Local golf: Wigington wins handily at Pine Hill
by Al Muskewitz
Jul 28, 2013 | 3269 views |  0 comments | 30 30 recommendations | email to a friend | print
CHOCCOLOCCO – Gary Wigington played one of the best rounds in the history of the Calhoun County Golf Tour on Sunday, and it carried him to a runaway victory in the Pine Hill Country Club Invitational.

It also sets him up nicely as the favorite to win a second straight Calhoun County Player of the Year award heading into next month’s Calhoun County Championship.

Wigington shot a final-round, bogey-free 63 for a two-day total 128, seven shots in front of runner-up Jeremy McGatha.

The 63 tied Garrett Burgess and Jaylon Ellison for the second-best round in county tour history and missed tying the single-round scoring record set by Marcus Harrell in last year’s Pine Hill event by one shot.

The 128 total – 16-under-par – tied Jaylon Ellison’s 36-hole-event tour scoring record. Ellison shot 16-under in the 2010 Indian Oaks Invitational. Wigington also tied Ellison’s record for birdies in a 36-hole tour event (14).

“It was one of those things where I was in play most of every hole,” Wigington said. “I hit a few bad drives on the back nine, but I was in play most every hole and hit good shots into the green.

“My iron play and around the green was much better this week than it had been all year, and that made a big difference.”

Wigington, who will turn 44 on Sunday, made four birdies on the front nine and had three birdies and an eagle on the back. He was 7-under-par through 12 holes, but said he never thought about his score until his group came to a little backup on 17.

The two biggest moments of the round came on the back. He chipped in for eagle on the par-4 11th hole to basically wrap up the title and then saved par after nearly losing his tee shot on the tight 13th in the right trees.

He hit only three fairways all day, but he hit 14 greens and had only 23 putts. He had three no-putt birdies.

“I hadn’t had a bogey all weekend and for me that’s pretty unusual,” Wigington said. “I wanted to keep that going.”

McGatha was putting together a nice round in his own right. He had four birdies and a bogey, hit 13 greens in regulation and took only 28 putts, but it wasn’t enough to catch Wigington’s runaway.

“He’s tough to beat when he’s on like that,” McGatha said. “Even if I would have been on my best today ... 63 would have been hard to beat. Give him credit. That’s outstanding playing.

“As a competitor, when you’re fighting hard and somebody is making putts from off the green and chipping in and holing out from 30 yards off the green for eagle, it’s always difficult to swallow. You think I’m trying to do everything I can and this guy’s on fire, but at some point you realize well maybe it’s his day.”

The win was Wigington's first year this on the tour and fifth all-time, although he earned first-place points for being the highest finisher among tour players in last year’s Silver Lakes Championship. He has won at least one tour event in each of the last four years, including each of the last three county championships.

With his victory Sunday, Wigington moved to the top of the adjusted tour points standings. He holds a 37.5-point lead over second-place Ott Chandler and a 55-point lead over McGatha. The county championship is Aug. 16-18 at Cane Creek Golf Course, for which entries are currently being accepted.

“I think I’ve got to win the County to win the tour,” Wigington said. “I think it’s so close, whoever wins that weekend is going to be the winner.”

Sports Writer Al Muskewitz: 256-235-3577. On Twitter @almusky_star.

Pine Hill Invitational

Gary Wigington 65-63—128

Jeremy McGatha 66-69—135

Grant Hockman 68-68—136

Matt Rogers 66-72—138

Ott Chandler 70-69—139

Gary Wilborn 70-69—139

Ty Cole 74-71—145

Adrian Geeting 72-73—145

Billy Thompson 70-75—145

Chandler Wilborn 70-76—146

Jason Johnson 74-73—147

Janson Wilborn 71-76—147

Dan Griffin 74-74—148

Nick Pollard 72-76—148

Dan McClellan 73-76—149

Lewis Lecroy 73-78—151

Daniel Black 72-81—153

Mike Lett 72-85—157

First flight

Jonathan Pate 76-69—145

Nick Snay 76-71—147

Clay Calkins 75-73—148

Frank Brady 76-72—148

Caleb McKinney 75-74—149

Nick Granado 75-74—149

Mark Durden 77-74—151

T.J. McGatha 75-77—152

Tim Steward 75-77—152

Kenny Wright 75-77—152

Benji Turley 75-77—152

Jason Taylor 75-78—153

Jaylon Ellison 85-69—154

David Martin 76-82—158

Timmy Woodard 76-85—161

Doug East 76-85—161

Luke Armstrong 77-85—162

Shane Chappell 77-87—164

Second flight

Brandon Roberts 80-75—155

Layton Bussey 82-74—156

Chris Cunningham 78-79—157

Noah Huckeba 81-78—158

Eric Cannington 82-77—159

Tyler Dopson 83-78—161

Heath Waldrop 78-85—163

Jerry Kemp 80-84—164

Jacob Lecroy 80-85—165

Ryan Huff 84-84—168

Josh Hicks 84-86—170

Third flight-x

Carter Gable 86-79—165

Morris Mink 90-82—172

Al Muskewitz 86-83—169

Jeremy Pressley 88-86—174

Mark Prichett 88-96—184

Kelly Rogers 95-90—185

x-winners determined on second-round score

Adjusted points standings for Calhoun County Golf Tour
(top 4 finishes going into County Championship)

Gary Wigington 1025

Ott Chandler 987.5

Jeremy McGatha 970

Janson Wilborn 869.5

Gary Wilborn 802.5

Jaylon Ellison 795

Grant Hockman 782.5

Matt Rogers 737.5

Daniel Black 715

Billy Thompson 710

Clay Calkins 670

Dalton Chandler 665

Adrian Geeting 660

Frank Brady 652.5

Dan Griffin 652.5

Chip Howell 637.5

Nick Pollard 600

Mark Durden 552.5

Dan McClellan 525

Chandler Wilborn 517.5

Matt Miller 497.5

Tim Steward 475

Doug East 467.5

Benji Turley 457.5

Lewis Lecroy 435

Dustin Travis 430

Caleb McKinney 427.5

Shane Chappell 425

David Martin 412.5

Rob Riddle 335

Kenny Wright 326.25

T.J. McGatha 325

Timmy Woodard 322.5

Landon Straub 307.5

Ryan Huff 302.5

Andrew Brooks 292.5

Lance Evans 277.5

Cole McNeal 272.5

Jerry Kemp 255

Austin Minter 227.5

Kelly Rogers 220

Chris Cunningham 220

Danny Smith 218.75

Al Muskewitz 218.75

Ethyn Roberts 217.5

Chris Hubbard 207.5

Stuart Rice 200

Layton Bussey 172.5

Scott Eaton 140

Brandon Roberts 140
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