Randall Wins 1969 National Championship
Rockville, MD (5-6 July 1969)
Vance Randall of Chattanooga, Tennessee, and Mike Baldoza of Ft. Worth, Texas, took top
honors in the $10,000 National Championship competition held in Rockville, Maryland, on
Randall, a school teacher from Chattanooga, Tennessee, won the professional division of
the tournament by shooting a final score of 231, 57 strokes under par for the 144 holes of
competition. He had held a two stroke lead over Gary Understein of Bethesda,
Maryland, at the end of 72 holes. But this lead was cut by Larry Mason of Rockville,
Maryland, who shot a score of 113 on his final 72 holes to draw within one stroke of
Early in the competition, Randall shot a score of 24 on Rockville's number two course
to break the course record. This new record remained for one hour, until Ft. Worth,
Texas, amateur Mike Baldoza shot a thirteen under par score of 23 on the same course.
At the end of the competition on Saturday, July 5, the 14 year old Baldoza, held a
score of 107 for 72 holes, five strokes ahead of pro Vance Randall. Randall managed
to shave four strokes off Baldoza's lead during the second day of the tournament.
Baldoza's final score of 230 placed the fourteen year old amateur ahead of the entire
field of 187 pros and amateurs.
Among the amateurs, Baldoza was seven strokes ahead of second place amateur Roger Hart
of Kettering, Ohio, and nine strokes ahead of third place Gary English of Orlando,
Florida. Tommy Godfrey of Greenville, South Carolina placed fourth with a score of
241 and Birmingham, Alabama's George Pihakis took fifth place by scoring 243.
In the pro division, following Randall and Mason, was defending National Champion Bob
Marcellino of Washington, DC. Marcellino held third place alone by shooting a 55
under par score of 233. Southern Open winner Rick Smith of Indianapolis, Indiana,
pulled into a tie for fourth with Tom Belcher of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, by scoring 234
for the 144 holes.
Randall, by winning this year's PPA National Championship, became the first man in the
history of professional putting to win the National Championship twice. Randall
reigned as National Champ in 1967.
Mike Baldoza, in the process of overcoming the entire field of putters
gained a reputation as becoming the "Lee Trevino of Putt-Putt" as a result of
his cool and calm attitude toward his putting game.
In the $2,500 Pro-Am tournament held Friday, July 4, the team composed of pro Daryl
Freeman of Bristol, Tennessee, and his amateur partner, Steve Ladd of Bristol Virginia,
defeated Bob Lipscomb and Mike Baldoza to capture top money among the eighty teams
competing in the match play event.
Four men qualified, during the three days of competition, to compete in the $110,000
World Putting Championship to be held in Fayetteville, North Carolina, September
3-6. They include Cliff Moose of Gastonia, North Carolina; Gary Understein of
Bethesda, Maryland; Daryl Freeman of Bristol, Tennessee; and Mike Forish of Baltimore,