E.A. Sports Today

Balancing act

With new baby at home, Cole balancing family and golf, shoots 64 to grab lead at Cider Ridge, Gammage 3 back; includes scores, Sunday pairings

Defending champion Logan Archer (L) and Adrian Geeting watch Randy Archer tee off on the first hole during the Cider Ridge Invitational. (Photo by B.J. Franklin)

 By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today
OXFORD – If opponents think Ty Cole might be a little more vulnerable on the golf course now that baby Camden Tyler has arrived in the house, they might want to reconsider. If anything, it just might make him more formidable, if that can be possible.
A new arrival rearranges a family’s priorities and Cole knows his time for golf will change, but less time on course will turn the focus to on quality over quantity.
On Saturday he played just his third tournament round on his own ball since the baby’s arrival and shot an 8-under-par 64 to grab the first-round lead of the Cider Ridge Invitational.

It’s his best round on the Calhoun County Golf Tour since an 8-under 62 in the opening round of last year’s County Tournament at Anniston Municipal. He had a 9-under 63 in the opening round of last year’s Cane Creek Invitational. He won both of those tournaments.
If he were a little sharper with the putter it wouldn’t be a stretch to say he could have challenged golf’s magic number. As it is, he holds a three-shot lead over Beau Gammage of Cedartown and a four-shot lead over Scott Martin. Three other, including defending champion Logan Archer, are at 69.
Cole took advantage of the day’s short set up to hit 17 greens, but he had 30 putts. He made nine birdies, including five in a row at one point and six on holes 5 through 11. He missed a 10-footer on 10 to break the string.
“If I could have made eight-footers it’s ugly,” Cole said. “I didn’t make anything outside six feet. If I’d have made 8-10 footers, it could have been under 60.”
But that’s what less practice can do. His tournament rounds this spring have consisted of two rounds in the Cane Creek Invitational (77-70 for a T-7), two rounds in the County Team Championship at Silver Lakes (T-2 with Gary Wigington) and Saturday. And then there’s an occasional round during the week depending on his work load.
“I don’t get to play as much,” Cole said. “I still get a little bit of time here and there when I can to squeeze in a little bit of practice, but not like I used to. But it may help. I don’t overdo it.
“It is going to be different, but I’m not real sure it doesn’t motivate me more. I don’t get to practice as much so I try to get more quality practice and just being competitive I don’t want to let my game fall off just because I’ve got a baby. There’s a lot of people who play good golf with a baby, but I’m not going to take away time with him, but at the same time I’m too big a competitor.
“It’s like I told my wife. I can either quit golf and quit competing, but then I’m going to find something else to compete in and I’m going to be gone and doing the same thing, so it might as well be golf.”
Cole’s closest challenger going into Championship Sunday is a 28-year-old funeral director from Cedartown who played Cider Ridge for the first time Saturday. Gammage got around the course with seven birdies and two bogeys.
A former college golfer at Young Harris, Gammage birdied the first two holes he ever played on the course. He gave the shots back with bogeys on the next two holes, but then recovered them with birdies at 5 and 6. He turned in 33 and played the back in a bogey-free 34 with an aggressive birdie on 14 and an “eventful” one from the hazard on 15.
“I didn’t really know what to expect, it was just kind of take what it gives you,” he said. 
Martin played as close to a perfect round as you could imagine. He hit 15 greens, missed two by inches, hit 12 of 14 fairways – and wasn’t far off on the two he missed – made five birdies, one bogey and hit what he’d consider two bad shots.
“It was solid, a solid round of golf,” he said. “I’ve been working on tempo more than anything. I hadn’t played a lot of golf in the last 10 days and that probably helped. On this golf course, if you can hit it straight … and I hit it straight all day. I was pleased with the way I played today and just want to come back and have the same type of consistency tomorrow.”
Archer, Wigington and Daniel Black are tied for fourth after 69s. Archer had seven birdies and an eagle in his round, but two loose swings brought him back to the field. He double bogeyed the par-3 third and chipped in to save bogey on No. 16 right after he made his eagle. Black eagled both par-5s on the back. There were eight eagles in the round, all but one on the par-5s. Casey Harmon holed out on the par-4 11th.

Cover photo: New dad Ty Cole tees off in the opening round of the Cider Ridge Invitational. He shot 64 Saturday to grab the first-round lead. For more pictures from the round click this link: www.bjfranklin.smugmug.com

Championship flight
Ty Cole 31-33—64
Beau Gammage 33-34—67
Scott Martin 33-35—68
Logan Archer 35-34—69
Gary Wigington 34-35—69
Daniel Black 36-33—69
Justin Graveman 37-34—71
Brennan Clay 38-34—72
Jeremy McGatha 38-34—72
Adrian Geeting 38-35—73
Randy Lipscomb 38-35—73
First flight
Graham Morrow 37-37—74
Jake Goggans 39-36—75
Jeremy Willis 37-38—75
Chad Calvert 38-37—75
Matthew Scott 39-36—75
Kaine Gibson 37-39—76
Frank Brady 38-38—76
Clay Calkins 35-41—76
Matt Rogers 40-37-77
Danny Shears 38-39—77
Nick Pollard 40-37—77
Andrew Brooks 39-39—78
Second flight
Clayton Chandler 42-37—79
Layton Bussey 39-40—79
Timmy Woodard 39-41—80
Daily Thomas 38-42—80
Chance Harris 43-37—80
Lamar Carter 42-38—80
Thomas Bruchmann 38-44—82
Charlie Smith 40-42—82
Randy Archer 41-42—83
Frank Toland 44-40—84
Don Hill 43-42—85
Third flight
Chase Thomas 44-42—86
Keith Raisanen 42-44—86
Mark Rigby 42-45—87
Phillip Hunt 47-42—89
Jason Rich 44-45—89
Casey Harmon 47-43—90
Kelly Rogers 44-49—93
Houston Black 45-48—93
Lamar Ward 44-50—94
Charles Wigley 52-44—96
Trevor Barber 46-57—103
Rick Saylor 52-57—109
Sunday’s pairings
Note: The final three times (Championship flight) play from the II tees, all others play from the III tees 
8 a.m.– Rick Saylor, Trevor Barber, Charles Wigley, Lamar Ward
8:10 – Houston Black, Kelly Rogers, Casey Harmon, Phillip Hunt
8:20 – Jason Rich, Mark Rigby, Keith Raisenan, Chase Thomas
8:30 – Frank Toland, Don Hill, Randy Archer 
8:40 – Charlie Smith, Thomas Bruchmann, Lamar Carter, Chance Harris
8:50 – Daily Thomas, Timmy Woodard, Clayton Chandler, Layton Bussey
9:00 – Nick Pollard, Andrew Brooks, Danny Shears, Matt Rogers
9:10 – Clay Calkins, Frank Brady, Kaine Gibson, Matthew Scott
9:20 – Chad Calvert, Jeremy Willis, Jake Goggans , Graham Morrow
9:30 – Adrian Geeting, Randy Lipscomb, Jeremy McGatha 
9:40 – Brennan Clay, Justin Graveman , Daniel Black, Gary Wigington
9:50 – Logan Archer, Scott Martin, Beau Gammage, Ty Cole

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