Greg Ward Defends His Elton Davis Title at the 1999 Elton Davis Memorial Tournament
Greg Ward aces the 143rd hole of the 1999 Elton Davis on his way to a six-stroke victory.
Burlington, NC - August 29, 1999 - Entering the second day of the 25th Annual Elton Davis Championship, leader Greg Ward was in command with a six stroke lead. Opening Sunday's play with back to back rounds of 25 and a seventh round of 26, Ward lost four of those strokes to a charging Lewis Burton, but fired a final round 24 to finish at 199, 89-under par, and a six-stroke victory over the 1998 National Champion Burton and another charger Greg Newport, who shot a tournament best 97 for Sunday.
The Elton Davis tournament is the second longest running tournament currently in the PPA and drew a field of 41 professionals. Ward's victory in the Elton Davis Memorial was his second in a row, third in the last four, and fourth overall.
Ray Guthrie fired rounds of 26, 26, 28, and 24 on Course 1 to finish the tournament at 210, winning the amateur division by eight strokes over Jimmy Comer who fired rounds of 29, 27, 28, and 23 on Sunday to solidify second. Jonathan Moore, Saturday's leader, fell behind throughout the day with only his best round of 28 in his final round to finish third at 222. Brian Hutchins finished one stroke behind at 223. Guthrie's win was his fourth of the season and made him the North Carolina APA Player of the Year, its first different winner of this honor since 1996.
Rounding out the top ten in the Pro Division were Todd Barfield, fourth at 207, Robert Johnson, fifth at 208, Darrell Britt, sixth at 210, Rick Baird, Peter Neumann, and Randy Reeves, tied for seventh at 211, and tied for tenth were Bart Bason, Mike Brown, and Andy Coradini, all at 213.
A special annual dedication award is always given at the Elton Davis Classic, sponsored by the family of Elton, given to the one member of the PPA who had dedicated his/her time with the PPA. This year's recipient went to course owner and former champion of the Elton Davis Classic, Bobby Gilmore. Before receiving the award, a few players stepped up to pay their dues to Gilmore for his involvement with Putt-Putt and the players itself. When receiving, a lightly tearful Gilmore thanked all his help at the course and the players for their continued tradition not only to the tournament but the PPA as well.
Greg Newport's second place finish clinches NCPPA Player of the Year honors for the second time in three years. Qualifying spots from this tournament: Johnson, NC State Spot; Keith Waters, NCAPA low non-qualifying spot.
Other news of note: Chris Bunting and Opie Roberts were in as the final two players on the North Carolina Clayton Cup team announced after the tournament. Gilbert Sharpe, Rodney Ashley, and Buddy Taylor were named into the North Carolina State Championship based on points. They got in by playing in the Elton Davis.
The next North Carolina tournament will be September 25 and 26 in High Point. The 25th is the NCPPA Teams Championship, which commences at 10:00am. The 26th is the Match Play tournament with starting time to be announced. Afterwards, the NC tour will not play again until October 16-17 with their state championships in Durham.
Tournament recap and scores courtesy of Opie Roberts