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From the Bunker: 'Twig' wins county championship

Local golf teaser

Gary “Twig" Wigington put the wraps on a special season on the Calhoun County Tour, as he took a three-stroke win at the county tournament at Anniston Municipal on Sunday.

Wigington shot 63-64 to finish at 13-under par. It was his seventh county tournament win and his fifth victory on the Tour this year.

He entered the day one shot back of Brennan Clay, who had a brilliant 62 on Saturday.

“It was the lowest round I have ever shot,” said Clay, who eventually finished second at 10 under for the tournament.

Wigington then knocked home birdies on his first four holes Sunday, while Clay struggled with a bogey and a double bogey. Going to the fifth hole, Wigington held a four-shot lead. The closest anyone got after that was three strokes.

Wigington set a record for most wins in a year on the tour (five), career wins on the tour (21), and Player-of-the Year honors (four).

Jacksonville State golfer Jesus Montenegro was third at 7-under par, while Jeremy McGatha placed fourth at 6 under. Max Basler and Chad Calvert tied for fifth with a two-day total of 4 under. Chip Howell finished seventh at 2 under.

Jaylon Ellison won the Championship B Flight by three shots over Jonathan Pate with a 135. Chris Hubbard (142) edged Matt Rogers by one stroke to win the First Flight.

Tim Turner (144) won the Second Flight and Daniel Black the Third Flight (144). Mike Hughston shot a final round 72 to win the Fourth Flight (149), Mark McCaig (150) won the Fifth Flight and Byron Preston (153) won the Sixth Flight.

Calhoun County Match Play

The top 16 finishers on the tour this season qualified for the end of the season Match Play Championship, played in Ryder Cup fashion. The pairings:

Buddy Moore Bracket

—Gary Wigington (1) vs. Adrian Geeting (16)

—Clay Calkins (8) vs. Wesley Jenkins (9)

—Chad Calvert (5) vs. Chip Howell (12)

—Brennan Clay (4) vs. Charlie Smith (13)

Chris Banister Bracket

—Ty Cole (3) vs. Harrison Hughston (14)

—Frank Brady (6) vs. Randy Lipscomb (11)

—Jake Goggins (7) vs. Chris Cox (10)

—Jeremy McGatha (2) vs. Gage Miller (15)

The match play will be in September after the Buddy Moore tournament. The dates will be confirmed later.

The top four alternates, should any of the 16 be unable to participate are Andrew Brooks, Caleb Bowen, Jonathan Pate and Matt Rogers.

Howell shoots age

County Hall of Fame golfer, 65-year old Chip Howell, accomplished one of the items on his bucket list Saturday in the Calhoun County Championship.

He shot his age with a stunning round of 64. Most people that shoot their age do it in their 70s and 80s, but Chip got his at the age of 65.

His round included five birdies, an eagle and one bogey.

“I just decided I did not want to wait any longer on shooting my age, so I went and did it,” Howell joked afterward.

What an accomplishment as Howell continues to play at a high level on the county tour and in other events. His legend continues.

McGatha records ninth ace

Jeremy McGatha continued his second half surge with a fourth-place finish in the Calhoun County Championship this last weekend. In doing so, he picked up another hole-in-one in his career.

This time, it was with a sand wedge on the 93-yard No. 16 hole. It was Jeremy’s fourth all-time in tour play and ninth overall.

You cannot see the hole on No. 16, as the tee is below the green, so nothing bad at all about not being able to find your ball when you get to the green and then looking in the hole and there it is.

RMC scramble

The RMC Foundation Golf Classic will be Oct. 7, 2020, at the Anniston Country Club with shotgun starts at 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. It is a four-person scramble.

Proceeds from this year will go to developing a COVID/Flu clinic at RMC so that they can keep transmission down and treat patients as quickly as possible. Please go to to register your team and be a part of this year’s Classic.

Last year, they had 50 teams participating and more than $120,000 was raised to support important RMC health services, including the comprehensive cancer programs at RMC. Support of this tournament helps accelerate their ability to provide local outreach and healthcare patient programs, surgical equipment and improvement in their patient care.

Course news

Anniston Country Club (256-237-8412): There is a dogfight every Saturday and Sunday. There is a member-only scramble Sept. 7. The RMC Foundation Scramble will be Oct. 7, and the Martha Vandervoort Memorial Classic will be Oct. 17.

