E.A. Sports Today

Cole stretches lead

Three-time reigning champion shoots second-round 69, adds to an impressive array of numbers in the tournament and extends his lead to 5

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

GADSDEN –Ever since club officials revived the tournament in 2016 the Gadsden Invitational has had only one winner – and he’s about to add to the list.

Ty Cole shot 2-under-par 69 Saturday at Gadsden Country Club and extended his lead in the Invitational to five shots. He is 18 holes away from his second Calhoun County Golf Tour win of the season and fourth consecutive win in this tournament.

Gary Wigington is second at 140 after a 71. Hunter Hawkins (73) and Jeremy McGatha (70) are tied for third at 144. Four players are another three shots back.
Let’s just get to the numbers.
In addition to the unprecedented three straight Gadsden Invitational titles …
The 69 Saturday was Cole’s sixth straight round in the 60s in this tournament,
He is 35-under-par for his 11 rounds here since the tournament’s revival, and …
Since a 77 in the opening round of the Cane Creek Invitational (with two three-putts and a four-putt) he has posted five straight County Tour rounds under par (27-under total), reducing his season stroke average on the Tour to 68.00 – two full strokes better than the next best on the Tour. His last four Tour rounds have all been in the 60s (69-66-62-64).
“That’s what you’re trying to do,” Cole said. “It doesn’t have to be crazy, but you try to shoot under par every time you play. It just ends up being what it is.”
It’s not that he has any special knowledge about the golf course here that’s led to his success. He’s not a member and didn’t play it a lot in high school and college. If anything, he’s just learned how to play it as he’s become a better manager of his game.
“I play here three days a year like everybody else,” he said. “I come here and everybody thinks Ty hits driver every hole. I hit about four drivers – on the par-5s and maybe two other holes, and they’re the only holes I hit driver here.
“I’ve learned you’ve got to be patient on this golf course. If you get impatient that’s when you hit it in the rough and you cannot score on this golf course from the rough. I’ve learned that over the years. It’s better to have a 7-iron from the fairway than a sand wedge from the rough. You cannot attack flags out here unless you’re in the fairway.”
That being said, Cole hit only three fairways in Saturday’s round, but he hit 15 of 18 greens and had 32 putts with three birdies. The longest putt he made all day was four feet.
Still, with his playing partners slow out of the gate it looked like he was headed to another Brooks Koepka-type runaway. Wigington, who started the day three back, was 4-over through four holes, but got back within sight of his Sunny King Classic partner with four straight 3s and birdies on each of the last three holes on the front nine. 
Championship A flight
Ty Cole 66-69—135
Gary Wigington 69-71—140
Hunter Hawkins 71-73—144
Jeremy McGatha 74-70—144
Dane Moore 72-75—147
Tee Brown 72-75—147
Tanner Roberts 74-73—147
Brennan Clay 76-71—147

Championship B flight
Chris Hummel 73-75—148
Randy Lipscomb 73-75—148
Matt Rogers 75-73—148
Chris Jones 76-72—148
Corey Ray 77-71—148
Mason Dennis 78-70—148
Jake Goggans 73-76—149
Matt Miller 73-76—149
Chandler Wilborn 79-70—149
Joey Fortner 70-80—150
Chad Calvert 71-79—150
Corbin Holland 73-77—150
Sam Audia 73-77—150
Chris Cox 73-77—150

Championship C flight
Brian Baker 74-77—151
Jayson Cox 79-72—151
Alex Harper 74-78—152
Danny Dunlap 76-77—153
Layton Bussey 79-75—154
Jeff Chapman 76-79—155
Jeff Champion 77-78—155
Landon Straub 77-78—155
Drew Anderton 77-81—158
Norman Clifton 79-79—158
Dustin Underwood 76-84—160
Harrison Martin 77-84—161
Daniel Black 77-86—163
Nathan Nailer 78-95—173

First flight
Joseph Bolen 72
Jon Key 73
Brad Baird 73
Chance Harris 74
Bumper Jones 75
Clay Calkins 75
Clayton Chandler 75
Frank Brady 76
Kenneth Patterson 76
Steve Cantrell 77
Jason Britton 77
Will Brown 77

Second flight
Anthony Pritchard 78
Michael Casey 78
Eric Crabtree 78
Matt Greer 78
Tim Fulmer 79
Dre Davenport 79
Austin Minter 79
Maverick Smith 80
Lamar Carter 80
Graham Morrow 81
Mark Cantrell 81
Will Farley 81

Third flight
Jeff Hammontree 82
Chandler Richards 82
Derek Epperson 82
Mike Lett 83
Kenny Fulmer 84
Justin Goree 84
Chase Hollingsworth 84
Richard Hollingsworth 85
Timmy Woodard 85
Chris Messer 85
Kyle Rosenbauer 85
Andrew Gunnels 85

Fourth flight
Steve Lee 86
John Lindsay 86
Danny Owens 86
Mason Aulsbrook 86
David Lipscomb 87
Kent Back 87
Don Hill 87
Chase Thomas 88
Kaine Gibson 88
Mark Cotton 91
Craig Inzer Jr. 94
Senior flight
Tim Steward 77
Harold Norris 77
Mike Douglas 77
James Chapman 79
Dennis Austin 81
Mike Thompson 87 

Sunday pairings
8 a.m. – James Chapman, Dennis Austin, Mike Thompson
8:10 – Tim Steward, Harold Norris, Mike Douglas
8:20 – Kaine Gibson, Mark Cotton, Craig Inzer
8:30 – Kent Back, Don Hill, Chase Thomas
8:40 – Danny Owens, Mason Aulsbrook, David Lipscomb
8:50 – Andrew Gunnels, Steve Lee, John Lindsay
9:00 – Timmy Woodard, Chris Messer, Kyle Rosenbauer
9:10 – Justin Goree, Chase Hollingsworth, Richard Hollingsworth
9:20 – Derek Epperson, Mike Lett, Kenny Fulmer
9:30 – Will Farley, Jeff Hammontree, Chandler Richards
9:40 – Lamar Carter, Graham Morrow, Mark Cantrell
9:50 – Dre Davenport, Austin Minter, Maverick Smith
10:00 – Eric Crabtree, Matt Greer, Tim Fulmer
10:10 – Will Brown, Anthony Pritchard, Michael Casey
10:20 – Kenneth Patterson, Steve Cantrell, Jason Britton
10:30 – Bumper Jones, Clay Calkins, Clayton Chandler, Frank Brady
10:40 – Joseph Bolen, Jon Key, Brad Baird, Chance Harris
10:50 – Dustin Underwood, Harrison Martin, Daniel Black, Nathan Nailer
11:00 – Landon Straub, Jeff Champion, Drew Anderton, Norman Clifton
11:10 – Alex Harper, Danny Dunlap, Layton Bussey, Jeff Chapman
11:20 – Sam Audia, Chris Cox, Brian Baker, Jayson Cox
11:30 – Chandler Wilborn, Joey Fortner, Chad Calbert, Corbin Holland
11:40 – Chris Jones, Mason Dennis, Jake Goggans, Matt Miller
11:50 – Chris Hummel, Randy Lipscomb, Matt Rogers, Corey Ray
Noon – Dane Moore, Tanner Roberts, Tee Brown, Brennan Clay
12:10 p.m. – Ty Cole, Gary Wigington, Hunter Hawkins, Jeremy McGatha

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