Wilborn sets county mark as oldest and lowest-seeded county match play winner
by Al Muskewitz
amuskewitz@annistonstar.com
Oct 01, 2013 | 7511 views |  0 comments | 50 50 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Gary Wilborn made county golf history again Tuesday when he won the Calhoun County Match Play Championship.

At 56 and the No. 13 seed, Wilborn became the oldest and lowest-seeded player ever to win the event when he defeated No. 10 Grant Hockman 2-and-1 at Cane Creek Golf Course.

"To win a tournament at my age, it makes me feel like I can still play a little bit of golf," Wilborn said. "The seed to me is not as significant as being 56. Let me say I will applaud the 57-year-old who wins this. I'll be the first one there to shake his hand."

The win ended a significant drought for Wilborn. He won the inaugural event of the Calhoun County Golf Tour in 2007, but hadn't won another series event until Tuesday. He did lead after the first round at Silver Lakes this year.

He credited his son Janson, whom he beat in the first round, for convincing him to rejoin the Tour this spring. The top 16 players in the Tour points standings qualified for the event.

The key to Tuesday's victory was getting up-and-down for par from some tricky locations. The most significant came on a Phil Mickelson-like flop shot from well left and below the green at No. 6 that helped him take a 3-up lead.

"I just kind of had some old memories pop back in my head," Wilborn said. "You want to make as many birdies as you can, but in this situation pars are just as important. That was the key today. It wasn't the greatest golf, but in match play you've just got to do what you got to do."

Hockman, 29, cut his deficit back to 1-down with birdies at 10 and 11, but could get no closer. Wilborn won 13 for a little more breathing room and closed out the match on 17.

"He played good," Hockman said. "The key playing from the blue tees for us is getting up-and-down; he did and I didn't."

Al Muskewitz covers golf for The Star. He can be reached at 256-235-3577.
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