Burton, Two-Time National Champion

burton.jpg (30367 bytes)Orlando, FL - Lewis Burton of Lawrenceville, GA, knocked in a 30-foot ace on the final hole of an 18-hole playoff Saturday, September 19, to win his second PPA National Championship. The 33-year-old pro came from two strokes behind with three holes remaining to overcome Jeff Smith of Dallas, TX, and claim the $3,500 prize and become only the fourth player in history to become a two-time National Champion. "You just never know if you are going to win again," said Burton, the son of a Georgia State Senator. "I'm speechless, which doesn't say much when your father is a politician. I started the day eight strokes back and I just played the best I could."

Burton and Smith had tied the 144-hole regulation tournament at 204, 84 under par for eight rounds at the Putt-Putt Golf Course situated in the heart of scenic Orange Lake Resort & Country Club resulting in Saturday's 18-hole playoff for the championship. Smith held a two-stroke lead with three holes left in the playoff, but ran afoul when he scored a bogey three on the 16th hole. Burton pared the 16th, then gained a tie when he rammed in a 26-foot hole-in-one at the 17th hole while Smith's effort missed to the left. Burton calmly sent the winning putt toward the hole at the 18th, the ball curling from left to right and into the hole, and then watched as Smith's effort to tie rolled to the lip of the hole before tailing off to the right. "I really thought Jeff would make that putt and we'd have to go to sudden-death," said Burton, who is sponsored by Woods & Gray apparel and has $45,000 in career earnings. "I had been making that putt at the 18th hole throughout the tournament," said Smith, a 38-year-old two-time Texas State Champion who won $2,000. "I just came up an inch short of being the best putter in the country."

Jay Klapper, a journeyman pro from Loganville, GA, finished third at 205, including a costly bogey at the 15th hole of the final round of tournament play, earning $1,500. "That hole will haunt me for a time to come," Klapper said. Greg Ward of Loganville, GA, Cliff Matthews of Hurst, TX, Rainey Statum of Kingwood, TX, Andy Coradini of Loganville, GA, and Danny McCaslin of Metairie, LA, shared fourth at 206 each earning $940.

Jeff Brown of North Olmsted, OH, claimed the Amateur Putters Association crown with a 216 total for a two-stroke victory over Jim Engel of Canfield, OH, and Jim Cruse of Baltimore, OH. "I've been trying to win this title for the last couple of years," Brown said Lee Ashley of Durham, NC, won the Novice Division title with a total of 256. Rodney Rogers of Dublin, OH, was second at 268.

The victory gave Burton his fifth major title in Profession Putters Association competition. Burton won his first PPA title in 1989. "I just thank the Lord and my family," Burton says. "I thank the Lord for giving me good health and I thank my wife and my parents for the support they have given me over the years I have played this game." Burton joins Vance Randall of Asheville, NC (1967 and 1969), Robert Smith of Dallas, TX (1972 and 1974), the late Ray Browning of Cleveland, OH (1975 and 1980), and Alan Quinnelly (1985 and 1991) as the only players to win two National Championships.

Professional Scores in 1998 National Championship

RoundPrize

Player

12345678Total

Money

1Lewis Burton2527252725272325204$3,500.00
2Jeffrey Smith2329272328232526204$2,000.00
3Jay Klapper2326212629282626205$1,500.00
4Greg Ward2425282723282427206$940.00
Cliff Matthews2925243020252726206$940.00
Rainey Statum2726282425252328206$940.00
Andy Coradini2625322523242526206$940.00
Danny McCaslin2328262626252527206$940.00
9Kevin Lacey2728282623272424207$700.00
10Joel Baker2627252426262925208$600.00
11Mike Brown2526252627272627209$525.00
Darrell Britt2726262723312623209$525.00
13Todd Fowler2525262827262627210$480.00
14Roger Beckerman2428282622262928211$419.00
Gary English2924312225272627211$419.00
Charlie Greenwalt2426262627292429211$419.00
Roland Block2627252628282427211$419.00
Peter Neumann2630252330272624211$419.00
19Jimmy Mott3029242524262826212$337.50
Rick Alessi2625262528252829212$337.50
21Dave Nutini2628242531292426213$275.00
Tony Varnadore2426262825282630213$275.00
23Todd Barfield2925263126252527214$216.67
Jim Heikkinen2827252824282529214$216.67
Gene Reams2626272726272629214$216.67
26Dan Anders2531292827222726215$200.00
C. L. Jones2731252827242924215$200.00
Buddy Taylor2424262832262728215$200.00
29Ron Frederick2625242932252827216$200.00
30Fred Stewart2534312526212728217$66.67
Tom Butler2725292726292430217$66.67
Paul Johns2926252724282731217$66.67
33Rick Baird2628242828302826218
Dave McCaslin2626312829292524218
35Bill Kirby, Jr.2529272825252931219
Bob Davis2827302428302527219
Greg Newport2727302829252825219
38Michael Hitt2627253026312926220
John Napoli2326272828283327220
David Lynch3032223228262129220
41Frank Warren2830252726303025221
Rusty Taylor2625283126282730221
43Alan Quinnelly2527263129312726222
Jeff Garrison2826262728322728222
Danny Dore3030273326262525222
Dave Taylor3027272731272825222
47Lee Messinger2927332426292827223
Bill Baus2730253029272728223
49Bart Bason2729273028292628224
Larry Simpson2727292625283032224
51Gary Hester2528292925293129225
Brad Lebo2732262527262933225
53Brice Bergesen2928272626352927227
Bob Haizlip2531282624322833227
55Robert Johnson2926262928273330228
Bo Luthie2830302727263228228
57Ron Lamplough3234262624293029230
Mike Damsky2731262932302827230
59Wally Walters3128302332292632231
Thomas Rawles2628263330302830231
John Ventura2830302928302927231
62Greg Roberts3130283128292827232
Tony Jackson2726302733313226232
64Robby Bryant2727303130283030233
Randy Reeves2530283029272935233
Randy Orr3226243230303128233
67Paul Sample2527312931382727235
68Barb Mingo2636302730302932240
69Paul Pastilong3328273028333033242
70Rodney Ashley2929322934263331243
71Mark Hasty3131283131293231244
72Alan Morris3033273232322931246
73Al Simpson3230333337312830254
74Bill Walsh3535332934303128255
75Elias Dakessian3932323533353029265

Amateur Scores in 1998 National Championship

RoundPrize

Player

12345678Total

Money

1Jeff Brown2529272531282526216$50.00
2Jim Engel2528282829232829218$50.00
3Jim Cruse2728272728282728220$50.00
4Ken Hastings2627283126292727221$50.00
5Jimmy Comer2827282827282927222$50.00
Rich Gillooly2828302826242929222$50.00
7Scott Buddie2928253126292929226$50.00
8Robb Titchell3227283126273026227$50.00
Dom Perry2833272826292729227$50.00
10William Glisson, Jr.2630292933313022230$50.00
11Craig Williams2827262931303030231
Tony Davenport3029312528293227231
13Justin Taylor2528333431302428233
14Karl Moe3034302928262930236
15William Hammons3027303030283034239
16Billy Caudle3030303133312829242
17Ray Guthrie III3337343125272830245
18Ryon Benton3733323136332928259
19Karen Hastings3439302933293139264

Novice Scores in 1998 National Championship

Round

Player

12345678Total
1Lee Ashley3029263637323531256
2Rodney Rogers3331323335323636268

 

 

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