Paul Johns Wins 1982 Amateur National Match-Play Championship

10 August 1982 - It took Paul Johns five years, but the 24-year-old from Dothan, Ala., finally won the Amateur Putters Association National Championship Tuesday. "I love it," said Johns. "I made the top eight in 1977. This sure feels good."

Johns defeated 14-year-old Peter Neumann of Dayton, Ohio, six and five for the title at the Owen Drive Putt-Putt Center.

Johns said he thought the 12th hold of course No. 3 was the turning point of the match. "I was one down then. I made the ace and he had a deuce.

"I could hear the camera clicking and everything going on," he said. "I just tried to block it out of my mind." Johns was three up after the first 18 holes then quickly opened up a large lead on the front nine of the second 18.

"Last year I lost in the first round," said Neumann. "I'm not disappointed really."

Today's action will include the final 18 holes of the Junior Putters Association National Championship match between Chris Graham and Roland Block. That will be followed by the first match of the quarterfinals of the Professional Putters Association Nationals with local favorite David Dingus of Fayetteville facing defending national champion Jeff Estep of Dayton, Ohio.

Tournament coordinator Neil Buie said as many rounds of the tournament as possible will be played today. It's possible the semifinals and finals could be played, but Buie said that was doubtful.

"I'm sure the crowd will be rooting for him instead of with me," said Estep, 20.

Should Dingus, 22, advance into the semis, he would assure himself of nearly doubling his PPA career earnings of $2,423.16. Semifinalists are guaranteed at least a $4,000 paycheck.

"This is the first year I've been able to go out on tour," said Dingus. "Before I only earned about $55 as a pro."

About playing at home, Dingus said ,"It sure feels a lot better than being on the road."

Commentators Frank Gleiber and Billy Packer will be on hand today televising the competition on a tape delay basis. The matches will be shown next spring as part of the PPA's syndicated TV package.

For that reason, Estep may have an advantage since he won the title in 1981. "It's to his advantage," said Dingus. "He knows the pressure of playing for the big title."

The big match of the day may be between Charlotte's Ed Haggerty, the PPA's player of the year the past two seasons, and Ron Frederick, the tournament's No. 1 seed.

Haggerty, 22, and Frederick, 22, have met three times with Frederick winning all three matches. "I'm looking forward to it," said Haggerty.

Another quarterfinal match pits Steve Guyton of Columbus, Ohio, against Steve Lange of Syracuse, NY. Lange won the Nationals Championship in 1978 while Guyton won the amateur title in 1977. Guyton is in a position similar to Dingus - a victory today would just about double his career earnings.

"I didn't think about it at first since I was excited about getting on TV," said Guyton. "Then I thought about it last night at the hotel."

Robert Smith of Dallas, Texas will face Gary Benfield of Charlotte in the other quarterfinal match. Smith, 29, is trying to become the only three-time winner of the national championship. He previously won it in 1972 and 1974 and had a chance to win it again in 1975, but lost in the championship round by default.

Benfield, 29, said, "He (Smith) beat me out of a TV spot in 1977 and I'd like to get even for that."

The first match of the day will be the final 18 holes of the Junior Putters Association National Championship between Chris Graham and Roland Block.

Recap taken from the Fayetteville Times article by Mark Matlock.

1982 APA National Match-Play Results

1st Round 2nd Round 3rd Round Quarter-Finals Semi-Finals Finals Winner
$100 $100 $100 $100
Ray Burke Ray Burke
1 Up
John Otto
  Michael Marsh
Sudden Death
Michael Marsh Michael Marsh
1 Up
Michael Bell  
  Michael Marsh
Sudden Death
Ken Weatherford Ken Weatherford
7 & 6
 
Richard Schnelle Ken Weatherford
2 & 1
 
   
Dell Eshelman Dell Eshelman
4 & 3
 
Mark Wood  
 
Richard Dorn Richard Dorn
2 & 1
  Steve Virant
2 & 1
Danny McCaslin  
  Richard Dorn
3 & 2
   
Paul Nichols Paul Nichols
Sudden Death
   
Jim Duffy   Steve Virant
5 & 4
 
   
Chris Frye Chris Frye
Sudden Death
   
Tony Gerbasi Steve Virant
4 & 3
 
   
Steve Virant Steve Virant
3 & 2
 
Darryl Posey  
  Peter Neumann
Sudden Death
Bill Walsh Bill Walsh
1 Up
 
John Ventura    
  Anthony Nance
2 & 1
   
Anthony Nance Anthony Nance
6 & 5
   
Bill Tesh      
  Gene Reams
1 Up
   
Gene Reams Gene Reams
3 & 2
     
Mike Matthews Gene Reams
Sudden Death
     
       
Tom Woodruff Tom Woodruff
4 & 3
     
Steve Arnold   Peter Neumann
6 & 5
 
   
Paul Grider Paul Grider
1 Up
   
Kevin Close    
  Paul Grider
4 & 3
   
Mark Stephens Mark Stephens
Sudden Death
   
Ken Pierce   Peter Neumann
2 & 1
 
   
Mike Hoskins Mike Hoskins
1 Up
   
Chuck Dibbs Peter Neumann
3 Up
 
   
Peter Neumann Peter Neumann
4 & 3
 
Curtis Taylor  

Paul Johns
6 & 5

 
Richard Jennings Richard Jennings
1 Up
 
Chuck Trill  
  Cynthia Carlson
4 & 3
 
Cynthia Carlson Cynthia Carlson
8 & 7
 
Dave Pottinger    
  Randy Wood
5 & 4
 
Randy Wood Randy Wood
9 & 8
   
Joe Dubisky Randy Wood
7 & 6
   
     
Freddie Karem Freddie Karem
4 & 3
   
Caroline Cadden    
  Richard Gavin
1 Up
 
Terry McCarthy Terry McCarthy
5 & 4
   
Carl Harper      
  Terry McCarthy
8 & 7
     
Tom Sprout Tom Sprout
2 & 1
     
John Knable   Richard Gavin
1 Up
   
     
David Hinkamp David Hinkamp
2 & 1
     
Randy Gobble Richard Gavin
5 & 4
   
     
Richard Gavin Richard Gavin
4 & 3
   
Michael Porter   Paul Johns
6 & 4
 
Scott Anderson Scott Anderson
3 & 2
 
Matt Farmer  
  Paul Johns
2 & 1
 
Paul Johns Paul Johns
4 & 3
 
David Shankle    
  Paul Johns
2 & 1
 
Allen Jerrell Allen Jerrell
10 & 9
   
William Harper Allen Jerrell
9 & 8
   
     
Wayne Hancock Wayne Hancock
3 & 2
   
Gary Brittain   Paul Johns
1 Up
 
Lewis Burton Lewis Burton
6 & 5
 
Geoff Jones  
  Rick Baird
8 & 7
 
Rick Baird Rick Baird
7 & 6
 
John Nyholm   Rick Baird
2 & 1
 
Bill Watson Bill Watson
4 & 3
 
Don Ferrell Robbie Vaughn
2 & 1
 
Robbie Vaughn Robbie Vaughn
6 & 5
Jim Russell
 

 

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