E.A. Sports Today

Logjam at the top

Robinson-Viehe, Cole-Wigington share SKCC lead after opening round, eight teams within two shots of the lead

Ty Cole-Gary Wigington 58
Cody Robinson-Dustin Viehe 58
Randy Lipscomb-Jake Nichols 59
Ryan Howard-Chad Reavis 59
Matt Miller-Derek Sewell 59
Kevin Daughtery-Brian Woodfin 59
Lance Evans-Chandler Wilborn 59

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

SILVER LAKES – It’s a logjam at the top of the 40th Sunny King Charity Classic leaderboard.

Cody Robinson and Dustin Viehe made their way through the early-morning fog and shot 14-under-par 58 in the first pairing of the day in the scramble round at Silver Lakes and it took almost to the end of the day for someone to catch them.

Two-time reigning champions Ty Cole and Gary Wigington, playing in the middle of the afternoon wave, hit 14-under with two holes to play, but could only manage pars on their final two holes – despite a gutsy play off the tee on 18 – to pull into a share of the overnight lead.

Five teams are at 13-under 59 and three teams are at 60, making this one of the tightest opening rounds in Sunny King Charity Classic history in recent memory. The teams at 59 are Lance Evans-Chandler Wilborn, Randy Lipscomb-Jake Nichols, Matt Miller-Derek Sewell, Chad Reavis-Ryan Howard and Kevin Daugherty-Brian Woodfin.

The championship flight players move to Cider Ridge Golf Club in Oxford Saturday for the modified scramble.

BIG MONEY SHOTS: Four players will get a shot at a big pay day after Sunday’s final round as they were selected for the tournament’s big money shots.

Kenny Okins, a rising sophomore at White Plains High School, and Jeff Hansek were drawn for the $100,000 fairway shots, Dallas Dunn was drawn for the $25,000 putt and Jeff Bain was drawn for a shot at $1 million from the fairway.

SHUFFLE THE DECK: Some teams who saw the pre-tournament flights for the Sunny King Charity Classic might be surprised to see where they actually end up when Championship Sunday comes around later this weekend.

In an effort to combat the scourge of sandbagging that rears its head during the event tournament officials graded the field in groups of 25 by score after Friday’s round. They reserve the right to reshuffle again after Saturday where the flights will be final.

The issue has been on the tournament committee’s radar for several years, but this is the first significant action it has taken. In the past, the event was pre-flighted based on the lowest submitted handicap of the teammates and the field played within those flights throughout the weekend.

“We’re trying to address a problem,” tournament chairman Hank Smith said. “The move is targeted to appease a lot of the people who say I’m tired of losing my flight when I’ve played good by 15 shots.”

Now, every flight is competitive. There is no more than one shot separating first from second, and with the exception of the Championship A and sixth flights no more than three shots separating first from last.

This story will be updated.

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