Fort Payne’s Cole Skaggs had been waiting all season for a performance like he had Monday afternoon in Huntsville.
Skaggs posted his best performance of the year with a round of 69 at the Huntsville Invitational on Monday. The tournament featured 17 teams and more than 85 golfers at the Hampton Cove Golf Course, which was a perfect tune up for postseason competition that will begin April 27 with sectional tournaments.
While it was Skaggs’ best performance of the year, he wasn’t 100 percent satisfied. He’s always happy to walk off the course with a win and as the low medalist, but the Fort Payne senior is coming off a season as the state runner up in Class 5A; he wants to end this year just one spot better.
“I definitely thought that was the best I had hit the ball all year,” Skaggs said on his win Monday. “My score was good, and I was happy with it, but I left so many opportunities out there. I played the par 5’s at an even par and at that golf course that’s not very good. That just shows you how good it was and how good it could’ve been. Overall, I was pleased, and you can’t ever complain when you win.”
This spring has been a nightmare for sports across the state. Games and practices being cancelled has almost become a weekly occurrence. For Fort Payne golf, they have competed the past two weeks in rainy conditions, and Skaggs said it’s affected the way he’s played.
He’s been working all season to put it all together, and Monday was that special round he was looking for.
“I felt like I’ve been close here lately, but with the weather the way it’s been, I don’t feel like I’ve been playing as sharp as I should be,” Skaggs said. “It’s been frustrating, but I’ve really been working hard every chance I get. I’ve felt like I was really close the past few tournaments, but it’s just been one or two things. I knew it was coming, but I just had to be patient and keep working hard.”
Fort Payne coach Zane Haymon said this should be just the beginning of a strong end of the season for Skaggs.
“That’s the best he’s performed this year, but as far as his career play, that’s what we expect from Cole,” Haymon said. “He’s just now kind of getting into his groove and peaking at the right time and getting sharper toward the end of the season. With the weather and everything, it’s kept us from doing as much as we would like to.”
So far Skaggs’ results this season look like he’s right on track to make a run at an individual state title. He’s won seven tournaments at this point in the season — his goal is 10.
“If he keeps working like he’s been doing and improves on just a few things then he’ll easily be the favorite going in,” Haymon said.