E.A. Sports Today

Tie at the top

Wigington, McGatha share lead after posting 66s in Pine Hill Invitational
By East Alabama Sports Today
It was a steady day for Gary Wigington as he started his quest for his third straight Calhoun County Tour victory Saturday with an opening-round 66 in the Pine Hill Invitational.
He had three birdies and six pars on both the front and back nines and finished a long day tied with Jeremy McGatha for the first-round lead.
The event drew the largest field in Calhoun County Tour history, which prompted the earliest ever start (6:10 a.m.) The last group of the day went out at 4 p.m.

Wigington, who has won five of the last seven PHIs among his 18 County Tour wins, could not get the putter going or it could have been a much lower score. He missed mid-range putts on several holes on the back nine, after making the turn at 3-under-par.
He finished the round with birdies on the last two holes.

“I felt good about the round,” he said. ”I left a few strokes out there, though. I did have some good up-and-downs. The greens were holding pretty good. They were dried out earlier in the week and it was hard to hold the green, but they were in great shape today.”   
Harrison Hughston is third (67) and Chad Calvert is fourth (68). 

Wigington won at Briarmeade and at Anniston Country Club in the last two Tour events.  He would tie Sunny King Classic partner Ty Cole as the all-time winningest player on the Tour if he pulls it out Sunday. Cole is the last player to win three straight Tour events (2019 Cider Ridge, Gadsden, ACC).
McGatha had seven birdies and one bogey on the way to his 66. It marks the best round of the year for McGatha, who has 10 all-time wins on the Tour and has never missed a start (104 events). 
He has had a slow start in 2020 and is in the final grouping heading into Sunday’s final round. He will be looking for his first win at Pine Hill; he has been runner-up here three times.
“Today was a miracle based on the way I have been playing this year,” he said. “I got up and down several times and made a few putts. I have not been 100 percent mentally here this year. I have had a lot of stuff going on and you cannot play good golf if your mind is elsewhere.

“I hope to play well tomorrow and keep my head in the game. I have to play better than today to have a chance to win.”

Nineteen-year-old Montevallo freshman and Donoho graduate Hughston found himself one stroke back after a wild ride on the back nine.
Hughston, who won the County High School Tournament here as a senior, made the turn at 4-under par and birdied 11 to tie Wigington for the lead.
He then bogeyed 12, 13 and 14 to drop back. However, he made birdies at 15, 17 and 18 to end up right behind the leaders.
“I was proud of the way I got those three bogey’s back,” said Hughston. “I wasn’t playing well and about to lose the round, but I was able to make birdie at 15 and that got me going again.”

Hughston played in the final group in the second round at Anniston Country Club a couple of weeks back and shot a 77. He is hoping for a different outcome Sunday at Pine Hill. 
He has won a couple of junior tournaments at Pine Hill, so he is familiar with the course and tournament pressure and is hoping for a better outcome this time playing in the final foursome on Sunday.

“It was my first time playing in the final grouping of a Calhoun County Tour event, and I was trying not to make any mistakes,” he said. “I had nothing to lose the day before and nothing to lose the next day and I shot well. So, if I learned anything from that experience it was to just don’t play to not make mistakes and I will try that tomorrow.”

Calvert had six birdies and two bogeys
”We will see what we can do tomorrow,” he said.

Dennis Austin shot 70 to take the lead in the Pine Hill Senior Invitational. He is one stroke ahead of Doug Sears.

