E.A. Sports Today

Scratching an itch

Wigington beats Brooks in County Match Play final, gets payback from a loss to him in the 2014 title match; UPDATES with all-time match play records

Gary Wigington chips onto the eighth green in Sunday’s County Match Play final against Andrew Brooks, setting up a 2-up lead at the turn.

At Anniston Municipal GC
No. 1 Gary Wigington def. No. 13 Justin Graveman, 3&2
No. 3 Andrew Brooks def. No. 2 Brennan Clay, 3&2
No. 1 Gary Wigington def. No. 3 Andrew Brooks, 5&4

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

It took seven years but Gary Wigington finally got even with the first player to beat him in a Calhoun County Match Play Championship final.

Wigington played one of his most solid rounds of the season and ran through Andrew Brooks 5&4 Sunday at Anniston Municipal in one of the most dominant finals in tournament history to put a satisfying finish on what had been a disappointing season.

Brooks beat Wigington in the 2014 title match at Cane Creek when he made an eagle on the 18th hole.

“I can’t remember last year much less back then,” Wigington said with a laugh.

He did get a little payback last year when he beat Brooks 7&6 in the semifinals, but it wasn’t a final. 

“I just bring out the best in Twig,” Brooks said as he pulled away from the 14th tee in what would be the final hole of the match.

It was Wigington’s fourth Match Play title. He has played in the championship match each of the last five years he played in the tournament and seven times in the 12-year history of the event. He is 31-7 all-time in the tournament, 14-2 since 2017 and didn’t play in 2019.

“It was (good to win),” he said. “It’s been a disappointing year all around and I really wanted to go out winning. I practiced hard for it. Just hadn’t hitting it good all year and finally started coming around, really, today.” 

That final hole was typical of the way the recently crowned Cider Ridge club champion played. He hit the green from 300 yards with “the best drive I hit all weekend,” and after running his long first putt just past the hole calmly dropped in his three-footer to close out the match.

“I putted really good,” he said. “I didn’t miss anything inside eight or 10 feet, which is hard out here. The putting was the big difference. He played solid, but it came down to just didn’t miss anything inside 10 feet and out here you’re going to have a bunch of those. If you have just a normal putting day you’re going to miss two or three of those, but I just didn’t miss any of them.”

The champion never trailed in the match. He birdied three of the first five holes to go 2-up. Brooks cut the deficit in half with a birdie on 6 after laying back with an iron off the tee, but Wigington birdied three of the next five holes (8, 10, 11) to go 4-up.

Brooks had a couple openings to cut into his deficit, but either just missed his putt or Wigington turned back the threat. At the same time, he also recovered nicely from some wayward drives, particular on 3 and 12, to keep from falling farther behind.

“It was a grind; I needed to see some putts fall early and I didn’t,” Brooks said. “It’s almost like every time I got a good opportunity I just slightly missed the putt. I missed putts and he made putts. Five and four sounds like a huge difference, but it’s just a difference in somebody making putts and somebody not making putts.

“I still didn’t press the issue, even in the finals when I got down, I didn’t try to press the issue, try to make anything happen; I tried to play good golf and make good shots no matter where I ended up. I just didn’t make the putts in the finals that I made in the first three rounds.

“When you play a guy like Twig you’ve got to make a bunch of birdies, if you don’t you’re gonna fall behind and he’s one of the toughest ones to get behind and try to make it back up because he’s not going to make any major mistakes either.”

NOTES: Both finalists won their semifinal matches 3&2 … Brooks is the second player Wigington has beaten in a Match Play final who had taken him down in a previous final. He beat Chad Calvert in 2018 after Calvert beat him the year before. He hasn’t had a chance to get last year’s winner Brennan Clay … Wigington was 6-under-par when the match ended. Brooks was 1-under with bogeys on 2 and 11 … Brooks is the only player on the County Tour to make it to Match Play Sunday each of the last four years. He is 10-5 in the event since 2017 … During the course of the championship match it was learned the Sunny King Charity Classic would return with a September date in 2022. Both finalists applauded the decision.


Gary Wigington317
Jeremy McGatha2111
Andrew Brooks147
Chad Calvert115
Brennan Clay95
Dalton Chandler98
Matt Rogers910
Ott Chandler86
Caleb McKinney62
Grant Hockman64
Jaylon Ellison55
Clay Calkins511
Gary Wilborn40
Kevin Daugherty42
Janson Wilborn45
Billy Thompson35
Daniel Black35
Frank Brady35
Ty Cole35
Adrian Geeting39
Wesley Jenkins21
Garrett Burgess22
Jeff Borrelli22
Justin Gravenman22
Randy Lipscomb23
Chip Howell24
Jonathan Pate25
Josh Poole11
Lamar Carter11
Randy Reaves11
Dan Griffin12
Gage Miller12
Tanner Wells12
Benji Turley13
Nick Pollard13
Austin Minter01
Chris Cox01
Cypress Hathorn01
Doug East01
Kaine Gibson01
Kelly Rogers01
Marcus Harrell01
Mark Durden01
Scott Martin01
Shawn Ledbetter01
Tee Brown01
Timmy Woodard01
TJ McGatha01
Tyler Dopson01
Caleb Bowen02
David Martin02
Jake Goggans02
Jason Johnson02
Lance Evans02
Layton Bussey02
Landon Straub03


2010: Ott Chandler def. Janson Wilborn, 4&3
2011: Matt Rogers def. Frank Brady
2012: Gary Wigington def. Ott Chandler, 1 up
2013: Gary Wilborn def. Grant Hockman, 2&1
2014: Andrew Brooks def. Gary Wigington, 1 up
2015: Caleb McKinney def. Kevin Daugherty, 1 up
2016: Gary Wigington def. Dalton Chandler, 1 up
2017: Chad Calvert def. Gary Wigington, 1 up
2018: Gary Wigington def. Chad Calvert, 1 up
2019: Jeremy McGatha def. Chad Calvert, 2&1
2020: Brennan Clay def. Gary Wigington, 2&1
2021: Gary Wigington def. Andrew Brooks, 5&4

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