E.A. Sports Today

Too tough

Cole breaks out of four-way tie for the lead to win Gadsden City Championship for his 20th win on County Tour

Ty Cole (C) is congratulated by runner-up Corey Ray on the 18th green after winning the Gadsden City Championship at Twin Bridges. The two golfers were tied for the lead with eight holes to play.

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

GADSDEN – For all the fans of alliteration in the gallery, Ty Cole teed one high for them and let it fly.

Ty tames Twin Bridges to take 20th Tour title.

Cole became the second player to win 20 Calhoun County Golf Tour titles Sunday when he reached the milestone by winning the Gadsden City Championship – the newest County Tour event – for the second time.

The 45-year-old Etowah County native broke away from a four-way tie for the overnight lead early in the back nine and finished with a final-round 70 for a two-day total of 6-under-par 138.

He won by two shots over Corey Ray of Boaz, one of the other first-round co-leaders. Chad Calvert, Brennan Clay and Championship B flight winner Clay Calkins all tied for third overall at 142. Calkins shot the low round of the day (69).

Cole also won the event in 2014 and became its first two-time winner. It’s his first win on the Tour since last year’s delayed season opener at Silver Lakes.

“I won the first one last year and my game went south,” Cole said. “I think a lot of it was I played a ton of golf through the winter and I don’t ever do that and then you had all the COVID stuff pushing the tournaments further back into when I would normally not play or have to play as much. So, by the time golf got cranked up last year I think I was almost burnt out.”

Probably not much risk of that happening this year because his priorities have changed. As discussed after Saturday’s 68 he has other interests to occupy his time that might otherwise have been spent on the range. He enjoys getting away from it all riding four-wheelers and he absolutely loves coming home from work and playing with his 2-year-old son Camden, who helped hold the championship trophy Sunday.

“Golf just ain’t as high as it used to be,” he said. “I don’t know how much golf I’m going to play this year. I’m going to ride (ATVs). I’m going to hang out with him. I’m just not going to go and beat balls and do all that like I used to.

“Winning here is not going to change anything right now. I’m exhausted. Today didn’t give me the golf bug, if you know what I mean. I’m just going to be playing it be ear. How do I feel? Is anybody else doing anything I’d rather be doing than playing golf?”

Ty Cole watches the flight of his shot from the greenside bunker on 18.

Hearing Cole may play a more limited schedule may give hope to the players who have been chasing him all these years, but even if he isn’t playing as much as before, he’s still got enough game to be one of the favorites whenever he plays.

The key stretch Sunday came right after the turn when Ray found the hazard on 11 and made bogey, then Cole made birdies on three of the next four holes.

Cole and Ray separated themselves from the logjam by the turn. On 11, Ray misclubbed trying to get over the stand of trees that guards the green and found the hazard. He took a drop and had to make a long putt to save his bogey. Cole made par to take a one-shot lead.

“I had kind of weird lie right there, just outside the bunker in the rough and it was real bare there,” Ray explained. “Five-iron was the club for the yardage, but 6-iron was the club to make sure I got over the trees and I chose wrong.

“I hit it a little squirrelly and it rattled around what felt like an eternity in the (second) tree and kicked down into the water. After that is was tough to get out of that mindset. When you give up two shots like that it’s not insurmountable but you know he’s not going to really make a mistake coming in to have a big number.”

Cole extended his lead on 12 when he hit a 9-iron from 150 yards to three inches. He followed it with a birdie on 13 and added another birdie on 15 to go up four. He let off the accelerator and bogeyed two holes coming in, but had a big enough cushion that it didn’t matter.

Ray made a nice putt from off the green at 18 to secure solo second, but that was the part of his game that was most frustrating. He hit 14 greens in the round, but had 27 of his 30 total putts on them.

“Putting is what killed me,” he said. “It has always held me back; I don’t know what it is. I’ve always been a pretty good ball-striker and had a lot of good looks, but for whatever reason I can’t roll them. 

“With a par putt I putt very freely, but when I’m over a birdie putt I tense up. My putting has always kind of held me back and that’s what happened today. I just didn’t putt well at all.”

NOTES: Calkins’ round featured two birdies and an eagle, offset by a bogey at 18. It was his best round on Tour since an opening-round 67 in the 2018 Pine Hill Invitational. It was one of only seven rounds under par Sunday. … Closest to the prizes went to Cole, Jeff Chapman (No. 3), Justin Goree (No. 8) and Timmy Woodard (No. 16). Cole’s and Chapman’s were inches from being aces … Every player in the third flight improved their score over Saturday’s first round. Flight winner Chapman (18) and Randy Watson (16) made the biggest moves. The entire flight improved by an average of 7.9 strokes. The second flight improved by an average of 2.8… The next County Tour event is the Oxford City Championship at Cider Ridge May 1-2.

Corey Ray watches his pitch to the 18th green. The shot came up a little short, but he made a putt from off the green for par that locked down solo second.

Gadsden City Championship

Championship A
Ty Cole



Corey Ray6872140
Brennan Clay7270142
Chad Calvert 6973142
Gary Wigington6875143
Harrison Hughston7172143
Andrew Brooks7272144
Caleb McKinney7275147
Timmy Woodard6881149
Jake Goggans7081151
Will Brown7181152
Championship B
Clay Calkins



Dane Moore7371144
Jody Wooten7572147
Norman Clifton7374147
Tanner Wells7375148
Logan Forrester7376149
Jeremy McGatha7575150
Matt Miller7575150
Casey Harmon7577152
Hunter Carr7480154
Bill Gilchrist7482156
Chase Hollingsworth73NCNC
Championship C
Tee Brown



Chance Harris7674150
Chris Cox7774151
Jeremy Willis7774151
Layton Bussey7676152
Josh Poole7777154
Danny Whittaker7680156
Chandler Richards7681157
Chip Howell7683159
Nick Hubbard7782159
Will Broome7783160
Mike Hughston7787164
Johnny Barnes7697173
First flight
Dustin Travis



Drey Reeves7975154
Lamar Carter8074154
Nick Pollard7876154
Randy Lipscomb7978157
Mason Dennis7879157
Mark Guyther7881159
Matt Greer8079159
Eric Ray7882160
Matt Rogers8080160
Blake Grisham8081161
Ted Heim7984174
Daily Thomas78DNFDNF
Second flight
Corbin Holland



Drew Anderton8372155
Dre Davenport8180161
Craig Messer8280162
Clay Smith8676162
Justin Goree8580165
Zach Mangum8679165
Clayton Chandler8585170
Nathan Williams8685171
Daniel Ricks8291173
Jason Payne8591176
Third flight
Jeff Chapman



Tyler Dopson8878166
Greg Burnett8981170
Mark Gaines8784171
Kenny Fulmer9084174
Randy Watson9882180
Houston Black9487181
Scott Jimmerson9290182
Keith Hutcheson9994193
Adam Benefiel106102208
Maverick Smith89NCNC
Kelly Rogers95DNSDNS
Dennis MoyerWD
Chase ThomasWD
Mark McCaigDNS
Gary Wigington blasts out of the greenside bunker on the par-3 eighth during Sunday’s final round of the Gadsden City Championship.

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