E.A. Sports Today

Historic three-peat

Ty Cole rallies from two shots back with three holes to play, catches Brennan Clay for unprecedented third straight Gadsden Invitational title

Ty Cole (R) and Brennan Clay follow the flight of Cole’s drive off the 18th tee Sunday.

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

GADSDEN — Ty Cole stood on the first tee Sunday on the threshold of history. As a former high school history teacher he knew exactly what that meant.

Playing in the Gadsden Invitational is so important to Cole it forced him to miss his cousin’s wedding this weekend (no, not Prince Harry and Meghan Markle). Making history made it worthwhile.

Cole rallied from two shots down with three holes to play with a birdie-birdie-par finish Sunday to win the Gadsden Invitational and become the first player in the history of the event to win it three years in a row.

He shot a final-round 68 and finished at 8-under 205 for the weekend, one shot better than Brennan Clay, the player he chased down on the back nine.

It was his 11th win on the Calhoun County Golf Tour and second straight. The last player with a chance to win three Gadsden titles in a row – and the only one within the last 40 years – was Will Swift, who won it back-to-back in 2005-06 in the midst of four titles in six years.

“I skipped my cousin’s wedding for that, because no one had ever done it,” Cole said. “Everybody in my family went, except for me. I texted my cousin and told him it’s the biggest tournament. He plays golf and he basically said, ‘go win the thing.’

“It would’ve been cool to go. When I talked to him I told him if it was probably any other tournament than this I would be there, but this is kind of my hometown tournament, I’ve played in this event since I first started playing golf. It’s one of the tournaments I wanted to win my whole life and didn’t ever do it until I was 40.”

And now he’s won it three years in a row.

Cole wasn’t getting any putts to drop in the round – until he needed them most. The only one-putt greens he had through the 15 holes were par-savers on 1 and 12, the only greens he missed in the round.

But on 16 he made an 18-footer for birdie after Clay chipped in to save par after finding the water on his approach, closing the margin to one shot. Then he made an eight-footer for birdie on 17 to grab a share of the lead with one hole to play.

“It was big to make those two putts after not making anything all day and after the struggles yesterday,” Cole said.

Clay wasn’t surprised.

“It was going to happen,” he said. “He was barely missing putts all day. He was hitting good putts, they just weren’t going in and I made a bunch of putts on the front, made putts all weekend, really. I knew eventually he’s going to have one or two go in, and as good as he is he’s going to make them when it’s important.”

Clay had it going on the front and turned in 31. He was ahead by two after his fifth birdie on the day on 13.

Even though the tournament was decided on 18, the turning point came on 14. Clay’s second shot left him in front of the green while Cole went way left by the boundary fence. Clay chipped up to four feet, but missed his birdie putt while Cole escaped with a par.

“You’ve got to make that one on 14,” Clay said. “That’s the big difference. I hit a good putt; it just broke more than I thought. To have another shot cushion there would have been huge.”

It was all even coming to the last hole. Cole’s approach shot from the fairway hit the back of the green and rolled back into the middle of the green while Clay’s shot came up short.

Clay pitched past the hole to eight feet and then hit his par putt a bit too hard. Cole cozied his putt down to about three feet and made the winner after Clay had putted out.


Gary Wigington 13
Ty Cole 11
Jeremy McGatha 9
Jaylon Ellison 9
Ott Chandler 6
Dalton Chandler 6
Garrett Burgess 6

Brennan Clay lines up what would become a par-saving chip-in on 16 after his approach shot found the water.


Final scores
Championship A Flight

Ty Cole 68-69-68—205
Brennan Clay 69-69-68—206
Gary Wigington 72-70-68—210
Clay Guerin 72-71-68—211
Corey Ray 70-71-70—211
Alex Harper 70-71-71—212
Logan Archer 71-70-74—215
Chad Calvert 68-73-75—216
Daniel Fienemann 68-74-82—224

Championship B Flight
Jeremy McGatha 73-72-72—217
Tanner Roberts 73-72-74—219
Corbin Holland 75-73-75—223
Christopher Cox 79-72-73—224
Chandler Wilborn 75-77-75—227
Andrew Brooks 76-73-78—227
Jake Goggans 78-72-81—231
Chad Reavis 78-74-83—235

Championship C Flight
Luke Armstrong 77-77-72—226
Randy Lipscomb 75-78-73—226
Joey Fortner 74-79-74—227
Kenny Wright 78-79-72—229
Timmy Woodard 78-77-79—234
Mark Cantrell 75-79-81—235
Kaine Gibson 78-76-81—235
Chance Harris 78-78-82—238
Austin Minter 78-80-81—239
Casey Harmon 76-88-WD

