Robert Smith Wins 1972 National Championship

Robert Smith aces the final hole to clinch victory in the 1972 PPA National Championship (Winston-Salem, North Carolina).

Winston-Salem, NC - August 17-18, 1972 - Robert Smith, a National Pro from Dallas, Texas, shot an incredible 80 under par to take first place honors in the PPA $10,000 National Championship in Winston-Salem, NC on August 19. Smith shot a 208 for the two-day 144-hole medal play tournament to win the $2,000 first place check.

John Kessler of Baltimore, Maryland took second place in the pro ranks with a 210, 78 under par. Bobby Gilmore, a Pro from Burlington, North Carolina, cam in third at 216, 72 under par. Second and third place prize monies were $1,250 and $1,000 respectively.

Emerging from the 147 man field, the quiet and amiable new National Champion was somewhat surprised by his score as well as the scores of others in the event. One pro commented, "Last year, I shot 68 under par and finished in the money. I shot the same thing this year and was a long way from top money."

A confident David Gies struts towards the cup (1972 APA National Championship).

David Gies of Fayetteville, North Carolina claimed honors in the Amateur Division of the National Championship shooting 215, 73 under par. A tie for second place in the Amateur Division went to David Taylor of Baltimore, Maryland and Steve Lyon of Greensboro, North Carolina. Both scored 70 under par.

Gies, a close friend of 1971 World Amateur Champion Bill Kirby, remarked ,"Every man on the putting circuit wants to win this event. I am really thrilled that I have done it. It's the happiest day of my life."

Smith agonizes over a delicate putt (1972 PPA National Championship).

The competition was keen in this national tournament that followed the $200,000 World Putting Championship. The field for the National Championship was 105 National Pros, 42 Regional Pros, and 80 Amateurs. Pros and Amateurs played 90 holes of the tournament Thursday and the field was cut to the low 72 and ties. Friday they played 54-holes. Scores were exceptionally low.

In addition to the prize money, putters were vying for six qualifying spots for the World Putting Championship in 1973. Two men qualified in each of the three divisions. In the Pro Division, John Kessler of Baltimore, Maryland and Carl Strickland of Atlanta, Georgia were qualifiers in the Western Region. In the Regional Pro Division, Pat Howard of Tucson, Arizona qualified for the Northern Region spot and Jim Borchelt of Cincinnati, Ohio took a qualifying spot for the Western Region.

Amateur qualifiers were David Taylor of Baltimore, Maryland who took a spot for the Western Region and Bill Hackney of Durham, North Carolina, who qualified for a Northern Region spot.

Professional Division of the 1972 PPA National Championship

1Robert SmithDallas, TX208$ 2,000.00
2John KesslerBaltimore, MD210$ 1,250.00
3Bobby GilmoreBurlington, NC216$ 1,000.00
4Ken BoyBristol, TN217$ 683.33
Carl StricklandJonesboro, GA217$ 683.33
John RiddKettering, OH217$ 683.33
7Dick FlorinCollege Park, GA218$ 500.00
8Roger MooreAtlanta, GA219$ 375.00
Rick SmithMuncie, IN219$ 375.00
Wendell SikesStone Mountain, GA219$ 375.00
Mike BaldozaFt. Worth, TX219$ 375.00
12Daryl FreemanBristol, VA220$ 200.00
Gary MayGadsden, AL220$ 200.00
John ThoburnStrongsville, OH220$ 200.00
15Gary UndersteinBethesda, MD221$ 87.50
Jimmy HarritosAtlanta, GA221$ 87.50
17Vance RandallFt. Oglethorpe, GA223$ 75.00
18Roger CowartJacksonville, FL224$ 75.00
Duane Cross, Jr.Louisville, KY224$ 75.00
Wilbur HildebrandWinston-Salem, NC224$ 75.00
Buddy FowlerHigh Point, NC224$ 75.00
Mike PfeifferOrlando, FL224$ 75.00
23Bob PoltisMonroeville, PA225$ 68.75
Jon Patrick HowardTucson, AZ225$ 68.75
John ConnorGreenville, SC225$ 68.75
Sam LabelAtlanta, GA225$ 68.75
27James Hanes, Jr.Winston-Salem, NC226$ 20.00
Danny CrispinBaltimore, MD226$ 20.00
Bob WilliamsonJacksonville, FL226$ 20.00
Herman StricklandMacon, GA226$ 20.00
Charles M. Connor, Jr.Asheville, NC226$ 20.00

Amateur Division of the 1972 PPA National Championship

1David GiesFayetteville, NC215$ 20.00
2David TaylorBaltimore, MD218$ 20.00
Steve LyonGreensboro, NC218$ 20.00
4Kelvin CopleyWinston-Salem, NC219$ 20.00
5Danny AndersSt. Petersburg, FL222$ 20.00

All score, statistics, photos, and descriptions taken from the Putt-Putt World, Volume 14, Number 8, Winter, 1972.



Homepage | Contact the PPA | Links | Putt-Putt Golf Courses of America | PPA & APA Members
National Tour | History of the PPA (1960's, 1970's, 1980's, 1990's, 2000's, 2010's, TV Series)
Southern Putting Tour, Virginia, Great Lakes Tour, Indiana Putting Tour, Southwest Putting Tour
Clayton Cup and Hancock Cup News and History
| Local Tournaments
Shop the Web Through
| Putt-Putt World Magazines