E.A. Sports Today

Wigington wins

Wigington overcomes rough patch in middle of final round, regains form down stretch for his first victory in the RTJ-Silver Lakes Championship

Gary Wigington (right) gets congratulations after finishing off his first-ever win in the RTJ-Silver Lakes Championship on Sunday. (Photo by Joe Medley)

By Joe Medley
East Alabama Sports Today

SILVER LAKES — Gary Wigington had never won the RTJ-Silver Lakes Championship before this weekend, and the perennial usually saves his best golf until late events on the Calhoun County Tour.

He walked away from the course Sunday having happily reversed those trends.

Wigington overcame a rough five-hole patch in the middle of his final round to finish par for the day and 6 under par for the two-day tournament, and his tour-best 26th career victory added a new tournament to his collection.

He withstood Dane Moore’s challenge to finish Sunday where he started … winning by four strokes in the 2023 tour’s first points event.

“Any win is a good one anymore, buddy,” Wigington said. “At 54, any win, I don’t care what it is, feels good.”

Wigington acknowledged after shooting 66 on Saturday that he sought a lesson from Birmingham-based Brian Speakman. That lesson, which came about a month before the county season started, went toward righting Wigington’s wedge game.

The rest, Wigington said, was all about maintaining consistent focus, a problem that bit him with two triple bogeys in he final nine holes of last year’s county championship.

Focus issues reared their ugly head during a five-hole stretch in the middle of his round Sunday, and a four-shot lead going into the day turned into a tie with Dane Moore. He birdied Nos. 1 and 3 then went bogey, bogey, bogey, birdie and double bogey. After a par on Heartbreaker 9, he bogeyed Backbreaker 1, the tourney’s 10th hole.

“It’s just like, it’s happen a lot the last couple of years,” he said. “I did good yesterday, and then I just started those same old things that have been killing me the last few years.

“I just kept trying to take my time and focus more and didn’t give up.”

He stablized with two two pars then birdied 13.

“I hit a driver and then hit a good wedge up there to about 15 foot made one straight up the hill,” Wigington said. “It kind of got me going.”

He rebounded from a tough break on the par-5 Backbreaker No. 7, the 16th hole of the round. He hit on the green with a 9 iron, but the ball rolled back down into the hazard. He chipped out and made a 4-foot par putt.

Wigington birdied the final two holes.

“I’m glad I did,” he said. “I didn’t want to shoot over today.

RTJ-Silver Lakes Championship


Championship A Flight
Gary Wigington 66-72–138
Dane Moore 70-72–142
Kevin Daugherty 72-72–144
Jeremy McGatha 70-74–144
Scott Martin 71-75–146
Andrew Brooks 73-74–147
Brennan Clay 71-76–147
Corey Ray 70-77–147
Daily Thomas 72-79–151
Randy Reaves 73-80–153
Cam Hurst 73-85–158

Championship B Flight
John Rollins 75-73–148
Sawyer Edwards 76-74–150
Justin Graveman 74-76–150
Jonathan Swader 78-73–151
Landon Straub 76-75–151
Tanner Wells 78-74–152
Dustin Travis 77-77–154
Will Reaves 78-76–154
Blake Cole 78-84–162
Vance Lewis 78-84–162
Randy Lipscomb 77-85–162
Alex Harper 75-WD
Clayton Chandler 77-WD

First Flight
Gage Miller 80-72–152
Jeff Chapman 80-73–153
Nick Ledbetter 79-77–156
Jeff Bain 82-77–159
Mason Dennis 83-77–160
Daniel Black 82-79–161
Brad Landin 82-82–164
Mike Bowers 81-85–166
Ryan Powers 83-87–170
Cody Boyd 80-94–174

Second Flight
Morgan Cunningham 85-74–159
Chris Messer 85-82–167
John Hagan 84-83–167
Ross Johnson 84-84–168
Chris Cox 84-84–168
Bob Eaton 85-85–170
Dre Davenport 85-88–173
Jackson Freeman 86-87–173
Houston Black 85-90–175
Zach Graham 85-91–176
Matt Greer 86-98–184

Third Flight
Chance Harris 87-76–163
Tyler Berry 87-82–169
Joe Hedgepeth 90-81–171
Jake Williams 91-82–173
Cain Hollingsworth 88-88–176
Taylor Vera 87-89–176
Ethan Davis 88-91–179
Devin Williams 90-91181
Andrew Betts 90-91–181
Robert Daniel 88-96–184

Fourth Flight
Nathan Williams 92-81–173
Heath Smith 93-83–176
Brian Johnson 92-85–177
Tyler Graham 94-84–178
Joe Williams 94-84–178
Michael Ledbetter 92-91–183
Andrew Smith 96-91–187
Cody Wesson 95-95–190
Kolby Slick 93-97–190
Mike Williams 100-97–197
Craig Kiker 94-103–197
Tate Heuer 98-103–201
Andy Lang 102-100–202
Keith Hutcheson 106-101–207
Adam Benefiel 106-111–217
Austin Martin 105-115–220
Scott Jimmerson 115-114–229

Ladies Division Flight
Marlee Hedgepeth 91-104–195
Jaycee Berrong 104-102–206

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