E.A. Sports Today

Galbraith Invitational

McCollum goes into final round with two-shot lead. Lecroy, Howell, Hughston, Fite make second-round charges, join Clay at two strokes back.

Cover photo: Taylor McCollum finishes off a 2-under-par 68 round during Saturday’s second round of the Wilfred Galbraith Invitational at Anniston Country Club. (Photo by Joe Medley)

By Joe Medley
East Alabama Sports Today

Count Taylor McCollum of two minds about the prospect of winning his first crack at the Wilfred Galbraith Invitational.

The Pelham real estate man would love to win at Anniston Country Club, where he’s a member. He could stand a little taller and prouder among friends on the Calhoun County Golf Tour.

Jacob Leroy shot Saturday’s best score at 3-under-par 67 during second-round play in the Wilfred Galbraith Invitational at Anniston Country Club. (Photo by Joe Medley)

Then again, his side-action life within that group might get tougher.

“It would be great,” he said. “It would take down the legend Ott Chandler. I know he’s won it about 10 times.

“I’d really enjoy winning this. It would give me some bragging rights, I guess, for a couple of weeks. It would probably hurt my action when we’re gambling, but it would be OK.”

McCollum’s 2-under-par 68 in Saturday’s second round left him at 1 under 139 for the tournament, and he leads a pack of golfers by two strokes going into Sunday’s final round.

Leaders teed off first Saturday, and Chip Howell, Freeman Fite, Brennan Clay, Jacob Lecroy and Harrison Hughston stand in second place at 141. Lecroy, the 2023 winner, shot the day’s low round at 67 and made the biggest rally, from a first-round 74.

Lecroy shot 36 on the front nine, and only a lipout from 13 feet on No. 18 prevented him from finishing the back nine in 30. He hit a stretch of five birdies in six holes, starting with a chip-in for birdie on No. 12.

“I was kind of in the end zone, finally,” he said. “I don’t want to call it the golfer’s zone, but it’s like, you finally got something going your way for the first time all week, and that’s what happened.”

Chip Howell finishes off his 2-under-par 68 in Saturday’s second round of the Wilfred Galbraith Invitational at Anniston Country Club. (Photo by Joe Medley)

Howell and Hughston tied McCollum’s 68 for the day’s second-lowest rounds. Each came back from a first-round 73 to shoot 68.

The 69-year-old Howell called his second round “probably the smartest round I’ve played out here in a long, long, long time.”

“I haven’t played much lately,” he said. “A lot of things going on, and just very pleased.

“Any time I can shoot my age, I’m always happy, and I beat it by one.”

Howell learned from the first round, when he went double-bogey-bogey after shooting 2 under through 13.

“I was 2 under again, as it was yesterday, and I said, ‘Don’t let this go,’ and I just parred in,” he said. “I wasn’t trying to do anything heroic. I just had a good round going and wanted to keep it that way.”

Fite entered the day tied with Gary Wigington for third and shot the day’s other under-par round at 69.

First-round leader Jaylon Ellison fought through pain from an ailing back to play on Saturday and shot a 3 over 73. He stands five shots off of the lead, at 143.

Jaylon Ellison chips on No. 18 during Saturday’s second round of the Wilfred Galbraith Invitational at Anniston Country Club. (Photo by Joe Medley)

If McCollum holds on, he’ll become he fourth different winner in four Calhoun County Golf Tour points events this season.

His said his best hole of the day was a bogey save on No. 9.

“I hit it out of the bunker on 9 and flew it over the green but got up and down for bogey,” he said. “I should’ve made a double there.”

His round notably settled after that. His 34 on the back nine showed seven pars and two birdies. The key to his round was learning ACC’s fast greens on Friday.

“I kept it below the hole all day,” he said. “Most of my putts were uphill all day. I wanted to have an uphill putt all day, so that’s what I did.

“I wasn’t quite as close as maybe I could’ve. I wasn’t quite as aggressive, but it was a good, solid round.”


Taylor McCollum7168139
Chip Howell7368141
Freeman Fite7269141
Jacob Lecroy7467141
Brennan Clay7170141
Harrison Hughston7368141
Gary Wigington7270142
Jaylon Ellison7073143
Tanner Wells7374147
Hunter Carr7473147
Clay Calkins7376149
Layton Bussey7574149
Jeff Chapman7476150
Ryan Howard7674150
Adam Sanders7674150
John Rollins7478152
Dalton Chandler7676152
Chance Harris7578153
Kevin Daugherty7974153
Trey Rouse7579154
Vance Lewis7678154
Jeff Bain7678154
Ryan Huff7877155
Jeremy McGatha7482156
Chad Key7878156
Ott Chandler7781158
Wes Couch7485159
Chandler Wilborn7881159
Rusty Whitlow8079159
Timmy Woodard8178159
Greg Shultz8080160
Dustin Travis7981160
Cypress Hathorn8081161
Benji Turley7982161
Tim Turner7788165
Lewis Lecroy8086166
Austin Elliott8190171

