MONTGOMERY — Tim Ailes knew he had the shot. What he didn’t know was just how important that shot would be.
The Columbus, Ohio professional drew a 3-wood on the 18 tee in Sunday’s second round of the Baymont Inn and Suites Classic at Country Oaks Golf Club.
Ailes eagled the par-four 18th hole for a one-shot win over Rick Cochran who had already finished his round.
Facing a shot of 267 yards to the pin, 242 over water to reach the green, Ailes said there was little doubt in his mind what to hit.
“A stock 3-wood me for is about 255,” Ailes said. “I wasn’t really worried about it. As long as I hit it solid, I was going to get it over. I just wanted to make sure I could at least make birdie.” Knowing that he had a one-stroke lead over the members of his group, Ailes aimed at the green and landed the ball over the pin five-feet past the pin.
The ball checked 20-feet away.
Ailes believed a birdie would be a winner. He was leading his group by a shot and felt a birdie would give the victory.
The eagle was just icing on the cake until he discovered a birdie would have tied him with Cochran at 135.
“Apparently I was one-down heading into the hole,” Ailes said. “I knew there was a player in my group that was one behind me and I wanted to not give any room to breath. A two was better than a three, and a three was better than a four.” Facing an uphill putt that then broke left-to-right as it reached its peak before rolling down an incline, Ailes pumped his fist as the ball found the center of the cup.
“Yea, it was a tough putt,” Ailes said. “I just hit a putt perfectly right where I wanted and it went right in the middle.” It was a welcomed change of pace for the day-one leader who suffered with a cooler stick in the second round.