E.A. Sports Today

Making the cut

Cole, Lett, Etter advance to Championship Sunday in Alabama Open, Setterstrom (-14) leads by 1; Garrett leads Dub Ellis

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

GADSDEN – Cory Etter cut it close (pardon the pun), Jammie Lett got his putter to cooperate and Ty Cole showed he’s still got game to hang with the club and mini-tour pros 15-20 years his junior.

All three golfers with Calhoun County ties made the cut Saturday to play in Sunday’s final round of the Alabama Open at Twin Bridges Golf Club.

Cole, the current points leader on the Calhoun County Golf Tour, had the best day of the local group. He posted a 2-under-par 70 and sits in sixth place at 6-under 138, eight shots behind leader Steven Setterstrom of Mobile.

At 14-under 130, Setterstrom, a former Alabama All-American, leads Fort Payne amateur Hunter Hawkins by one going into Championship Sunday. He shot 66 Saturday.

Hawkins shot 65. The former UAB player is the only player in the field bogey-free for two rounds. He has nine birdies and two eagles.

Cole managed to squeeze out another under-par round despite putting “about as bad as I have in a while.” He had four birdies, giving him nine for the tournament, but had chances for others.

At 46, “Paw Paw” is 15 years older than the oldest of the five players ahead of him on the leaderboard and twice as old as the youngest, but he’s hanging right in there with them. He’s tied for the lead in par-3 scoring, tied for fifth in back nine scoring and in the top 10 of several other categories this week.

“That is the reason I played the tournament,” Cole said. “Every year we play the same courses, the same yardages, the same four or five guys have a chance to win. This is a way to get a little more of the competitive juices going (and) play against people you don’t normally play against.

“I know I always play the ‘show up, play, it is what it is’ card, but I’m still a competitor. I want to play as good a golf as I can play, but at the same time I spend Monday through Friday working a job, so Saturday and Sunday are play time, so if I can get to play golf and drink my beer and have a good time, that’s what I’m going to do.

“My mentality doesn’t change. You can’t go out there and shoot 68-70 and win by four. These guys are good. They play every single day.”

Etter made the cut on the number (5-over 149) with his 3-over 75. He bogeyed No. 7, his 16th hole of the day, to fall onto the projected cut line, then parred 8 and 9 to save his spot among the 40 players to advance.

Thinking he needed birdie to get in, his approach shot into 9 one-hopped into the flagstick and stopped three feet from the hole, but he missed the birdie putt that would have given him some wiggle room. As it is, he’ll be in Sunday’s first group at 8 a.m.

“I’m glad I made it to Sunday,” the Pine Hill/Cider Ridge course operator said. “It’s not as easy as it used to be.”

He’ll be looking to get a little more out of his putter in the final round. He has hit 29 greens in regulation over the first two rounds, but has only two birdies to show for it. If it’s any consolation, he leads the field in pars made.

Lett, the Cider Ridge director of golf, got his putter to come around after logging 39 putts in the opening round. He had 33 putts in Saturday’s 71, made five birdies and improved on his opening-round score by five shots.

“It was definitely better,” Lett said. “I three-putted the second for bogey and said that was enough of that. I kind of relaxed. After I got that out of the way I putted good the rest of the way. I didn’t putt great, but I putted better.”

ALABAMA OPEN (Top 10)
Steven Setterstrom, Mobile6466130
a-Hunter Hawkins, Ft. Payne6665131
Rovonta Young, Huntsville6669135
Wesley Hunter, Birmingham6770137
Wilson Furr, Birmingham7166137
a-Ty Cole, Albertville6870138
Austin Gean, Florence7069139
Zach Portemont, Birmingham 7267139
J. Michael Riley, Birmingham7169140
Henry Westmoreland, Wacissa, Fla.7268140
Bo Hayes, Birmingham7367140
a-Frankie Wade Jr., Hoover7070140
Others
T-28 Jammie Lett, Rainbow City7671147
T-37 a-Brock McNeely, Glencoe7574149
T-37 Cory Etter, Anniston7475149
MC a-Nick Sawyer, Centre7676152
MC a-Trevor Lane, Anniston7877155
a-amateur

Dub Ellis Invitational

CENTRE – David Garrett put together a run of four birdies in a five-hole stretch in the middle of the back nine, shot 3-under-par 68 and opened a five-shot lead after the opening round of the Dub Ellis Invitational at Cherokee County Country Club.

Garrett was 1-over for the day through 11 holes and three shots behind playing partner Paul Wynn, then made birdies 12, 13, 14 and 16 to surge into the lead. He had six birdies total in the round.

Randall McCullough is second after a 73.

CHAMPIONSHIP FLIGHT
David Garrett68
Randall McCullough73
Jeremy Rieger74
Billy McCroskey74
Paul Wynn76
Scotty McFry76
FIRST FLIGHT
Johnny Neyman78
Tim Hill78
Brian Johnson78
Phillip Hicks79
Kurt Duryea79
Heath Hammond79
Colin Edwards79
Luke Goss82
SECOND FLIGHT
Christian Stinson84
Ross Johnson85
Carson Garrett85
Steve Baker86
Lynn Smith86
Scott Petty91
Kyle Burgess91
Ian Edwards91

SUNDAY PAIRINGS
8:30 a.m.: Lynn Smith, Scott Petty, Kyle Burgess, Ian Edwards
8:40: Christian Stinson, Ross Johnson, Carson Garrett, Steve Baker
8:50: Phillip Hicks, Kurt Duryea, Heath Hammond, Colin Edwards
9:00: Johnny Neyman, Tim Hill, Brian Johnson, Luke Goss
9:20: Billy McCroskey, Paul Wynn, Scotty McFry
9:30: David Garrett, Randall McCullough, Jeremy Rieger



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