The two Anniston 30-somethings played 18 holes of golf at Silver Lakes and shot a record-setting 18-under-par 54 to grab a two-shot lead over Garrett Burgess and Cypress Hathorn.
The teams of Michael Lee-Mike Lewis and Chad Allred-Joe Hedgepeth were tied at 15-under 57. Four more teams were another shot back.
The leaders’ round featured 14 birdies, two eagles and no bogeys. The only two holes they didn’t get were pars on Heartbreaker No. 4 and Mindbreaker No. 6.
It was so smooth, about their biggest challenge of the day was burning a mulligan to chip onto the Mindbreaker sixth to avoid a bogey.
“It was as close to perfect that I’ve ever played in my life,” Geeting said. “That’s the most fun I’ve ever had playing golf, I think.”
Added Wright: “We never got in trouble, were always good off the tee. It was one of those days everything just fell right.”
The 18-under broke the tournament scramble record shared by Jeremy McGatha-Jaylon Ellison and Randy Reaves-Gary Wigington. The 54 was the lowest opening-round score since Eric Hamilton and Parick Cushman posted the mark in 1999, when Silver Lakes’ Short Course was part of the rotation.
“That’s pretty good,” McGatha said. “We shot 16 in ‘03 when we won it the first time and last year; 18-under, that’s outstanding.
“Jaylon and I have had a pretty good two-man record in a lot of tournaments and we’ve won a lot and we’ve never shot 18-under. That’s pretty dang great. Props to them.”
Wright, a 36-year-old publisher, said the team came into the day with a goal of 14 under. They hit that through 13 holes.
They got off to a two-putt birdie-birdie-eagle start, and it was on. Wright made the eagle on Heartbreaker 3 when he holed a “knocked-down half pitching wedge” from 130 yards.
“That kind of fired us up,” he said.
After the par at 4, they played the next 10 holes in 11 under par. They started that run birdie-birdie-eagle, with Geeting draining a 50-foot eagle putt on Heartbreaker 7 on basically the same track Wright left in the dust on his near-miss moments earlier.
“It was one of those days. I made every putt I looked at,” Geeting said. “I can’t explain the putting. I’m usually a good putter, but I’ve never putted that good.”
Added Wright: “I think the only putt he missed was on the hole we almost three-putted. Everyone one he hit was dead center.”
The team closed out its round with three straight birdies and created the buzz for the rest of the day.
“You’re almost embarrassed to tell people,” said Geeting, a 32-year-old chrome plater.
Wright continued, “We got up (to the clubhouse) and somebody said, What’d you shoot?’ We said 18 under and the guy says, Yeah, yeah, and I knocked one in for 19 under.’ We were like, No, we shot 18.’ It was fun. It was a lot of fun.”
The question now becomes can they follow Friday’s stellar start in today’s modified scramble at Cider Ridge, then pull it all together to win it. That’s not even on their minds right now.
“Our thing now is to go to Cider and try to shoot 12 under, and then we’ll think about winning it later on at the (Anniston) Country Club.”
Burgess and Hathorn were in position to catch the leaders in one of the final groups of the day. They were 9 under after nine holes -- making all 3s on the Heartbreaker side -- and 15 under after 15, but parred two of their last three holes from 40 yards out.
“It would’ve been nice to be 18 and the thing is we knew we could do it,”
Their round featured three eagles two five-foot putts and Hathorn’s sandie toss on Mindbreaker 5. Hathorn was a left-handed pitcher on the Jacksonville State baseball team.
Lee pulled his team out of the logjam at 14-under when he holed a 54-degree wedge from 110 yards for eagle on their final hole, Heartbreaker No. 9.
Al Muskewitz covers golf for The Star. He can be reached at 256-2355-3577.