First Flight
Zach Contris 71-75—146
Dane Moore 72-76—148
Clay Calkins 75-73—148
Eric Crabtree 77-72—149
Will Farley 74-77—151
Matt Rogers 75-77—152
Cliff Tucker 76-76—152
Jeff Hammontree 76-77—153
Jeff Chapman 74-83—157
Clayton Chandler 77-81—158
Tim Fulmer 77-86—163
Steve Lee 77-WD

Second Flight
Chase Hollingsworth 80-74—154
Jason Britton 78-79—157
Clay Smith 79-78—157
Clay Jones 79-79—158
Donnie Sutton 79-80—159
Buster Woodard 81-79—160
David Lipscomb 81-85—166
Danny Dunlap 82-84—166
Danny Owens 81-85—166
Eric Haskins 80-87—167
J.T. Wright 79-92—171

Third Flight
J.T. Cross 83-79—162
Kent Back 86-80—166
David Lawrence 86-80—166
Matt Greer 85-83—168
Kenny Fulmer 87-81—168
Don Hill 87-82—169
Dre Davenport 84-86—170
Andrew Gunnells 85-85—170
Brad Knight 94-81—175
Mark Cotton 89-89—178

Senior Flight
Roscoe Johnson 75-83—158
Ron McClellan 81-78—159
Jim Dunlap 91-83—174


(Through Gadsden Invitational)
Ty Cole 850
Gary Wigington 655
Brennan Clay 642.5
Jeremy McGatha 595
Chad Calvert 530
Randy Lipscomb 497.5
Logan Archer 480
Adrian Geeting 375
Matt Rogers 362.5
Caleb Bowen 340
Clay Calkins 335
Kaine Gibson 310
Andrew Brooks 300
Kenny Wright 292.5
Jake Goggans 285
Luke Armstrong 260
Jeff Borrelli 235
Tanner Wells 200
Timmy Woodard 200
Chris Cox 200
Corey Ray 195
Clay Guerin 195
Alex Harper 185
Daniel Black 165
Tanner Roberts 165
Austin Minter 162.5
Chance Harris 160
Corbin Holland 160
Layton Bussey 152.5
Richard Starling 152.5
Daniel Fienemann 152.5
Chip Howell 150
Walt Drake 150
Kevin Daugherty 140
Scott Martin 140
Heath Walker 140
Jerome Wilson 132.5
Daily Thomas 130
Chandler Wilborn 130
Joey Fortner 130
Kevin Rogers 122.5
David Lawrence 122.5
Dustin Travis 117.5
Norris Ray 115
Janson Wilborn 107.5
Landon Straub 107.5
Chad Reavis 105
Eric Lett 102.5
Mark Cantrell 100
Vince Floyd 92.5
Scotty Grimes 92.5
Graham Morrow 90
Mark Highland 90
Casey Harmon 87.5
Tyler Teneyck 85
Wayne Hudgins 77.5
Jono Waugh 77.5
John McKenzie 77.5
Chase Hollingsworth 75
Zach Contris 75
David Martin 70
Dane Moore 67.5
Rocco D’Gomez 65
Randy Archer 60
Jeff Bain 60
Jimmy Jackson 60
Eric Crabtree 60
T.J. McGatha 55
Will Farley 55
Clark Cunningham 50
Mark Gaines 50
Cliff Tucker 47.5
Kelly Rogers 45
Jeff Hammontree 40
Larry Cunningham 32.5
Fran Doyle 32.5
Tim Steward 30
Keith Raisanen 30
Ron McKinney 25
Jeff Chapman 25
Jason Britton 25
Clay Smith 25
Ron Seckinger 20
Chase Thomas 15
Clayton Chandler 15
Clay Jones 10
Roscoe Johnson 10
Brad Baird 7.5
Billy Thompson 5
Dalton 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
Steve Lee 5
Tim Fulmer 5
J.T. Wright 5
Donnie Sutton 5
Eric Haskins 5
Danny Owens 5
Buster Woodard 5
David Lipscomb 5
Danny Dunlap 5
J.T. Cross 5
Dre Davenport 5
Andrew Gunnells 5
Matt Greer 5
Kent Back 5
Kenny Fulmer 5
Don Hill 5
Mark Cotton 5
Brad Knight 5
Jim Dunlap 5
Ron McClellan 5

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