Anniston Municipal, “The Hill” (256-231-7631): A round of golf, if you walk, is only $10 for all day during the week and $12 on weekends. Add $14 for 18 holes if you want a cart.

There is a special rate in place on Mondays and Tuesdays only — just $18 for all-day golf, including the cart.

The Aug. 23 dogfight was won by Chad Watson with plus-6 points. Second place went to Matt Miller with plus-3 points. Third place was split between Tony Hicks, Nick Pollard, Chris Reeves and Chris Hubbard with plus-2 points apiece.

The Aug. 27 afternoon scramble was won by the team of Dalton Chandler, Kolby Slick, Brett Wells and Mick Machowicz after a three-way chip-off, with scores of 6-under par.

The Buddy Moore two-man scramble will be Sept. 12-13.

Cane Creek Golf Course (256-820-9174): There is a special rate in place from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Sunday as you can play 18 holes for just $20.

Dogfights are taking place Tuesday, Thursday and most Saturdays, with registration times at 8 a.m. and a tee time of 8:30 a.m. You are invited to join fellow seniors and enjoy a round of golf and a great meal from The Cane Creek Grille.

The next Noble Bank Senior Two-man Scramble will be Sept. 7. The cost is $31 and covers green fees, cart and lunch. Tee time is 9 a.m. You must be over 50 years old, and check-in time is 8:30 a.m.

There are four flights, possibly five, if enough players sign up. There are cash payouts and ages 59 and under play off the white tees, ages 60-69 play off the gold tees and 70 and over play off the red tees.

Cider Ridge Country Club (256-831-7222): Cider Ridge offers special rates for military, police, firefighters, paramedics and EMTs. Kids play free after 3 p.m. with a paying adult.

You can save on golf at Cider Ridge Golf Club with The Alabama Honours Card. Card-holders can get 15 percent off their golf fees at check in, 25 percent off Troon Card rates on the day of their birthday, 10 percent off merchandise at participating golf shops, 10 percent off at participating golf course restaurants and 25 percent off club rental fees. Card-holders get other privileges as well.

Pine Hill Country Club (256-237-2633): There are several dogfights each week at Pine Hill. They are at 10 a.m. Wednesday, noon Friday and 9 a.m. Saturday. The Parking Lot Gang hosts a scramble at 11 a.m. each Thursday. Registration is at 10:30 a.m.

Senior two-man scrambles will be Sept. 21, Oct. 19, Nov. 16 and Dec. 21. They are all 9 a.m. shotgun starts.

Silver Lakes (256-892-3268): The first Tuesday of each month you can play golf at Silver Lakes for no green fees. You have to have a current RTJ Trail Card. The cart fee will be $20 if you take a cart.

On Labor Day, the Big Cup Two-Person Scramble will be at 8:30 a.m. on the Heartbreaker and the Mindbreaker courses. The cups will be larger than normal and placed in strategic spots on the greens. The cost is $75 a person and includes green fees, cart, mulligans, lunch and prizes. The field is limited to the first 40 paid teams.

Senior players looking for a chance to challenge their game on a variety of courses should consider getting in the game with the Southeastern Seniors Golf Association. The SSGA, open to players 50 and older, plays weekly — usually Monday — on public and private courses throughout the state. Benny Foster sets up the schedule in the northern part of the state. Call 256-613-9696 for more information.

Indian Oaks Golf Club (256-820-4030): Indian Oaks has a dogfight every Saturday and Sunday, starting at 8 a.m.

Every Tuesday and Thursday there will be a scramble at 9 a.m.

Course rates are $20 for 18 holes and a cart on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. It is $15 for 18 holes and a cart Wednesday. On Saturday and Sunday, the rate is $25 for 18 holes and a cart.

Once you pay for 18 holes you can play the rest of the day for just an additional $7.

The ever-popular Saturday Night Putting Contest is being held each week. The entry fee is $11, and the competition begins at 7 p.m. Social distancing rules will be in effect and there will be cash payouts each week. The top two each week will qualify for the year-end championships and year-end cash payout. One dollar is taken out of each weekly fee to go into the year-end pot. The lounge opens at 5 p.m.

The Links at Briarmeade (256-492-1150): The monthly senior scramble for players 50 and up will be Sept. 10.

Contact Anniston Star golf writer Brant Locklier at