E.A. Sports Today

Good senior moment

Chandler coasts to Senior County title after opening-round 69, expands his of county crowns

Tournament champion Ott Chandler (L) and runnerup Chip Howell wait their turn to putt on the ninth green at Pine Hill Friday. On the cover, Chandler accepts the County Seniors winners plaque from Pine Hill pro Cory Etter.

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

It’s been a pretty good last two weeks for Ott Chandler.

A week ago Monday the 54-year-old won the inaugural State Father-Son Championship with his son Dalton at Oxmoor Valley. Then, this past weekend he tied for fourth in the 82nd Calhoun County Championship.

You don’t want to say he capped it off Friday because there’s still plenty of golf ahead of him, but he won the Calhoun County Senior Championship by four shots over Chip Howell at Pine Hill Country Club.

“I’ve been playing a lot of golf this year, probably more this year than I have in the last four or five, and it showed,” Chandler said. “I’ve been adding it up, I think this is my eighth County championship, and that’s not bad for somebody who didn’t start playing golf until they were 30.

“It’s been a pretty good stretch right here. None of them compared to winning with my kid. When you win a state championship that’s pretty special, but to do it with your kid is cool. And actually I had a chance last week to win against the big boys, then came out here and put it together for 27 holes.”

The champion made five birdies in the opening round to open a five-shot lead, then played it safe on the closing nine to seal it. He posted a 3-under-par 69 on his opening 18, then played the final nine holes in even par to finish at 3-under 105.

John Wood (110) won the Super Seniors Division by a shot over Buddy Eiland and Pete Aultman.

Chandler birdied his first hole of the day and led wire-to-wire. Playing partner David Sanders, the 2014 champion, was three back when they made the turn and Howell was four back after his first nine holes, but Chandler birdied 10 and added another on 15 to go into the break with a comfortable lead.

“After that I just tried to hit it in the middle, hit it on the green,” Chandler said. “Didn’t try to do anything crazy, didn’t have to, and for the most that’s what I did.”

Howell fell another shot back with a bogey on 10, falling to 3-over for the tournament, then turned his attention to getting it back to even par for the day. He made a nice run at it, too, making birdie at 4 and 8 and hitting his approach into 9 to about three feet, but his birdie putt ran past the hole.

“I was grinding on that last one,” he said. “I hit a great little punch shot in there; (the putt) just didn’t turn. David said he had that putt this morning and it didn’t turn; Ott did, same thing.

“There were a couple good up-and-downs Ott made that had I made a putt and he not get up and down there’d have been a two-shot swing (to close the gap). You’ve got to have a couple of those.”

NOTES: Sanders was 2-over midway through the front nine in the morning 18, then quickly got back to even-par with an eagle at the par-5 sixth … Eiland shot his age (74) for the first time in the morning round and half his age in the closing nine.

At Pine Hill CC
(27-hole, stroke play format)

Championship Flight
Ott Chandler 69-36—105
Chip Howell 74-35—109
David Sanders 77-37—114
Ted Heim 79-39—118
Dave Dillman 81-40—121
Scott Yates 88-43—131
Jimbo Phillips 84-WD

Super Seniors A
John Wood 72-38—110
Buddy Eiland 74-37—111
Pete Aultman 74-37—111
Dennis Austin 77-36—113
Rick Taylor 76-40—116
Keith Haywood 77-41—118

Super Seniors B
Randall Doss 84-36—120
Robbie Robertson 83-38—121
Horace Rosamond 83-42—125
Roger Smith 84-41—125
Terry Brooks 91-41—132
Steve Borrelli 90-43—133
Paul Dorsey 90-43—133
Wayne Conner 94-45—139
Wayne Welch 95-48—143

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