Happening Now

Another battle on the Calhoun County Golf Tour

Ty Cole (right) and Gary Wigington shake hands as Tee Brown looks on and Jeremy McGatha replaces the flag after completing Sunday’s final round of the Etowah County Open on the Links at Briarmeade. Cole won by one stroke. (Photo by Joe Medley)
Ty Cole (right) and Gary Wigington shake hands as Tee Brown looks on and Jeremy McGatha replaces the flag after completing Sunday’s final round of the Etowah County Open on the Links at Briarmeade. Cole won by one stroke. (Photo by Joe Medley)

Glencoe, AL – Cole prevails by one stroke after another epic Calhoun County Golf Tour battle with friend, Sunny King partner and rival Wigington

By Joe Medley


Ty Cole and Gary Wigington stared at would-be birdie putts on No. 18 in Sunday’s final round of the Etowah County Open, Cole with a one-shot lead. As Wigington stepped up to try his 12-footer, Cole couldn’t help rooting for his friend.

“Put it in, big man,” Cole said. “I can take it.”

Both players parred the final hole on the Links at Briarmeade, and Cole scored his third Tour victory this season and second in as many Tour events.

So ended another epic battle between two Tour heavyweights, who entered Sunday’s final round tied for the lead after shooting 63s on Saturday. Cole birdied No. 17 to take the final-round lead and shot a 66 to win.

Wigington came into the Tour’s who sixth points event of the season having lead the points standings since winning the first points event, at Silver Lakes. Cole, didn’t play in two Tour events and nearly missed the Oxford City Championship two weeks ago, entered the weekend in fourth place, 195 points back.

Two more points events remain, including the Pine Hill Invitational this coming weekend. The 87th Calhoun County Championship is Aug. 19-20.

Cole and Wigington will go on to be playing partners in September’s Sunny King Charity Classic and Buddy Moore Invitational, which are not part of the Tour.

“We spend all year trying to beat the hell out of each other, then in September, we’re like, ‘Come on, man!’” Cole said, while both man sampled Briarmeade’s tantalizing red beans and rice. “We pull for each other when we play Buddy Moore and Sunny King on back-to-back weekends.”

Cole and Wigington battling for tournament victories and Tour points titles is nothing new.

“We’ve done it a lot,” Wigington said. “We have a good time, any way, on it. It’s not like we don’t like each other and playing each other. We have a good time, and we had a good time out there today.”

Cole and Wigington shared the final group with Tee Brown and Jeremy McGatha, and the start foretold a day where they were either tied or within a stroke of each other the whole round. Wigington started eagle-birdie, and Cole started birdie-birdie to fall one shot back.

They were tied at 11 under par at the turn. Cole went up one with a birdie on 10, and Wigington matched it on 11.

Cole made a key par save on No. 14, after his tee shot ricocheted off of a tree and back back into the water.

“It hit halfway up a pine tree and comes back 60 yards back into the water,” Cole said. “I didn’t see it go into the water. We didn’t know it went in the water until we got up there, because we were 60 yards up, looking for it in the rough.

“I heard it hit the tree, but I didn’t know where it went, but it typically doesn’t got that.”

Cole took a drop and penalty stroke but had a good look for his approach. He saved the par 5 to stay even with Wigington.

Cole took the lead with an aggressive 7-iron drive and two-putting for birdie on the par-5 17th hole.

“Just smoked the drive,” Cole said. “I hit it as hard as I can swing it. I knew I had to hit it high to keep it out of the woods, but I knew I didn’t need a flyer, either.”

Cole entered No. 18 with a one-stroke lead then drove left of the green and downhill, in dirt and rocks. Able to move the ball a club length, he found a better lie.

“I found a little bit of grass,” he said. “Hit a good shot and then hit a fantastic putt, dead center and knocked the back of the cup out but left it four inches short.”

Cole and Wigington two-putted 18 then shook hands after a round that showed why Wigington has won 26 Tour events and Cole 25. Cole is a five-time Tour player of the year, and Wigington has won it four times.

“I played good and didn’t make a birdie the last five holes, and that kind of told the tale,” Wigington said. “You can’t not make birdies on the last five and think you’re going to win, but played good.

“I was happy. It’s the best I’ve played in a while. It gives me something good to look forward to.”

CHAMPIONSHIP A FLIGHT
PLAYER RD. 1 RD. 2 TOTAL
Ty Cole 63 66 129
Gary Wigington 63 67 130
John Rollins 67 68 135
Tee Brown 65 71 136
Chris Sprayberry 66 71 137
Vance Lewis 68 69 137
Jeremy McGatha 64 74 138
CHAMPIONSHIP B FLIGHT
Andrew Brooks 69 68 137
Brennan Clay 69 69 138
Chad Calvert 71 68 139
Chad Hare 69 71 140
Jeff McRae 69 72 141
Dustin Travis 69 73 142
Matt Rogers 71 73 144
Mason Dennis 73 73 146
Cam Hurst 72 77 149
Chris Cox 72 79 151
Devon Downs 72 79 151
T.J. Daugherty 73 78 151
Opie Teague 73 80 153
Neal Keener 73 80 153
FIRST FLIGHT
Layton Bussey 74 69 143
Craig Colvard 74 74 148
Caleb McKinney 75 75 150
Drey Reeeves 75 76 151
Randy Lipscomb 77 76 153
Scott Moates 77 77 154
Phillip Eades 78 77 155
Chris Maye 75 80 155
J.D. Berndt 78 78 156
Craig Kiker 76 81 157
Frank Barnes 78 81 159
Greg Hare 78 84 162
Greg Davenport 78 84 162
SECOND FLIGHT
Jeff Noah 79 72 151
Ted Heim 82 74 156
Bob Eaton 79 78 157
Jason Billingsley 79 79 158
Turner Shankels 79 80 159
Luke Haynie 80 80 160
Richard Johnson 81 79 160
Shane Chappell 80 82 162
Eric Ray 80 82 162
Wesley Watkins 81 82 163
Matthew Williams 80 84 164
Michael McDowell 81 83 164
Craig Graves 81 84 165
Paul Allen 82 89 171
David Beason 83 WD
THIRD FLIGHT
Stanley Hawkins 87 80 167
Jason Shields 87 81 168
Dre Davenport 90 78 168
Mason Cothran 86 85 171
Blaine Bryant 86 86 172
Jason Gilley 85 87 172
Blake Erwin 90 83 173
Casey Downs 90 84 174
Patrick Patterson 91 88 179
Dylan Jackson 86 94 180
Dani Bone 94 94 188
Gary Singleton 95 95 190
Jacob Fails 99 91 193
Joseph Fails 95 98 193

 

Ty Cole (right) and Gary Wigington shake hands as Tee Brown looks on and Jeremy McGatha replaces the flag after completing Sunday’s final round of the Etowah County Open on the Links at Briarmeade. Cole won by one stroke. (Photo by Joe Medley)
Ty Cole (right) and Gary Wigington shake hands as Tee Brown looks on and Jeremy McGatha replaces the flag after completing Sunday’s final round of the Etowah County Open on the Links at Briarmeade. Cole won by one stroke. (Photo by Joe Medley)

 

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