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 July 5-6.

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 Randall.

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.

Amateur winner 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, Maryland.

Professional Division

Round Prize
Player City 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Total Cash
1 Vance Randall Chattanooga, TN 30 24 29 29 30 27 31 31 231 $ 2,000.00
2 Larry Mason Rockville, MD 31 30 30 28 29 28 26 30 232 $ 1,300.00
3 Bob Marcellino Washington, DC 30 30 30 28 27 31 30 27 233 $ 1,000.00
4 Rick Smith Indianapolis, IN 31 30 31 32 28 24 26 32 234    $ 850.00
Tom Belcher Baton Rouge, LA 31 26 30 32 31 31 27 26 234    $ 850.00
6 Gary Understein Bethesda, MD 29 26 31 28 30 29 32 31 236    $ 637.50
John Connor Greenville, SC 32 26 29 29 33 28 27 32 236    $ 637.50
8 Gil Caito Indianapolis, IN 31 29 31 30 29 26 32 29 237    $ 450.00
9 Roger Moore Atlanta, GA 29 31 31 30 32 29 28 29 239    $ 325.00
Cliff Moose Gastonia, NC 29 29 33 31 30 26 28 33 239    $ 325.00
11 Bob Lipscomb Ft. Worth, TX 27 33 32 32 27 32 29 28 240    $ 262.50
Mack Biggs Oxon Hill, MD 35 29 27 29 29 29 29 33 240    $ 262.50
13 Johnny Roessner Indianapolis, IN 33 29 31 28 30 32 29 29 241    $ 225.00
14 Herman Strickland Macon, GA 31 28 31 32 32 30 29 29 242    $ 150.00
Charlie Connor, Jr. Asheville, NC 32 31 32 25 32 28 32 30 242    $ 150.00
Bob Poltis Cleveland, OH 30 26 32 34 26 32 31 31 242    $ 150.00
John Spotts Indianapolis, IN 30 35 29 26 34 28 31 29 242    $ 150.00
Bob Huebschman Baltimore, MD 28 30 28 34 30 30 32 30 242    $ 150.00
19 Charlie Hayes Winston-Salem, NC 29 32 32 28 29 28 32 33 243      $ 31.25
Gene McDonald Rockingham, NC 29 30 31 27 30 29 33 34 243      $ 31.25
Don Posey Greenville, SC 30 33 31 31 31 28 29 30 243      $ 31.25
Willie Kruezburg Greenbelt, MD 29 31 34 31 31 29 27 31 243      $ 31.25

Amateur Division

Round
Player City 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Total
1 Mike Baldoza Ft. Worth, TX 31 23 26 27 29 31 31 32 230
2 Roger Hart Kettering, OH 31 29 33 27 28 32 28 29 237
3 Gary English Orlando, FL 27 32 31 31 30 26 32 30 239
4 Tommy Godfrey Greenville, SC 31 30 29 30 30 32 28 31 241
5 George Pihakis Birmingham, AL 28 31 32 28 31 30 31 32 243

 

 

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