E.A. Sports Today

Rogers on target

Short-game specialist wins The Hill Par-3 in his first try with big finish for record score
By Al Muskewitz 
East Alabama Sports Today

When Matt Rogers was at the top of his game he had one of the best short games in Calhoun County.
He doesn’t get to practice as much any more, but he still has that short game in him – and it showed Saturday.
Rogers birdied four of his last five holes and shot 4-under-par 23 on his final nine holes to win The Hill Par-3 at Anniston Municipal Golf Course. His 27-hole total 77 was a tournament record and two shots better than runner-up Chris Randall, the leader going into the final nine holes.
“Coach Randall was 1-under (after 18), I said I’d better turn it up a notch this last nine,” Rogers said.
He chipped in for a birdie on No. 3 and made a birdie putt on No. 4 to get his closing rally started. He also won the closest-to-the-pin contest on No. 9 when he hit it to seven inches.
“Years ago (the short game) was (the strength of his game),” he said, “but it’s a little shaky now. I just hadn’t been playing as much, not practicing as much, as I used to.”

Even with Rogers’ hot streak Randall was still tracking towards the win, but fell victim to a bad break on No. 8 when he lost what looked like a good shot and made 6.

“I hit the green and have no idea what happened; lost the ball and made triple,” he said. “Happy for Matt. He’s always been my golfing hero anyway.”
Although he’s a regular player at The Hill, Rogers was playing in the Par-3 for the first time because he usually plays in Anniston Country Club’s Parent-Child Tournament with his daughter Isabel. The spot opened on his calendar when COVID-19 forced ACC to turn the tournament into a one-day members-only event on Father’s Day.
Isabel finished tied for third in the third flight.
Mark Gaines made the first “hole-in-one” in the five years of the tournament when he holed out on No. 2, a normally long par-3 on the course that was playing up at 110 yards. David Hill won the second flight (84) and Jimbo Phillips won a scorecard playoff over Michael Herndon to win the third flight (80).
Anniston Municipal GC
First flight
Matt Rogers 54-23—77
Chris Randall 53-26—79
Mark Gaines 56-26—82
Tony Strickland 54-28—82
Danny Whitaker 54-29—83
Ted Heim 57-27—84
Steve Davis 57-27—84
Tim Dennison 56-30—86
Mike Hughston 58-28—86
Andrew Tyson 57-30—87
Byron Preston 58-30—88
Bobby Hollingsworth 57-33-90
Second flight
David Hill 58-26—84
Kevin Wells 59-30—89
Roger Smith 61-28—89
Andy Jenkins 59-31—90
Chad Mullinax 59-32—91
Charles Carden 59-32—91
Jim Ramey 60-31—91
Johny Barnes 61-30—91
Chris Reaves 62-31—93
Steve McClellan 60-33—93
Brett Wells 58-36—94
Jerre Dingler 61-33—94
Third flight
Jimbo Phillips 53-27—90
Michael Herndon 63-27—90
James Ramey 63-31—94
Isabel Rogers 64-30—94
Gary Thomas 65-30—95
David Fitzgerald 66-31—97
Phil Stout 67-30—97
Henry Higginbotham 68-30—98
Kelly Rogers 66-34—100
Tubby Bass 65-36—101
Tim Mullendore 68-33—101
Tyler Wells 70-35—105
Steve Mullendore 72-34—106

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