E.A. Sports Today

Setting the pace

Setterstrom posts 64 from first group of the day, leads Alabama Open by 2; Cole 4 back; plus, another ACC ace, Dub Ellis pairings

By East Alabama Sports Today

GADSDEN – Talk about setting the tone.

Mobile pro Steven Setterstrom went out in the first group of the day and posted an 8-under-par 64 for everyone to shoot at in the opening round of the Alabama Open at Twin Bridges Golf Club.

Everyone chased it. Nobody reached it.

The former University of Alabama player’s round stood up through the day and he took a two-shot lead over Huntsville pro Rovonta Young and Fort Payne amateur Hunter Hawkins.

Wesley Hunter of Birmingham is fourth after a 67 and current Calhoun County Golf Tour points leader Ty Cole is fifth after a 68.

Setterstrom made nine birdies in his round, but finished with a bogey on 18.

Young, 26, and Hawkins, 31, both played bogey-free with an eagle on the par-5 15th. Hawkins, a former UAB and Jacksonville State player, played the front nine in 4-under and Young was 5-under on the back. Young, a former Alabama A&M player, scored his first pro victory at the World Golf Village in March.

Cole, who won the 2021 County Tour season opener at Twin Bridges in April, was playing in the Alabama Open for the first time. He said he didn’t know what Setterstrom had shot until he was done.

He started the day hot, making back-to-back birdies twice on the back nine to turn in 4-under. He got it to 5-under with a birdie on the par-5 fifth, got up and down for par on 8 and then saved bogey at 9 from what could have been disaster after shanking his second shot out of high rough.

“To literally shank it and come out with a bogey was probably the best break I got all day,” Cole said.

He played in the same group with Young — they rode together — and they’ll be paired in the same group off No. 1 Saturday.

“We had a good time, we were joking back and forth,” Cole said. “Coming down No. 7, our 16th hole, he hit it short of the green and I hit it in there 10 feet. I said don’t let paw-paw come in here and whip your mini-tour playing butt.

“Even after 18 he was saying I know we’re playing together tomorrow but I’m glad I’ve got a two-shot lead on you.”

Among the other local players in the field, Pine Hill’s Cory Etter shot 74, Cider Ridge director of golf Jammie Lett and Centre amateur Nick Sawyer both shot 76, and Anniston amateur Trevor Lane shot 78.

Etter hit 15 greens and made two birdies in his round, but played the back in 2-over with a double bogey on No. 10 by leaving his second shot in the penalty area and a bogey on 18.

“I didn’t make many putts and didn’t capitalize on the short holes that I needed to,” Etter said. “I only made two birdies. Need more tomorrow.”

Lett got off to a good start on the back with two birdies in his first four holes, but then his putter left him. He three-putted for par on the par-5 15th and then played his last 12 holes in 6-over. He shot 41 on the front coming home and finished with 39 putts in the round.

“That sums it up,” he said, “but that’s kind of how I have played all year. You can’t shoot a good score when you have five three-putts. The course, I thought, was set up great and it played great. I’ve got to figure out a way to make a putt tomorrow.”

(First round, top 10)
Steven Setterstrom, Mobile 31-33—64
a-Hunter Hawkins, Fort Payne 32-34—66
Rovonta Young, Huntsville 35-31—66
Wesley Hunter, Birmingham 32-35—67
a-Ty Cole, Albertville 36-32—68
Todd Bailey, Daphne 34-35—69
a-Garrison Guthrie, Auburn 36-33—69
a-Frankie Wade Jr., Hoover 35-35—70
Austin Gean, Florence 37-33—70
Matt Luther, Mobile 34-36—70
Cory Etter, Anniston 36-38—74
Jamie Lett, Rainbow City 41-35—76
a-Trevor Lane, Anniston 40-38—78

ANOTHER ACC ACE: For the second time in as many days a player at Anniston Country Club scored a hole-in-one. Marshal Ghee aced No. 5 Friday and his whole group celebrated.

The shot was witnessed by Jack and Ross Svensen, Taylor Jones, Tyler Huckaby and Charlie Smith.

Will Broome aced No. 16 on the course Thursday.

DUB ELLIS INVITATIONAL: Here are Saturday’s first-round pairings for the Dub Ellis Invitational at Cherokee County Country Club.

8:20 a.m.: Brian Johnson, Ross Johnson, Scott Petty, Johnny Nyman
9:10: Scotty Mcfry, Steve Baker, Phillip Hicks, Tim Hill
9:20: Colin Edwards, Ian Edwards, Lynn Smith
9:30: Craig Watts, P.J. Watts
10:00: Kyle Burgess, Kurt Duryea, Jeremy Reiger, Randall McCullough
10:30: Heath Hammond, Billy McCroskey
11:30: David Garrett, Carson Garrett, Paul Wynn, Christian Stinson

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