E.A. Sports Today

Rollins rollin’

A day after tree limb falls on his truck, tree cutter Rollins falls on the field for second Calhoun County Golf Tour victory.

Cover photo: John Rollins pumps his fist after sinking the clinching putt during Sunday’s final round of the Gadsden City Championship at Twin Bridges. (Photo by Joe Medley)

By Joe Medley
East Alabama Sports Today

GADSDEN — Sometimes, the tree falls on you. Sometimes, you’re the tree.

John Rollins lived both sides of that during this weekend’s Gadsden City Championship. A day after storm dropped a limb fell on his pickup, he rallied from one stroke down going into the final round to bag his second Calhoun County County Golf Tour victory.

Rollins finished 69-70139 and edge Brennan Clay by one stroke. First-round leader Ty Cole finished third, two strokes off the pace.

Rollins left Twin Bridges with a grin on his face, even if it’s an anxious grin as he manages his speed while making the hour’s drive back home, across the Georgia line, with a bowed in windshield.

That made for an anxious drive home after Saturday’s final round.

“I was scared to even drive home,” he said. “I thought the windshield was going to come in on me. It made noises all the way home.”

Rollins scored his second Tour victory and second in the last seven events. He won at Pine Hill in 2023.

Rollins’ second victory comes two weeks after Chattanooga’s Andrew Weathers won his first attempt at a Tour event, at Silver Lakes. Cole, the reigning Tour player of the year, won the other 2024 points event, at Cane Creek.

“I don’t know if there’s better amateur golf in the state than what we’ve got right here,” Clay said. “It’s every week.

“You’ve got the same nine or 10 guys, but now we’ve got more coming. The more the merrier to me. I like the competition. You’ve got to play good. You can’t come out here and just smack it around and expect to win. You have to be under par, multiple shots under par, so it’s a lot of fun.”

Clay shot Sunday’s best round at 69 to finish second. His day included an eagle on No. 11, a 5-iron shot from 210 yards that rolled by the hole and settled at 2 feet.

“It went right by the hole,” Clay said. “It had a chance to go in. That would’ve been cool.”

That’s how close Clay came to an albatross and forcing a playoff.

Then again, Rollins’ day included a 25-foot putt to save par on No. 13. He also saved par after hitting into the hazard on the par-5 15th.

“John’s a dang good player,” Clay said. “He’s scrappy. He made two incredible pars today.”

Rollins was scrapped and acknowledged he was emotional over the condition of his black Dodge Ram. The limb that fell on his truck during Saturday’s storm bent the hood and bowed the windshield.

It’s fully insured and payed off, he said. It was drivable enough to get him home Saturday night, after he waited out the rain to avoid having to use wipers. It got him to the course Sunday.

“After all the stuff yesterday that happened, I didn’t know what to expect,” he said. “I even drove my truck again today.

“I don’t know why. Just a wave of emotions after the tree fell on my truck.”

He missed a 3-foot birdie putt on No. 1, and Clay announced his bad intentions with a birdie on the same hole.

After two pars and a bogey to start his round, the professional tree cutter started chopping wood. After birdies on 6 and 9, he made the turn at 1-under 35. His three birdies on the back nine offset two bogies.

He steadied his emotions enough to emerge in a foursome with Clay, Cole and Randy Lipscomb. Rollins answered Clay’s eagle with a birdie on the same hole.

“Just playing with Ty and Brennan, they’re two of the best, especially Ty,” Rollins said.

Rollins said he tried “keep my mind off of the card” and just play, play hole by hole. About hole No. 14, he learned he as one shot up.

He briefly lost that one-shot lead while scrapping with a trap to save par on 15, but he made a 10-foot birdie putt on 17.

Trees watched calmly Sunday as he avenged himself against the course. God help the first tree he sees at work Monday.

“It’s going to get hit like a truck,” he said with a chuckle. “No doubt.”

Final-round scores

John Rollins6970139
Brennan Clay7169140
Ty Cole6873141
Randy Lipscomb7076146
Jeremy McGatha7275147
Mason Dennis7177148
Dustin Travis7475149
Casey Harmon7377150
Blake Boozer7478152
Jason Rich7380153
Chris Cox7481155
Gary Wigington74WD
Trent Masfield7671147
Dane Moore7575150
Chad Hare7576151
Chris Leonhardt7576151
Dre Davenport7676152
J.D. Berndt7676152
Chance Harris7678154
Tim Woodard7679155
Joshua Bradley7582157
Cove McHugh7682158
Danny Whitaker7696172
Carson Jones7771148
C.J. Taylor7773150
Zack Pruitt7773150
Tanner Wells7777154
Clayton Chandler7779156
Vance Lewis7779156
Brad Landin7879157
Aaron Jackson7880158
Eric Cannington7880158
Clay Smith7784161
Austin Elliott7885163
Jeremy Burns7973152
Michael Rich7973152
Blake Grisham7974152
Chase Hollingsworth8077157
Hunter Fordham7981160
Hunter Carr8082162
James Lett8181162
Maverick Smith8181162
Aaron Gregerson8083163
Bob Eaton8085165
Cole McNeal7997176
Luke Armstrong8274156
Chandler Richards8671157
Josh Ghavassi8381164
Houston Black8579164
Chris Reaves8581166
Jonathan Gibson8484168
Drey Reeves8684170
Logan Steele8686172
David Webb8594179
Mark Gaines8693179
Nathan Williams83WD
Alex Burnham86WD
Carl Stanley8976165
Eli Dunn8782169
Cain Hollingsworth8882170
Matt Greer8882170
Craig Duncan9279171
Derek Jenkins8986175
Ridge McHugh9089179
Drake Bearden9287179
Andrew Gunnells9194185
Tim Gables89WD
Dustin Pearce9384177
Justin Pickard9386179
Scott Jimmerson9592187
Eli Pearce9496190
Stephen Jenkins9398191
Nick Sabat96102198
Larry Champion10599204
Ted Gregerson11194205
Daniel Ricks96WD
Greg Shultz7076146
David Sanders7572147
Dominick Margentina7678154
Graham Morrow7778155
Scott Moates7580155
Jerry Fraiser7679155
Mike Lett8373156
Scott Harmon8982171
Keith Hutcheson8393176

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