E.A. Sports Today

Weathers report

Chattanooga’s Weathers fights off challenges from Wigington, Brooks to win Trail Championship, bag first win on Calhoun County Golf Tour. McGatha gets second ace in a month.

Cover photo: Chattanooga’s Andrew Weathers holds the trophy Sunday after winning the Trail Championship at Silver Lakes. (Photo by Joe Medley)

By Joe Medley
East Alabama Sports Today

SILVER LAKES — Andrew Weathers weathered a debilitating stomach condition before resuming the game he loves.

No surprise the 30-year-old Calhoun County Golf Tour newcomer had the guts to weather challenges from two of the Tour’s best players in Sunday’s final round of the Trail Championship at Silver Lakes.

Weathers shot a par-72 round a day after taking the lead with a 9-under 63 and held off second-place Gary Wigington, winning by three strokes.

Andrew Brooks, whose first-round 64 put him one stroke back of Weathers headed into Sunday’s final round, finished tied for third and five strokes back.

Weathers won in his first appearance in a Calhoun County Golf Tour points event. He prevailed in a final-day foursome that included Wigington, Brooks and Ty Cole.

“They have 50-something wins between two of the guys I played with today (Cole and Wigington),” Weathers said, “so it’s pretty cool to edge them out.”

A new face winning on the Tour concluded a day that saw an old face make his second hole-in-one in a month. Jeremy McGatha, who aced Heartbreaker No. 8 with a gap wedge during the County Team Championship, aced Backbreaker No. 2 on Sunday as part of his final-round 71.

Jeremy McGatha shows off the Ted’s Floors & Beyond ball he used to hit a hole-in-one during Sunday’s final round of the Trail Championship at Silver Lakes. (Photo by Joe Medley)

“I had just birdied 1, so was pretty happy about that,” he said. “We get to 2, and 167, just a solid 8 iron a little right of the pin, and it hit again and started coming left, and we were like, ‘Go in!’

“I thought it was coming short and then, bam, it hit the pin and disappeared. I was in disbelief, like, did this just happen again?”

Weathers’ golf journey took him to the University of Chattanooga, where he was Southern Conference freshman of the year. His college career included several top-10 finishes, including a runner-up finish.

He spent two years after college on southeastern mini-tours, trying to make golf happen as a career before settling into the family real-estate business.

He said he experienced burnout with the game after trying to make golf his living. Then he lost 30 pounds while battling Median Arcuate Ligament Syndrome (MALS), which occurs when the arc-shaped band of tissue in the chest area presses on the artery that sends blood to the upper abdomen.

“I had blood flow cut off in my stomach, so I was throwing up every morning,” he said. “I was in excruciating pain for about a year. …

“I went to 10 or 15 different doctors. They couldn’t figure it out.”

Weathers spent a year out of the game.

“I’m just grateful to be playing again, honestly,” he said.

Weathers stomached challenges from the Tour’s best Sunday. Wigington briefly took a one-stroke lead at 7 under with a birdie putt on No. 8, but Weathers answered with what he estimated at an 8-10-foot to match.

With Brooks staring at a possible eagle on No. 10, Weathers’ chip-in for birdie. He hit a 3 wood off the tee and had to chunk it out of a bunker, leaving it just short of the green before chipping in downhill.

“I hit a flop shot and got lucky,” he said. “It smacked the pin and fell in.”

It was the first of two consecutive birdies to start the back nine, and he parred out to hold ground.

After playing at the invitation of friends Jonathan Swader and Clayton Chandler, Weathers took home the trophy. Weathers said he might make more Tour appearances this year.

“I’m looking, hopefully, to play a few more of these this summer,” he said. “I’ll have to look at the schedule, but definitely a good group of guys.”

Andrew Weathers approaches on the final hole of Sunday’s final round in the Trail Championship at Silver Lakes. (Photo by Joe Medley)


Andrew Weathers6372135
Gary Wigington6771138
Trent Mansfield6872140
Zach Contris7169140
Andrew Brooks6476140
Ty Cole6775142
Brennan Clay7174145
Will Sanders7175146
Mason Dennis7274146
Scott Martin7274146
Layton Bussey7176147
John Rollins7465139
Will Reaves7468142
Tommy Simmons7372145
Dane Moore7374147
Chris Cox7674149
Jeff Chapman7376149
Dustin Travis7575150
Logan Forrester7576151
Nick Ledbetter7577152
Vance Lewis7577152
Timmy Woodard7478152
Daily Thomas7578153
Dustin Underwood7581156
Maverick Smith7484158
Hunter Fordham7584159
Ethyn Roberts7488162
Jeremy McGatha7871149
Alex Harper7673149
Sawyer Edwards7873151
Jonathan Swader7676152
Jeff Bain7876154
Chandler Richards7678154
Bob Eaton7777154
Chance Harris7878156
Cam Hurst7879157
Fisher Prichard7780157
Gabe Sanders7880158
Bradley Landin7781159
Ryan Huff7789166
Mark Sawyer7977156
Greg Shultz8078158
Dre Davenport8178159
Michael Rich, Jr.8178159
Chase Hollingsworth7980159
Clay Calkins7980159
Robert Daniel8080160
Zack Pruitt7982161
Mark Durden8182163
Drey Reeves8184165
Houston Black7986165
Clayton Chandler7986165
Danny Whittaker8185166
Joseph Lacy8089169
Tate Heuer8095175
Ott Chandler8273155
Chris Leonhardt8274156
Blake Grisham8378161
Jason Britton8579164
Chris Reaves8282164
Taylor Vera8382165
Kyle Webb8482166
Matt Greer8683169
Ryan Summerford8683169
Andrew Gunnells8587172
Michael Giddens8789176
Jason McCain8592177
Devin Williams85DNF
Cody Boyd8880168
Cody Wesson8993182
Ted Gregerson9093183
Craig Graves8895183
Mike Lett9887185
Tyrell Tucker9689185
Tyler Smith9393186
Cory Wesson9097187
Chase Thomas9197188
Mike Ledbetter96104200
Scott Jimmerson106100206
Keith Hutcheson98108206
Chris Grenert11099209
Austin Martin111108219
Harrison Culbert103103

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