Jay Klapper Wins 1999 South Carolina State Championship
Anderson, SC - October 31, 1999 - Jay Klapper was one of three players tied for the lead after the first round, and one of five players tied through the second round. The social worker from Loganville, Georgia fired a third round 29 to end the morning session of the tournament at 90 and a three shot lead over four players including SC Player of the Year Greg Newport, Bob Jackson, Bob Haizlip, and Mike Brown. Klapper then fires an afternoon total of 92 to finish at 182, winning the 1999 South Carolina State Championship held in Anderson, South Carolina.
Klapper's winning in Anderson is no stranger to the first time SC state champion. Earlier this year, he won the first tournament that was held in Anderson back on May 29 in the morning when he defeated Lewis Burton in a playoff for first. Klapper played consistent throughout the day on Sunday with his best round of 29 (twice-first and third rounds), and his worst round being 32 (second and sixth rounds).
Greg Newport was trying to become the first person in South Carolina history to win the State title and Player of the Year in the same year. After the morning session, he was three strokes behind Klapper and kept pace with him until the final round. Newport also opened the tournament with an even-par round, but came back with rounds of 28 and 29 to put himself and Bob Jackson in the lead pairing with Klapper going into the afternoon. Newport's attempt to make history fell short as fired rounds of 32 and 33 to close out his play and finish five out and in third.
Rick Baird was in a tie for 13th when afternoon play began. The 1994 SC State Champion fired a tournament best 54-hole score of 88 in the afternoon to vault into second and wound up four shots behind the winner at 186. Baird was also one of seven players who fired the low round of 28 for the tournament which he did that in the fourth round.
Defending champion Dan Anders also played consistent in trying to become the first player since Randy Orr to win back-to-back titles. Anders was one of three players tied for fourth at 189, along with Randy Reeves and Greg Ward.
The tournament had been originally scheduled just three weeks ago before a heavy rainfall ceased play for the tournament. However, bright sunny skies and mild temperatures made conditions just perfect for the tournament.
Klapper received a first prize check for $795 in his win. The win was his first ever major Putt-Putt title in his 17-year career. In his victory speech, he mentioned that "this was a dream come true."
The championship marked the last tournament on any Putt-Putt schedule as players came from Montgomery, Alabama to Shippensburg, Pennsylvania to participate in the 36-man field. The average score per round was 33.176.
Tournament recap and scores courtesy of Michael Hitt