E.A. Sports Today

Tie at the top

Two teams tied atop leaderboard after opening round of the Calhoun County Team Championship at Silver Lakes

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

SILVER LAKES — Neither Ott Chandler nor his partner Jeremy Parnell have played a lot of golf lately so they didn’t have a lot of expectations when they hastily entered this weekend’s Calhoun County Team Championship.

Those expectations got a little dimmer after they turned 2-under-par in the rain during Saturday’s scramble at Silver Lakes. So much so, in fact, Chandler was considering packing it in.

But their fortunes and their hopes brightened on the back nine as they shot 7-under on the Heartbreaker 9 and when Parnell made a 10-footer on 18 for birdie they had climbed all the way back into a share of the overnight lead with Matt Miller and Chad Watson.

“I didn’t expect 9-under to be leading,” Chandler said. “I told (Parnell) this morning at breakfast I thought it would take 13 or 14, that’s usually about what it takes. We need to shoot 13 or 14, 12 would keep us in it, and when we made the turn at 2, I was ready to go home on 10.

“It started raining hard, I said I’m ready to go home. He said you’re not a quitter. I said (laughing) I am a quitter. So, we just hung around and then (went on a birdie binge).”

They birdied 10 and 11, parred 12, then birdied four in a row. They were 50 yards out off the tee on 18. Chandler’s approach hit short and checked, leaving them with a 10-footer below the hole and Parnell made it for 29 and a share of the lead.

“We played like we should’ve played on the front,” Parnell said. “We had the same opportunities on the front we just didn’t make any putts. Got a couple bad breaks, the rain got us for about four holes. Ott hit the ball. I hit the ball in the fairway, he hit on the green; (that’s) the way you’re supposed to play here.

“I’m excited about tomorrow. If we get a couple back that we left out on the course …”

The leaders’ 63s are one shot ahead of Nick Ledbetter and Mark Hudgins, who played in the final group of the day, right behind Chandler and Parnell, and made birdie from the practice green playing 18 for solo third. Three other teams – Jake Goggans-James Lett, Brennan Clay-Jeremy McGatha and Dalton Chandler-Caleb McKinney – are another shot back.

The championship will be decided in a scamble format Sunday. The leaders go off at 10:50 a.m.

Miller and Watson posted 63 first. They were 9-under through 12 holes, playing holes 7 through 12 in 6-under with an eagle on 10, but didn’t make another birdie the rest of the way.

Among the other contenders, Goggans and Lett (65) had seven birdies and an eagle and played holes 5 through 10 in 7-under (five birdies and an eagle), but they also had two bogeys on the card, including 18. Clay and McGatha played bogey-free and were 5-under through 10 holes, but made only two birdies the rest of the way. Chandler and McKinney were 6-under through 11 with an eagle and a bogey, but had only one birdie coming home.

Among the three 66s, Timmy Woodard and Chase Thomas birdied four of their last six holes to climb up the leaderboard. Justin Graveman and Barrett Milan played holes 6 through 12 in 6-under. Will Brown and Tyler Dopson played bogey free.

(At Silver Lakes, Backbreaker/Heartbreaker)
First-round scores (scramble)
Championship flight
Matt Miller-Chad Watson 31-32—63
Ott Chandler-Jeremy Parnell 34-29—63
Nick Ledbetter-Mark Hudgins 32-32—64
Jake Goggans-James Lett 31-34—65
Brennan Clay-Jeremy McGatha 32-33—65
Dalton Chandler-Caleb McKinney 32-33—65
Timmy Woodard-Chase Thomas 34-32—66
Justin Graveman-Barrett Milan 32-34—66
Will Brown-Tyler Dopson 33-33—66
Patrick Cooper-Shawn Ledbetter 36-31—67

First flight
Randy Lipscomb-Casey Harmon 35-33—68
Danny Whittaker-Mark McCaig 35-33—68
Bumper Jones-Jerry Frasier 33-35—68
Hunter Carr-Tyler Romine 35-34—69
Clay Calkins-Mike Lett 35-34—69
Landon Winfrey-Frank Brady 35-35—70
Cain Hollingsworth-Jake Law 35-35—70
Greg Harrelson-Tony Hicks 35-35—70
Jason Johnson-Landon Straub 36-34—70
Graham Morrow-Taylor Morrow 35-35—70
George Salmon-Casey Mize 36-34—70
Wesley Jenkins-Gage Miller 38-33—71
Jake Williams-Cody Boyd 36-35—71
Joe Williams-Mike Williams 36-36—72
Nathan Williams-Daniel Ricks 35-37—72
Mike Bowers-Sid Garrett 34-38—72

Second flight
Chris Cox-Blake Grisham 38-35—73
Brandon Slick-Jim Slick 35-38—73
Steve Minton-Frank Toland 36-37—73
Dre Davenport-Matt Greer 37-36—73
Ben Phillips-Craig Kiker 37-38—75
Lou Williams-Mike Schulte 41-35—76
Heath Waldrop-Greg Rainey 38-40—78
Nick Machowicz-Mike Machowicz 39-43—82
Bobby Vinson-Mike Brooks 39-43—82
Ron Fleming-Lamar Ward 44-42—86

Sunday pairings (scamble)
8 a.m.: Bobby Vinson-Mike Brooks, Lamar Ward-Ron Fleming
8:10: Heath Waldrop-Greg Rainey, Nick Machowicz-Mike Machowicz
8:20: Ben Phillips-Craig Kiker, LLou Williams-Mike Schulte
8:30: Steve Minton-Frank Toland, Dre Davenport-Matt Greer
8:40: Brandon Slick-Jim Slick, Chris Cox-Blake Grisham
8:50: Nathan Williams-Daniel Ricks, Mike Bowers-Sid Garrett
9:00: Jake Williams-Cody Boyd, Joe Williams-Mike Williams
9:10: George Salmon-Corey Mize, Wesley Jenkins-Gage Miller
9:20: Graham Morrow-Taylor Morrow, Jason Johnson-Landon Straub
9:30: Cain Hollingsworth-Jake Law, Greg Harrelson-Tony Hicks
9:40: Hunter Carr-Tyler Romine, Landon Winfrey-Frank Brady
9:50: Bumper Jones-Jerry Frasier, Clay Calkins-Mike Lett
10:00: Randy Lipscomb-Casey Harmon, Danny Whittaker-Mark McCaig
10:10: Will Brown-Tyler Dopson, Patrick Cooper-Shawn Ledbetter
10:20: Justin Graveman-Barrett Milam, Timmy Woodard-Chase Thomas
10:30: Brennan Clay-Jeremy McGatha, Dalton Chandler-Caleb McKinney
10:40: Nick Ledbetter-Mark Hudgins, Jake Goggans-James Lett
10:50: Matt Miller-Chad Watson, Ott Chandler-Jeremy Parnell

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