E.A. Sports Today

Twig takes Pine Hill – again

Wigington plays bogey-free golf on the weekend, edges McGatha by one to win on the Choccolocco course for the sixth time
Gary Wigington 66-66—132
Jeremy McGatha 66-67—133
Harrison Hughston 67-69—136
Chad Calvert 68-72—140
Kenny Okins 69-72—141
Wesley Jenkins 70-71—141
Clay Calkins 71-70—141
By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today
Davis Love III has Harbour Town. Tiger Woods has Firestone and Bay Hill (and a bunch of others).
Gary Wigington has Pine Hill.
Wigington won the Pine Hill Invitational for the sixth time in eight years Sunday when he closed with a flurry to shoot 66 for the second day in a row and edge Jeremy McGatha by a stroke for his third straight Calhoun County Tour win this season. He birdied three of his last four holes and four of his last six.
It also was his 19th career County Tour title, tying Sunny King Charity Classic partner Ty Cole for most all-time wins on the Tour.
Wigington has won at Pine Hill in 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017 and 2018. (He was the runner-up in the two he missed in that stretch). He also has won six times at Cane Creek Golf Course, but over the course of three different Tour events (County Championship four times, Cane Creek Invitational and County Match Play once each).
What’s all that got to do with the two PGA Tour stars mentioned in the opening? It’s all about where you’ve had the most success. Love has won at Harbour Town five times. Woods won the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill and the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone eight times each.
“It just comes together out there for some reason; I don’t know why,” Wigington said. “It seems like when it comes around to that tournament I’m hitting my driver straight and hit it a good distance and my short game is always good out there for some reason. If you’re driving it really good and your 50-yards-and-in game is good, you can shoot a number out there.
“It’s just funny when it comes to that tournament I hit my driver as good as I can hit it and my short game is good that weekend. I played two days (this week) and didn’t make a bogey and it wasn’t because I hit it all that great. The chipping and putting was solid all weekend.”
Wigington and McGatha went into the final round tied for the lead and staged a classic battle that came down to the final three holes.
McGatha held a one-shot lead at the turn, but Wigington pulled even with a birdie at 13, the No. 1 handicap hole on the course, to start his big finish. Both players birdied the par-5 15th, then Wigington took the outright lead with a 15-foot uphill birdie putt from against the collar on 16. He extended the lead with a birdie from the bunker on 17.
“Par wasn’t going to get it,” Wigington said. “I just knew Jeremy was playing too good and I knew to win it I was going to have to make birdies. I just finally got to hit some good shots and make some putts. Yesterday I was short on a bunch of putts right dead in the heart and started off today the same way, but the last six or eight holes I told myself I’m not going to be short on a putt at all and made several coming down.”

McGatha narrowed the gap with a birdie at 18, but it left him one short and a County Tour runner-up for the 18thtime.
“I don’t get to practice a ton and for me to shoot 66-67, 11-under, and don’t win, I don’t know what else I can do; that’s about as good as I got,” he said. “He’s hard to beat and he just never goes away.
“He’s hard to beat out here. I thought finally I was going to get him. I was standing by Chad (Calvert) on 16 green and I said he’s about to make this putt and then, boom, he makes it.”
Harrison Hughston eagled 18 to post another round in the 60s and cement a third-place finish. He shot 67-69 for 36 holes.
“That was good,” the 19-year-old Montevallo freshman said. “I had a goal going in to have both rounds in the 60s and that putt was for 69 so I was pretty excited.”
NOTES: Wigington and McGatha made the same number of birdies in the tournament. While Wigington didn’t have a bogey, McGatha made only one – No. 13 on Saturday … Wigington is 23-under-par in his three straight wins. Cole was the last player to win three straight Tour events (2019 Cider Ridge, Gadsden, ACC). He did it in 2016, too. Jaylon Ellison was the first, 2010 … Senior A third-place finisher David Sanders made two eagles in Sunday’s round (Nos. 6 and 8). Hughston, Landon Straub (17) , Justin Foster (17) and Mike Granato (10) also made eagles … Several of the Tour players will compete in the Dub Ellis Invitational at Cherokee County CC next weekend, but the next event on the County Tour schedule is Cider Ridge Aug. 8-9.

