E.A. Sports Today

Buddy Moore logjam

Three-way tie at the top after opening round of the Buddy Moore Charity Tournament at Anniston Municipal

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

A mid-round switch related to the way they putted the green made all the difference for the defending champions in the opening round of the Buddy Moore Charity Tournament.

Brennan Clay and Andrew Brooks weren’t having a lot of luck in the order they were putting in Saturday’s scramble round at The Hill, so they called an audible and their fortunes quickly got better.

They made the switch in front of the gallery behind the green on Hole 11 and wound up playing their last eight holes in 9-under-par (7 birdies, 1 eagle) to grab a share of a three-way tie for the overnight lead. They played their last 13 holes in 12-under.

They wound up shooting 14-under-par 56 (30-26) and ended the day tied at the top with first-time partners Randy Lipscomb-Chad Calvert and long-time Buddy Moore partners Jeremy McGatha-Matt Rogers. Gary Wigington and Ty Cole are a shot back.

The defending and two-time past champions were only 2-under through four holes and 5-under through 10. They switched the order, Clay birdied 11 and 12 and they off and running. They also got 13 to make it three in a row and then Brooks drove it to eight feet on 14 and Clay made another putt for the eagle.

“In our original order I hit second on all holes that required driver and he hit second on everything else including the putt,” Brooks said. “The first 10 holes I putted first and he said you seem to be rolling it a little better, but we weren’t making anything.

“On 11 we had about a 12-footer for birdie and he said let me go first and if I make it we’ll keep it going and he made it. I think I only putted three times on the back. I don’t mind changing it if it’s not going right. We probably should’ve made the change on 10. We hit it decent on the front, we just didn’t make anything.”

Fate brought Lipscomb and Calvert together. They were going to to play in the tournament with different partners, but each dropped out leaving them to go it alone. They formalized their partnership last week and played Saturday like they’d been were partners for a long time.

They turned in 29, were 10-under through 15, then closed it out with a birdie-birdie-eagle finish. The only hiccup came on 15 when they didn’t get up and down from 20 yards in front of the green. The birdie came on 18 when Lipscomb hit a 9-iron from 158 yards to four feet and made the putt.

“It really wasn’t that exciting, we just didn’t do anyting stupid,” Calvert said. “We just played consistent golf and brother-in-lawed really well.

“It was the first we were partners in any tournament and it worked out perfectly. I told him I’d hit first and put something in play and let him rip at it, and for the most part I did that. I put it in play and he was able to let loose.”

They’ve already talked about joining forces in the tournament next year and maybe things bigger.

McGatha and Rogers shot the best round of the afternoon wave and were the only team among the top five to play after lunch. The key to their round was their close, particularly after they turned off 18. They already were 4-under, then birdied six in a row from 13 through 18, but it was all about making birdie on 1, eagle on 3 and birdie on 4.

“We tried to play our game,” Rogers said. “We can’t overpower this place. We’re going to hit fairways and we’re going to hit greens and try to make shots. We’re not going to hit spectacular shots, but Jeremy hit a couple today. He hit his second shot on 3 to about a foot and made a 20-footer from the back of the green on 4. They were the key to the whole round.

“We tried to stay with what we know. Those three pairings there are going to outpower us, they’re going to do all the great stuff. We’re just going to have to hit the fairway, hit the green, make putts. We didn’t try to do anything different. We tried to play our own game.”

NOTES: Brooks and Clay weren’t the only ones to take advantage of a mid-round audible. Tony Hicks and Nick Hubbard swapped their putting order and made seven straight birdies on the back nine for an 8-under 62 … Wigington and Cole birdied each of their first five holes, were 8-under through 10 and birdied each of their last four holes to get to 13-under … The tournament’s specialty prizes are named in honor of departed longtime friends of The Hill (Saturday’s winners are listed below). Earlier in the day organizers unveiled a memorial to Tom Sawyer in the gallery grove behind No. 2 green. Sawyer was one of the tournament’s founders who passed away in May … The event raises money for local families with seriously ill children. It has raised nearly $25,000 through Saturday.

Buddy Moore Charity Tournament

Andrew Brooks-Brennan Clay302656
Randy Lipscomb-Chad Calvert292756
Jeremy McGatha-Matt Rogers282856
Ty Cole-Gary Wigington282957
Matt Miller-Chad Watson292958
Landon Winfrey-Jared Waits293059
Chip Howell-Jonathan Pate293059
Layton Bussey-Max Basler303060
Billy Thompson-Timmy Woodard303161
Landon Straub-Jason Johnson303161
Tanner Wells-Mark McCaig322961
George Salmon-Chris Randall313162
Tony Hicks-Nick Hubbard342862
Tyler Dopson-Will Brown303262
Brian Whitley-Kent Whitley303262
Ted Towns-Due Snow313162
Clay Calkins-Chris Hubbard303363
Lamar Carter-Daniel Black342963
Blake Jones-Hunter Carr323163
Scott Murphree-Greg Shultz293463
David Hill-David Fitzgerald323264
Lenn Coffey-Adam Johnson303464
Bob Eaton-Bradley Elliott323365
Danny Whittaker-Gary Thomas343165
Andy Jenkins-Mark Gaines333265
Johnny Barnes-Chris Reaves333265
Andrew Tyson-Byron Preston343266
Ron Wheeler-Steve McClellan343266
Jimmy Jackson-Gordon Stewart343266
Ted Heim-Garrett Heim353267
Jimbo Phillips-Mike Hughston353267
Tim Mullendore-Mike Braxton343468
Donnie McGinnis-Ron Dulaney343569
Steve Mullendore-Will Mullendore363369
Daniel Clonts-Brett Key353570
Mike Herndon-Tony Strickland343771
Steve Rogers-Keith Gann363571
Grady Sapp-Steve Akers373976
Derrick Webb-John Roe403777
Ken Renfroe-Konner Renfroe394382

Specialty prizes

Gary Wigington (AM), Chip Howell (PM)
Ron Dulaney (AM), Mike Herndon (PM)
Mike Hughston (AM), Max Basler (PM)
George Salmon (AM), Jason Johnson (PM)
David Fitzgerald (AM), Tanner Wells (PM)

Sunday pairings

8 a.m. Shotgun
1A: Eaton-Elliott, Whittaker-Thomas
1B: Hill-Fitzgerald, Coffey-Johnson
2: Jenkins-Gaines-Barnes-Reaves
3: Jackson-Stewart, Wheeler-McClellan
4: Tyson-Preston, Heim-Heim
5: Phillips-Hughston, Mullendore-Braxton
6: McGinnis-Dulaney, Mullendore-Mullendore
7: Herndon-Strickland, Clonts-Key
8: Rogers-Gann, Sapp-Akers
9: Webb-Roe, Renfroe-Renfroe

1 p.m. Shotgun
1A: Lipscomb-Calvert, Wigington-Cole
1B: McGatha-Rogers, Brooks-Clay
2: Miller-Watson, Winfrey-Waits
3: Howell-Pate, Bussey-Basler
4: Thompson-Woodard, Straub-Johnson
5: Wells-McCaig, Dopson-Brown
6: Whitley-Whitley, Towns-Snow
7: Salmon-Randall, Hicks-Hubbard
8: Calkins-Hubbard, Carter-Black
9: Jones-Carter, Murphree-Shultz

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