomez 85-89—174
David Martin 85-85—170
Mark Gaines 89-95—184

Third flight
Tyler Teneyck 86-80—166
Jono Waugh 86-81—167
Jimmy Jackson 88-91—179
T.J. McGatha 89-91—180
Clark Cunningham 92-91—183
Kelly Rogers 91-98—189
Larry Cunningham 96-104—200
Fran Doyle 101-99—200
Ron McKinney 100-103—203
Ron Seckinger 107-97—204

Kaine Gibson (L), Caleb Bowen (C), a couple of former baseball players, and Matt Rogers were the top three finishers in the First Flight. (Photo by B.J. Franklin)


Ty Cole 550
Gary Wigington 430
Jeremy McGatha 425
Brennan Clay 392.5
Adrian Geeting 375
Chad Calvert 355
Randy Lipscomb 355
Caleb Bowen 340
Matt Rogers 320
Logan Archer 300
Clay Calkins 267.5
Jeff Borrelli 240
Kaine Gibson 210
Tanner Wells 175
Andrew Brooks 175
Kenny Wright 172.5
Jake Goggans 170
Daniel Black 165
Layton Bussey 152.5
Richard Starling 152.5
Chip Howell 150
Walt Drake 150
Kevin Daugherty 140
Scott Martin 140
Heath Walker 140
Jerome Wilson 137.5
Daily Thomas 130
Kevin Rogers 127.5
Norris Ray 120
Luke Armstrong 117.5
Dustin Travis 117.5
David Lawrence 117.5
Janson Wilborn 107.5
Landon Straub 107.5
Eric Lett 102.5
Vince Floyd 92.5
Scotty Grimes 92.5
Graham Morrow 90
Mark Highland 90
Timmy Woodard 90
Tyler Teneyck 85
Austin Minter 77.5
Wayne Hudgins 77.5
Jono Waugh 77.5
John McKenzie 77.5
Chance Harris 70
David Martin 70
Rocco D’Gomez 65
Randy Archer 60
Jeff Bain 60
Jimmy Jackson 60
T.J. McGatha 55
Clark Cunningham 50
Mark Gaines 50
Chris Cox 47.5
Kelly Rogers 45
Chase Hollingsworth 40
Larry Cunningham 32.5
Fran Doyle 32.5
Tim Steward 30
Keith Raisanen 30
Ron McKinney 25
Ron Seckinger 20
Chase Thomas 15
Casey Harmon 7.5
Brad Baird 7.5
Billy Thompson 5
Chad Reavis 5
Dalton Chandler 5
Clayton Chandler 5
Scott Sikes 5
Mike Granato 5
Kobie Webb 5
Landon Holley 5
Seth Collett 5
Bruce Collins 5
Lamar Ward 5
Aaron Jones 5
Ron Fleming 5
Charley Estes 5
Phillip Hunt 5
Kyle Daugherty 5
Rick Taylor 5
Jeremy Willis 5

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