E.A. Sports Today

Driving it home

Georgia partners Hammond and Harman back up big first round with a Sunday 60 to win Calhoun County Team Championship

John Harman watches partner Brandon Hammond sink the final putt in a scamble 60 that clinched the Calhoun County Team Championship Sunday at Silver Lakes.

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

SILVER LAKES — Brandon Hammond figured if partner John Harman was going to be the team’s driver in the tournament the least he could do was drive them the 75 miles to the golf course.

The Carrollton, Ga., partners rode the combination of Harman’s powerful drives and Hammond’s sharp short game to a 12-under-par 60 in Sunday’s scamble to complete a 26-under 118 and a wire-to-wire victory in the Calhoun County Team Championship at Silver Lakes.

They won by five shots over Gary Wigington and Scott Martin and six over Brennan Clay and Jeremy McGatha, who won the first flight with the second best round of the day (61).

The scamble 60 and total 118 are both tournament records since the event moved to Silver Lakes in 2016.

The winners played the nine holes in the middle of their round in 10-under and birdied seven straight on the back end. Ironically, they played their first 11 holes Sunday exactly the same as they did in their opening-round 58.

“We played about a carbon copy of the way we played yesterday,” Hammond said. “What we talked about yesterday is it’s really hard to back up a great round with a good round. It doesn’t happen often, but we did it today.

“We really played about as good as we played yesterday.Just hit the ball really solid all the way through from tee to green. John’s driver was on point today. He was so long that it makes golf really easy. He could’ve won with anybody else other than me, he hit it so good today.”

Two of the birdies in their big run came after Harman drove par-4s Backbreaker 6 and Heartbreaker 3, and Hammond lipped out an eagle putt on the first one.

Several players in the field commented on the former college pitcher’s prodigious length off the tee. He used the driver on every hole Sunday except downwind Backbreaker 8 and the par-3s.

“Stepping up and seeing all the room we had as far as we played it I felt comfortable over every tee shot knowing I could let it loose and if I was off a little bit it was still playable,” he said.

On those occasions Harman did hit one offline, Hammond was there to get them back in play. And when he piped one, Hammond’s sharp irons and wedges gave them a reasonable birdie attempt.

“He’s so good from 100 yards and in it was more not about me setting myself up but trying to get him a wedge in his hand so he could do his thing,” Harman said.

The previous low scamble at Silver Lakes was 61 by Wigington and Ty Cole in 2017 and Ott and Dalton Chandler in 2019. The previous tournament best at Silver Lakes was 122 by Clay and McGatha in 2019. The winners’ opening-round 58 tied the tournament Silver Lakes scramble record set by Cory Etter and Caleb Bowen in 2016.

NOTES: Harman, 27, gets his golf power from baseball. He turned down a chance to be drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates out of junior college and went on to pitch two years at Western Kentucky … The champions play out of Sunset Hills CC in Carrollton … There were five eagles and 153 birdies in the round. Backbreaker 7 and Heartbreaker 1 produced two eagles each; the other was at Backbreaker 9 … Every hole was birdied at least once. Kevin and Landon Daugherty had the most birdies (11). There were five birdie-free rounds.

Calhoun County Team Championship

Championship flight
Brandon Hammond-John Harman5860118
Gary Wigington-Scott Martin6063123
Drew Anderton-Randy Lipscomb6067127
Chad Calvert-Daily Thomas6168129
Jody Wooten-Logan Forrester6069129
First flight
Brennan Clay-Jeremy McGatha6361124
Caleb Bowen-Cory Etter6464128
Jason Johnson-Landon Straub6268130
Randy Reaves-Will Reaves6568133
Chris Cox-Gage Miller6370133
Chad Watson-Matt Miller6569134
Danny Whittaker-Tony Hicks6569134
Hunter Carr-Zach Mangum6576141
Second flight
Kevin Daugherty-Landon Daugherty6662128
Jake Goggans-Rob Davie6664130
Chris Hubbard-Clay Calkins6764131
Clayton Chandler-Clint Brakbill6767134
Billy Thompson-Timmy Woodard6669135
Chase Hollingsworth-Jono Waugh6669135
Justin Graveman-Patrick Crane6867135
Mark Hudgins-Nick Ledbetter6769136
Cain Hollingsworth-Taylor O’Connor6670136
Patrick Cooper-Shawn Ledbetter6671137
Kenny Okins-Rick Okins6871139
Tyler Dopson-Will Brown6773140
Cameron McCareeth-John Grubbs6872140
Rodney Grubbs-Wesley Jenkins6776143
Third flight
Jeff Chapman-Justin Goree7071141
Danny Shears-Ryan Limbaugh7072142
Dustin Travis-Kolby Slick7172143
Daniel Black-Lamar Carter6974143
Isabel Rogers-Matt Rogers6975144
Stan McCarley-Trevor McCarley7075145
Dre Davenport-Matt Greer7175146
Daniel Ricks-Nathan Williams7175146
Cody Fortenberry-Keith Fortenberry6980149
Larry Reaves-Tyler Romine6980149
Austin Elliott-Bradley Elliott7180151
Blake Jones-Nick Hubbard7082152
Fourth flight
Jacob Sittre-Steven Crane7478152
Adam Benefiel-Houston Black7379152
David Lawrence-Jim Tindle7677153
Bobby Yarbrough-Mike Ledbetter7581156
Justiin Nolin-Nick Machowicz8290172

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