Andy Coradini Wins the 1997 Dallas Open
Dallas, TX - 23-24 August 1997 - As competition began on Saturday, August 23rd, the pressure to win was tangible. The countdown to Orange Lake was winding down, less than a month before the Championship week. The Dallas tournament would determine the 5th position for the television series, a spot coveted by all. Andy Coradini, Loganville, GA, came to the tournament as determined as anyone else to win. Coradini's goal since 1984 has been to play on television in back-to-back years. Having played the television series in 196, he was determined to do so again in 1997. His determination paid off.
At the end of Saturday's rounds, the standing were Dan Anders, Columbus, GA, and Randy Reeves, Montgomery, AL, tied for first with 114. Right behind was Coradini with a score of 116. Tow strokes behind, Coradini entered Sunday's competition determined to "play tough."
Coradini grabbed the lead in round 5 and maintained his position through the 6th, but a disappointing seventh round put on the pressure. Consistent playing by Dallas' Lee Messinger resulted in a tie for first at the start of round 8. Not far behind and applying pressure were Brad Lebo, Philadelphia, PA, and Carolinians Rick Baird and Tony Jackson.
The final round quickly became a contest between Lebo and Coradini, with Lebo grabbing the advantage on the front nine. Coradini did indeed "play tough," acing six of the final 10 holes to win the tournament by one stroke.
According to Coradini, the competition was intense. "You couldn't count on your score until the ball was in the hole," Coradini's victory places him in Show #2 for the TV Series. While Lebo was undoubtedly disappointed, his second place standing earned 98 points, putting him well ahead in the points race.
Scores and tournament recap provided by the Putt-Put Home Office