Other flights (two rounds)

Don Springer7171
David Sanders7474
Mike Thompson7777
Ted Heim8484
Don Whitlow102102
Tyler Huckaby7272
Houston Black7272
Tanner Tabor7272
Chase Hollingsworth7373
David Sanders7474
Bob Eaton7474
Wyatt Cotney7575
Billy Thompson7676
Jake Goggans7676
Carson Chandler7676
Keaton Borrelli7676
Blake Grisham7676
Hank Smith7777
Mark Durden7777
Mike Wiedmer7777
Taylor Vera7878
Zach Goss7878
Dre Davenport7878
Zach Mangum7878
Graham Morrow7979
Kyle Glover7979
Cain Hollingsworth8080
Aaron Gregerson8080
Matt Rogers8080
Taylor Jones8080
Taylor Morrow8080
Trey Stone8080
Rob Svensen8181
Kolby Webb8181
Eric Stringer8282
Henry Pritchett8282
Andrew Gunnells8282
Colin Read8282
Joe Hedgepeth8282
Scott Watson8282
Matt Hunter8383
Chase Thomas8383
Cam Hurst8383
Don Hill8585
Kenneth Willingham8585
Tim Wilcox8585
Lamar Carter8585
Zach Limberis8585
Sean Kline8585
Ted Gregerson8686
Cody Smitherson8686
Devin Williams8686
John Carpenter8686
Dylan Parker8787
Bradley Elliott8787
Keith Hutcheson8787
Heath Waldrop8888
Jason Payne8989
Greg Rainey8989
Tyler Teneyck9090
Matt Greer9090
Adam Benefiel9191
Kolby Slick9292
Mark Gaines9292
Marlee Hedgepeth9595
Scott Jimmerson9595
Charlie Smith9595
Chase Arnold9898
Judson Miller105105
Clay Culbert107107
Shane Boman107107
Isaac Scroggins113113

Sunday tee times

7:30 a.m.: Clay Culbert, Shane Boman, Isaac Scroggins.
7:41 a.m.: Hank Smith, Charlie Smith, Judson Miller.
7:52 a.m.: Mark Gaines, Marlee Hedgepath, Scott Jimmerson, Chase Arnold.
8:03 a.m.: Tyler Teneyck, Matt Greer, Adam Benefiel, Kolby Slick.
8:24 a.m.: Keith Hutcheson, Heath Waldrop, Jason Payne, Greg Rainey.
8:36 a.m.: Cody Smitherson, Devin Williams, Dylan Parker, Bradley Elliott.
8:48 a.m.: Zach Limberis, Sean Kline, Ted Gregerson, John Carpenter.
9 a.m.: Don Hill, Kenneth Willingham, Tim Wilcox, Lamar Carter.
9:12 a.m.: Colin Read, Matt Hunter, Chase Thomas, Cam Hurst.
9:24 a.m.: Henry Pritchett, Scott Watson, Joe Hedgepath, Andrew Gunnels.
9:36 a.m.: Trey Stone, Rob Svensen, Kolby Webb, Eric Stringer.
9:48 a.m.: Aaron Gregerson, Matt Rogers, Taylor Jones, Taylor Morrow.
10 a.m.: Taylor Vera, Zach Goss, Dre Davenport, Zach Mangum.
10:12 a.m.: Mark Durden, Kyle Glover, Graham Morrow, Cain Hollingsworth.
10:24 a.m.: Carson Chandler, Keaton Borrelli, Blake Grisham, Mike Wiedmer.
10:36 a.m.: Bob Eaton, Wyatt Cotney, Billy Thompson, Jake Goggans.
10:48 a.m.: Tyler Huckaby, Houston Black, Tanner Tabor, Chase Hollingsworth.
11:12 a.m.: Ted Heim, Don Whitlow.
11:24 a.m.: Don Springer, David Sanders, Mike Thompson.
Noon: Austin Elliott, Lewis Lecroy, Tim Turner.
12:12 p.m.: Benji Turley, Cypress Hathorn, Dustin Travis.
12:24 p.m.: Greg Shultz, Timmy Woodard, Rusty Whitlow.
12:36 p.m.: Chandler Wilborn, Wes Couch, Ott Chandler, Chad Key.
12:48 p.m.: Jeremy McGatha, Ryan Huff, Vance Lewis, Jeff Bain.
1 p.m.: Trey Rouse, Kevin Daugherty, Chance Harris, John Rollins.
1:12 p.m.: Dalton Chandler, Adam Sanders, Ryan Howard, Jeff Chapman.
1:24 a.m.: Layton Bussey, Clay Calkins, Hunter Carr, Tannner Wells.
1:36 p.m.: Jaylon Ellison, Gary Wigington, Jacob Lecroy, Harrison Hughston.
1:48 p.m.: Brennan Clay, Chip Howell, Freeman Fite, Taylor McCollum.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login