Saturday’s first-round scores
Championship Flight
Gary Wigington 66
Jeremy McGatha 66
Harrison Hughston 67
Chad Calvert 68
Kenny Okins 69
Chip Howell 70
Wesley Jenkins 70
David Clark 70
Adrian Geeting 71
Landon Straub 71
Clay Calkins 71
Tyler Putnam 71
Chandler Allen 71
Nick Pollard 71
Caleb McKinney 71
First Flight
Josh Poole 72
Frank Brady 72
Chase Hollingsworth 72
Chance Harris 72
Jason Rich 72
Caleb Bowen 72
Mark Guyther 72
Ted Heim 72
Graham Morrow 73
Ethyn Roberts 73
Timmy Woodard 74
Gage Miller 74
Mike Lett 74
Rick Okins 74
Tanner Wells 74
Bradley Elliott 74
Second Flight
Adam Johnson 75
Chris Hubbard 75
Charlie Smith 75
Daniel Black 75
Justin Graveman 75
Cameron McCareeth 75
Chad Watson 75
Matt Rogers 75
Brennan Clay 75
Tyler Dopson 75
Daily Thomas 75
Tony Hicks 76
Trenton Lott 76
Sawyer Edwards 76
Landon Winfrey 76
Rodney Grubbs 76
Josh Hicks 76
Third Flight
Will Brown 77
Zac Mangum 77
Kobie Webb 77
Brian Irwin 77
James Lett 77
Samuel Wallace 77
Tom Liles 77
Cole Fuller 77
Carlos Sanderson 78
Michael Downey 78
Peyton Bradley 78
Zachary Austin 78
Ray Doss 78
Cain Hollingsworth 78
Mike Hughston 78
Nic Ledbetter 78
Fourth Flight
Phillip Sanderson 79
Zac Carrizales 79
Lamar Carter 79
Eddie Burks 79
Lenn Coffey 79
Kyle Turner 79
Hayden Crowe 79
Justin Foster 80
Hank Smith 80
Dennis Pounders 81
Randy Watson 81
Marcus King 81
Johnny Barnes 81
Riley Boyd 82
Mark McCaig 82
Jason Lett 82
Fifth Flight
Cal Lambert 83
Tommy Snyder 83
Chase Thomas 84
Sean Kline 84
Lee Edge 84
Steve Taylor 85
Brad Young 86
Justin Dopson 86
Chris Reaves 87
Todd Pilkington 87
Terry Cobb 87
Heath Waldrop 87
Mickey Sheppard 87
Marc Gaines 87
Sixth Flight
Houston Black 88
Daniel Ricks 89
Alex Taylor 89
Kelly Rogers 89
Mike Ledbetter 90
Wayne Boyd 91
Tyrel Tucker 92
Tyler Teneyck 93
Michael Ray 93
Greg Gainey 93
Warren Sewell 94
Todd Hamilton 96
Brian Woodfin 98
Austin Elliott 99
Adam Benefiel 100
Jared Joiner 102
Ricky Carden 104

Senior A
Dennis Austin 70
Doug Sears 71
Jerry Irwin 72
Mike Granato 72
David Sanders 74
Bobby Vinson 74
Carter Gable 75
Buddy Eiland 75

Senior B
David Medders 76
Rick Taylor 76
Steve Davis 76
Keith Haywood 77
Tim Steward 78
Ron Fleming 78
Mike Thompson 79
Glenn Heathcock 80
Robbie Robertson 81

Senior C
Lamar Ward 84
Frank Cobb 85
Bruce Collins 85
Steve Borrelli 87
Mark Vandaveer 88
Richard Banks 91
Lee Clark 91
David Roden 93

Sunday pairings
6 a.m. – Collins, D. Austin, T. Steward, Haywood
6:10 – M. Thompson, Medders, Borrelli, Heathcock
6:20 – Pilkington, Teneyck, Sewell, Tucker
6:30 – Frank Cobb, Banks, Roden, Lee Clark
6:40 – A. Elliott, Ricks, Benefiel, Snyder
7:30 – T. Cobb, Joiner, M. Ray, Hamilton
8:00 – Ray Doss, Robertson, Vandaveer, Carden
8:10 – Z. Austin, P. Bradley, M. Downey, N. Ledbetter
8:20 – P. Sanderson, Z. Carrizales, E. Burks, L. Carter
8:30 – Vinson, Fleming, Ward, B. Young
8:40 – Open
8:50 – M. Hughston, Cain Hollingsworth, L. Coffey, H. Crowe
9:00 – S. Taylor, A. Taylor, M. Ledbetter, K. Rogers
9:10 – Rainey, Wldrop, Kline, Webb
9:20 – Black, Boyd, Gaines
9:30 – Hubbard, Hicks, James Lett, M. Lett
9:40 – K. Turner, J. Foster, D. Pounders, R. Watson
10:20 – King, Barnes, Jason Lett, Lambert
10:30 – McCaig, Whittaker, Hank Smith, C. Thomas
11:00 – Sears, Taylor, Sanders, Woodfin
11:10 – S. Wallace, B. Irwin, T. Liles, C. Sanderson
11:20 – S. Edwards, Winfrey, R. Grubbs, J. Hicks
11:30 – Boyd, Sheppard, J. Dopson, Reaves
11:40 – Lott, Mangum, Brown, Fuller
11:50 – McCareeth, C. Watson, M. Rogers, B. Clay
Noon – D. Black, Graveman, T. Dopson, D. Thomas
12:10 p.m. – R. Okins, T. Wells, A. Johnson, Charlie Smith
12:20 – Granato, Irwin, Gable, Eiland
12:30 – E. Roberts, Woodard, Miller, B. Elliott
12:40 – Bowen, Guyther, Heim, Morrow
12:50 – Brady, Chase Hollingsworth, Calkins, Harris
1:00 – Pollard, McKinney, Poole, Allen
1:10 – Geeting, Straub, Calkins, Putnam
1:20 – K. Okins, Howell, Jenkins, Clark
1:30 – Wigington, McGatha, H. Hughston, Calvert

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