Final results
Championship Flight
Gary Wigington 66-66—132
Jeremy McGatha 66-67—133
Harrison Hughston 67-69—136
Chad Calvert 68-72—140
Kenny Okins 69-72—141
Wesley Jenkins 70-71—141
Clay Calkins 71-70—141
Adrian Geeting 71-71—142
Landon Straub 71-73—144
Caleb McKinney 71-73—144
Tyler Putnam 71-74—145
Chip Howell 70-75—145
Nick Pollard 71-75—146
Chandler Allen 71-78—149
David Clark 70-81—151
First Flight
Chance Harris 72-70—142
Josh Poole 72-72—144
Caleb Bowen 72-72—144
Gage Miller 74-72—146
Chase Hollingsworth 72-75—147
Graham Morrow 73-75—148
Timmy Woodard 74-74—148
Ethyn Roberts 73-76—149
Frank Brady 72-77—149
Mark Guyther 72-78—150
Jason Rich 72-81—153
Mike Lett 74-80—154
Rick Okins 74-81—155
Ted Heim 72-83—155
Bradley Elliott 74-86—160
Tanner Wells 74-DQ
Second Flight
Chad Watson 75-69—144
Brennan Clay 75-70—145
Rodney Grubbs 76-70—146
Justin Graveman 75-73—148
Charlie Smith 75-74—149
Matt Rogers 75-75—150
Daniel Black 75-77—152
Sawyer Edwards 76-76—152
Landon Winfrey 76-76—152
Tony Hicks 76-78—154
Chris Hubbard 75-79—154
Adam Johnson 75-80—155
Cameron McCareeth 75-80—155
Josh Hicks 76-79—155
Tyler Dopson 75-81—156
Trenton Lott 76-81—157
Daily Thomas 75-85—160
Third Flight
ohnny Barnes 81-71—152
Carlos Sanderson 78-74—152
Kobie Webb 77-76—153
Brian Irwin 77-77—154
Will Brown 77-77—154
Zac Mangum 77-78—155
Tom Liles 77-78—155
Cole Fuller 77-78—155
Peyton Bradley 78-77—155
Mike Hughston 78-77—155
Nic Ledbetter 78-81—159
Samuel Wallace 77-82—159
Cain Hollingsworth 78-82—160
Ray Doss 78-83—161
James Lett 77-85—162
Zachary Austin 78-87—165
Michael Downey 78-89—167
Fourth Flight
Lenn Coffey 79-75—154
Hank Smith 80-76—156
Lamar Carter 79-78—157
Kyle Turner 79-78—157
Marcus King 81-77—158
Dennis Pounders 81-77—158
Mark McCaig 82-76—158
Randy Watson 81-79—160
Eddie Burks 79-82—161
Justin Foster 80-81—161
Phillip Sanderson 79-84—163
Zac Carrizales 79-84—163
Hayden Crowe 79-85—164
Riley Boyd 82-90—172
Jason Lett 82-98—180
Fifth Flight
Cal Lambert 83-76—159
Chase Thomas 84-77—161
Lee Edge 84-80—164
Steve Taylor 85-80—165
Sean Kline 84-82—166
Terry Cobb 87-81—168
Heath Waldrop 87-83—170
Tommy Snyder 83-87—170
Brad Young 86-90—176
Chris Reaves 87-89—176
Marc Gaines 87-90—177
Todd Pilkington 87-93—180
Mickey Sheppard 87-93—180
Justin Dopson 86-97—183
Sixth Flight
Houston Black 88-83—171
Tyler Teneyck 93-82—175
Mike Ledbetter 90-87—177
Daniel Ricks 89-89—178
Alex Taylor 89-89—178
Wayne Boyd 91-92—182
Greg Gainey 93-90—183
Brian Woodfin 98-85—183
Michael Ray 93-92—185
Kelly Rogers 89-98—187
Tyrel Tucker 92-96—187
Warren Sewell 94-93—187
Ricky Carden 104-84—188
Adam Benefiel 100-92—192
Todd Hamilton 96-97—193
Jared Joiner 102-95—197
Austin Elliott 99-103—202
Senior A
Dennis Austin 70-71—141
Jerry Irwin 72-72—144
David Sanders 74-70—144
Mike Granato 72-72—144
Doug Sears 71-74—145
Bobby Vinson 74-77—151
Carter Gable 75-76—151
Buddy Eiland 75-80—155
Senior B
Steve Davis 76-76—152
Ron Fleming 78-75—153
Rick Taylor 76-79—155
Glenn Heathcock 80-75—155
Tim Steward 78-78—156
Keith Haywood 77-80—157
Mike Thompson 79-79—158
Robbie Robertson 81-82—163
David Medders 76-99—175
Senior C
Bruce Collins 85-79—164
David Roden 93-79—172
Richard Banks 91-85—176
Lamar Ward 84-92—176
Mark Vandaveer 88-88—176
Steve Borrelli 87-90—177
Frank Cobb 85-94—179
Lee Clark 91-95—186

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