E.A. Sports Today

Repeat winners

McGatha-Clay hold off charge from two fronts, repeat as Calhoun County Team Championship winners

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today
SILVER LAKES – Jeremy McGatha and Brennan Clay were convinced they were headed to a playoff.
Ty Cole was lining up an eight-foot birdie putt on the 18th green Sunday right after McGatha had just missed and made virtually everything he looked at after a mid-round putting tip from partner Gary Wigington.
In golf, you assume your opponent is going to make, and that’s what both of the leaders were doing. 
Cole had his putt tracking, but didn’t hit it hard enough and it stopped just short of the hole. Instead of the teams going extra holes, McGatha and Clay won the Calhoun County Two-Man Championship – for the second year in a row – by one shot over Cole-Wigington and Ott and Dalton Chandler.
The winners shot 22-under 122 for 36 holes.
“It’s always fun to win, of course, but it’s never not stressful,” McGatha said. “I was fully expecting a playoff. Mine cut across the hole and Ty started off struggling putting but he found it a little bit at the end there and I thought he was going to make it. So, here we go, playoff, again. I really thought playoff.”
Both teams in the final group posted a scamble 63, but Clay-McGatha entered the day with a one-shot lead. The Chandlers shot the best round of the day (61) to pull into contention, but both missed the green at 18 and came up one shot short.
The scenario has been a familiar one to these teams the last three years. Two years ago Clay and McGatha missed putts on the last hole to win, they went to a playoff and Cole-Wigington won. Last year, Clay-McGatha beat them by one.
“This was more stressful than last year,” Clay said. “This one we had to keep making birdies.”
Early in the round Clay and McGatha were the Odd Couple, making birdies only on the odd-numbered holes on their card – 1, 3, 5, 7, 9 (all on Backbreaker) and 11 (Heartbreaker 2). Late in the round they couldn’t afford to miss on any number, and when McGatha missed a short one on 13 he feared might come back to haunt them.
Cole and Wigington didn’t start making birdies until 7 and once they did they didn’t stop. They birdied 7, eagled 9, birdied 10, 11, 14, 15, 16 and 17. The Chandlers were 9-under through 11 holes Sunday, but made only two more birdies the rest of the round.
The leaders looked to finally close the door when McGatha picked up his partner with a 9-iron over the flag at 17. Cole made a longer birdie putt first, forcing Clay to make what now wasn’t such a short putt to avoid falling into a tie.
“I hit an awful shot,” Clay said. “I told him you hit it close, I’ll make the putt. I had to make up for that shot. That’s what partner golf does.”
NOTES: The other flight winners were Jeff Bain-Daniel Black and Will Brown-Matt Miller. Both won in scorecard playoffs … The tip Cole got from his partner involved backing up a shade from the ball. It’s a similar tip Wigington gave him a couple years ago before Cole went on a summer-long winning streak … The second-best round of the day belonged to Scott Martin and Randy Reaves (62). They played their last 13 holes in 10-under and finished fourth … The next stroke play points event on the Calhoun County Golf Tour is the Oxford City Championship May 4-5 at Cider Ridge.

At Silver Lakes
Championship flight
Brennan Clay-Jeremy McGatha 59-63—122
Ott Chandler-Dalton Chandler 62-61—123
Ty Cole-Gary Wigington 60-63—123
Scott Martin-Randy Reaves 63-62—125
Clay Calkins-Chris Hubbard 63-64—127
Josh Ashley-Alan Smedley 63-65—128
Rob Davie-Jake Goggans 64-69—133
Alex Harper-Austin Minter 64-69—133
Casey Harmon-Randy Lipscomb 64-70—134
Chase Thomas-Timmy Woodard 64-70—134
First flight
Jeff Bain-Daniel Black 65-65—130
Andrew Brooks-Matt Rogers 65-65—130
Chris Maye-Kenneth Patterson 67-65—132
Lance Evans-Dustin Travis 66-67—133
Chad Harris-Chase Hollingsworth 65-68—133
Jason Johnson-Landon Straub 67-66—133
Tyler Dopson-Nick Pollard 65-70—135
Cole Contris-Kenny Fulmer 67-70—137
Tom Leonard-David Leonard 66-72—138
Tim Fulmer-Chris Sanford 67-77—144
Second flight
Will Brown-Matt Miller 68-68—136
Dre Davenport-Matt Greer 68-68—136
Jeff Chapman-Justin Goree 70-72—142
Tony Hicks-Nick Hubbard 68-74—142
Tim English-Brandon Kelley 72-72—144
Clayton Chandler-Nathan Porter 72-73—145
Graham Morrow-Taylor Morrow 70-75—145
Parker Staton-Jake Williams 70-76—146
Justin Dopson-Josh Hicks 74-81—155
James Parker-Ed Weinberg 74-81—155
Skylar Jordan-Daniel Ricks 79-84—163
Adam Benefield-Houston Black 77-87—164

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