Oxford, AL – Wigington, Cole top Montenegro, Bussey in a four-hole playoff to win Sunny King Charity Classic that at least matched last year’s tournament in intensity
|x-Gary Wigington-Ty Cole||58||54||59||171||-43|
|Jesus Montenegro-Layton Bussey||58||55||58||171||-43|
|Brennan Clay-Jeremy McGatha||58||59||60||177||-37|
|Randy Lipscomb-Dane Moore||57||59||61||177||-37|
|Taylor McCollum-Kyle Daugherty||57||59||62||178||-36|
|Jackson King-Freeman Fite||59||58||62||179||-35|
|Cody Robinson-Jack Stumpfig||55||63||61||179||-35|
By Al Muskewitz
They said last year’s Sunny King Charity Classic would never be equalled or topped. Too emotional, they said. Too exciting. Too dramatic. Never could be matched or bettered. The trouble with never is it’s too danged definitive. Ask any of the 300 or so golfers and fans around the 16th green at Anniston Country Club Sunday if this year’s Classic wasn’t better than last year’s for intensity and excitement. The Classic went to a twilight playoff for the second September in a row. This time, Gary Wigington and Ty Cole beat Jesus Montenegro and Layton Bussey when Cole made a four-foot birdie putt on the fourth extra hole. Last year, Twig and Ty lost a playoff that went six holes to Ott and Dalton Chandler.
It was Wigington’s ninth Sunny King title all-time and first since 2018. It was Cole’s fourth and their fourth together. “It topped (last year) for us because we won it this time,” Wigington said. “Playing it six times in the dead dark never probably will happen again, even though we did it four times today, but for us, obviously, this was the topper over last year.” The round was a classic duel in the September sun. It was a birdie-fest that had one team putting one on top of the other and, late in the round, the two best iron shots Cole has hit under pressure maybe ever.
Wigington-Cole shot 11-under-par 59 in the best ball format and Montenegro-Bussey 12-under 58 to finish regulation in 43-under 171, six shots clear of their nearest challengers. The two teams birdied every hole except 6, 15 and 16. The winners birdied nine of their first 11 holes. The runner-ups made eight straight holes in the middle of the round and 11 in 12 holes at one point Cole forced the playoff when he hit a brilliant recovery shot over the trees from near the tennis courts to four feet and then made the putt after Montenegro, a PGA Tour winner, missed two 15-foot birdie putts that would have ended it in regulation. “For him to hit that shot where he was at was just amazing,” Wigington said. “It was a great shot.”
“When I hit it I thought I was going to be in a totally different place,” Cole said. “I shoot the number, 94 yards, and as high as I would have to hit it over the trees, it’s a perfect, full-out, hit-it-solid lob wedge and putt it. As soon as it comes off I holler go in the hole and it just worked out.” “I told Jesus he’s about to do something crazy and one of us are going to have to make (on 18 to win),” Bussey said. One shot they didn’t take almost cost them. One of the games being played at ACC was a Beat-The-Pro promotion with Symetra Tour player Madison Barnett where for a certain donation players could get a five-foot birdie putt on the challenging par-3. The two teams agreed beforehand to play the hole straight and Bussey made a 30-foot birdie from just off the green to get his team within a shot of the lead. [*** read more]