E.A. Sports Today

Magic Number: 30

Past champions Brooks-Clay post 15-under 55 to lead Buddy Moore Tournament by 3, 30-under the target

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

Every tournament has that target score the players consider the Holy Grail, that number out there many think is just a touch out of reach.

Forty-under-par was thought to be the pinnacle in the Sunny King Charity Classic until Ott and Dalton Chandler eclipsed it in 2015 and Jacob LeCroy and Jacob Harper took it to 51-under two years ago.

In the Buddy Moore Charity Tournament that number is 30-under and when he looks at this year’s field first-round leader Andrew Brooks thinks he and partner Brennan Clay might have to get there to win it.

The high school teammates, the 2018 winners here and 2017 runner-ups in a playoff, got halfway to the magic number Saturday with a 15-under-par 55 (27-28) at Anniston Municipal that had them three shots ahead of morning wave leaders Gary Wigington and Ty Cole. Three other teams are another shot back.

“Our goal was 14, and that was before we even knew what Ty and Twig shot in the morning,” Brooks said. “If we get to 14, it gives us a chance to get to 30 for two days, which is, with the stiffer competition, what we’d have thought that’s what it was going to take.

“Thirty’s high, but I feel like the competition is stiffer this year than it usually is. I think it’s the most competitive Buddy Moore we’ve had as far as the team lineup. We just thought it would be a bigger number this year than it ever has been.”

In addition to Wigington and Cole, three-time Sunny King Classic champs, the field includes three Buddy Moore past champions and a past County Two-Man champion. 

Cory Etter and Caleb Bowen threatened the magic number in 2019 when they won at 29-under 211 and again last year when they shot 17-under in the opening round, but the score that created the playoff was 25. Over the last eight years the average winning score is 113 (27-under).

As for their round Saturday, the leaders eagled 1 and 3 and birdied 11 of the remaining 16 holes. Clay chipped in from just off the green on 1 and Brooks holed a 10-foot putt on 3. Brooks also made a 30-foot birdie putt on 4.

They had one stretch of four birdies in a row (7-10) and two strings of three (12-14 and 16-18).

“I know it sounds crazy, but we really didn’t hit the ball that great,” Brooks said. “We just made everything we looked at.”

“We putted really good,” Clay said. “We just made everything.”

NOTES: Ted Towns and Dru Snow, co-leaders in the Scott Flight, also eagled Nos. 1 and 3 … Wigington and Cole had 12 birdies in their round and at one point made six in a row (8-13) … Scott Murphree and Ryan Howard, one of the three teams at 59, eagled 18 and 3 and carded eight straight 3s from 2 through the turn … Randy Lipscomb and Mason Dennis, climbed into the Buddy Flight with a closing stretch of six straight birdies and an eagle … Brooks and Clay played with three-time Buddy Moore champions Jeremy McGatha and Matt Rogers. Their best ball group score was 16-under … The AM specialty prizes went to Daniel Black (long drive No. 1), Tony Hicks (longest putt No. 6) and Lamar Carter (closest to the pin No. 7/16). The PM prizes went to Tanner Wells (long drive), Lipscomb (longest putt) and Matt Miller (closet to the pin).

At Anniston Municipal GC

Andrew Brooks-Brennan Clay27-28—55
Gary Wigington-Ty Cole30-28—58
Chase Hollingsworth-Hunter Carr31-28—59
Scott Murphree-Ryan Howard            28-31—59
Layton Bussey-Max Basler     30-29—59
Jeremy McGatha-Matt Rogers            29-31—60
Chip Howell-Jonathan Pate     31-29—60
Randy Lipscomb-Mason Dennis        32-29—61
Landon Straub-Jason Johnson                        31-30—61
Matt Miller-Chad Watson                   32-29—61
Tanner Wells-Chad Calvert     31-30—61
Clay Calkins-Chris Hubbard   29-32—61
Andrew Tyson-Byron Preston           32-32—64
T.J. McGatha-Cal Lambert     32-32—64
Chris Randall-Wayne Tillman 31-33—64
Landon Winfrey-Steve Minton           32-32—64
Lamar Carter-Daniel Black                  31-33—64
Ted Heim-Garrett Heim                      34-32—66
Jimbo Phillips-Mike Hughston           34-32—66
David Hill-David Fitzgerald    33-33—66
Ted Towns-Dru Snow                        29-37—66
Tony Strickland-Michael Herndon      32-34—66
Tony Hicks-Nick Hubbard     35-31—66
Steve Akers-Grady Sapp                    32-34—66
Don Hill-Tyler Teneyck          31-35—66
Johnny Barnes-Charles Carden           34-33—67
Jim Ramey-David Ramey                   35-32—67
Daniel Clonts-Brett Key                      35-33—68
George Salmon-Lee Waldron  33-35—68
Marc Gaines-Andy Jenkins    34-35—69
Steve McClellan-Ron Wheeler            34-35—69
Jimmy Jackson-Gordon Stewart         35-34—69
Tyler Dopson-Adam Johnson 36-34—70
Danny Whittaker-Gary Thomas         35-35—70
Dereck Webb-Carter Gable      36-37—73
Tim Mullendore-Mike Braxton           34-39—73
Donnie McGinnis-Ron Dulaney          37-36—73
Steve Mullendore-Will Mullendore   37-37—74
Steve Rogers-Mike Gann         38-40—78
Ken Renfroe-Konner Renfroe            39-39—78

Sunday’s tee assignments
8 a.m. shotgun
1A – Hicks-Hubbard, Akers-Sapp
1B – Towns-Snow, Strickland-Herndon
2 – Hill-Teneyck, Barnes-Carden
3 – Ramey-Ramey, Clontz-Key
4 – Salmon-Waldron, Gaines-Jenkins
5 – McClellan-Wheeler, Jackson-Stewart
6 – Dopson-Johnson, Whittaker-Thomas
7 – Webb-Gable, Mullendore-Braxton
8 – McGinnis-Dulaney, Rogers-Gann
9 – Mullendore-Mullendore, Renfroe-Renfroe

1 p.m. shotgun
1A – Hollingsworth-Carr, Murphree-Howard
1B – Brooks-Clay, Wigington-Cole
2 – Bussey-Basler, Rogers-McGatha
3 – Howell-Pate, Lipscomb-Dennis
4 – Straub-Johnson, Miller-Watson
5 – Wells-Calvert, Calkins-Hubbard
6 – Tyson-Preston, McGatha-Lambert
7 – Randall-Tillman, Winfrey-Minton
8 – Carter-Black, Heim-Heim
9 – Phillips-Hughston, Hill-Fitzgerald

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